Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for Mythology and Fairy Tales

I am sure that you may have noticed by now that I am a major nerd (and procrastinator*). When I was a child, most kids my age would be reading Dick and Jane books (okay, not Dick and Jane, but I have no idea what was popular then). I, on the other hand, was slightly obsessive over mythology.  I found my way to them after a brief (for me) fairy tale kick, and stumbled upon the myth about Persephone and Hades. I felt sorry for the poor guy alone in Hell (I was raised Southern Baptist, so you couldn't convince me that the Underworld wasn't Hell), and thought Persephone was a bit of a cheat. That, in turn, led me to hundreds and thousands of other little stories from brief mentions in the Encyclopedia Britainnica to the great works of Homer and Virgil. Oh, I won't pretend that I fully understood them, but I read them over and over. And over. I especially loved the stories about Artemis because she was a kick-ass girl-goddess. When we would have mythology lessons in school, that was the only time that timid, shy me would raise my hand to argue with the teacher. In fact, I think it may have been the first time to speak up in class. ZEUS WAS NOT MARRIED TO JUNO! I mean, really. But, I digress. Yes, I prefer the Greek versions to Roman. No, I do not like them mixed. And maybe I haven't followed the Egyptian and Nordic myths as closely, but I love them all the same.

As for the fairy tale part of the post, I returned to my love affair with this genre during my mythology obsession. There is only so much of each one to read, and I was the child queen of the reread. I loved the dark, original tales, as well as the sugary-sweet desecration that is Disney adaptations. Hey, I'm not knocking it - I watched them. I copies of the works Hans Christensen Andersen, the Brothers Grimm, and Charles Perrault all on hand, along with A Thousand and One Nights. My all-time favorite fairy tale, that is to say the one I read I read the most, would have to be Andersen's The Snow Queen. I'm a fan of the darker stories, and that one was so terrifying to me.

Of course, since I enjoy the actual stories so much, I also love various adaptations of the myths and fairy tales. Some of my favorites are the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, and Spindle's End by Robin McKinley. There are so many more out there, but these burst into head as soon as I thought about the genre. What are some of your favorites that I missed?

*I don't apologize for being a nerd, I apologize for being a procrastinator. And forgetting to hit "Publish" yesterday. Hopefully I'll be able to do some writing today and get some posts ready ahead of time for you guys. I wouldn't hold your breath though.

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You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!