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Books about Mythology?

PharezonPharezon Struggle is an illusion.Victory is in the Qun.Registered User regular
edited July 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Recently after having seen Hellboy 1 & 2 and watching some Samurai Jack episodes I've become interested in mythology from around the world. The only problem is I don't where to start. So denizens of H&A what books should I start with?

Pharezon on
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Posts

  • Double_FacesDouble_Faces Registered User
    edited July 2008
    Edith Hamilton's "Mythology" is a nice start. Good for the Greeks, my favorite.

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  • DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Agreed. Edith Hamilton's Mythology is fairly good, and it's easy to read. It focuses on Greek mythology mostly, with the Roman counterparts as well. There's a little bit on Norse Mythology also. There's also the famous Bulfinch's Mythology.

    This remind me that I've had a book on Celtic Mythology for a while that I need to read.

    A good place to start otherwise might be to go to your local library and look up "mythology." Chances are that they may be grouped together, then you can decide what looks interesting and what doesn't in a quick flip through.

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell is not just one of the best mythology books you'll ever read but one of the best period. It's not a straight up "these are what the myths are," but it's definitely along the lines of what you're looking for.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Bulfinch's Mythology, back when I was really into mythology, was as to mythology as Miles Davis' Kind of Blue is to jazz music.

    Which is to say it was basically mandatory.

  • TamTam I hate art I love artRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I have The Hero With a Thousand Faces and goddamn is it awesome. Joseph Campbell is a big man in this world, sir. You should look up more from him.

    I hated Hindu mythology for a while because it was forced on me, but reading it now, it's pretty great. Also, Chinese myths and legends are pretty damn cool.

  • RyeRye Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Joseph Campbell was one of the first people to deconstruct mythology and break it down into more broad aspects. It relates and describes the archetypes for all myths, old and new. It explains how myth relates to the culture and how they are really just the same myths retold in different ways, delving into the psychology and sociology behind them.

    If you watched Hellboy and thought "Wow, I wish I could just read some more good stories", then Campbell will bore you. Which are you looking for?

  • PharezonPharezon Struggle is an illusion. Victory is in the Qun.Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Rye wrote: »
    Joseph Campbell was one of the first people to deconstruct mythology and break it down into more broad aspects. It relates and describes the archetypes for all myths, old and new. It explains how myth relates to the culture and how they are really just the same myths retold in different ways, delving into the psychology and sociology behind them.

    If you watched Hellboy and thought "Wow, I wish I could just read some more good stories", then Campbell will bore you. Which are you looking for?

    More towards the stories but both would be pretty good.

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  • GeodGeod swim, swim, hungryRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    If you're looking into Japanese Mythology, I recommend this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Tales-Pantheon-Folklore-Library/dp/0375714510/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216673664&sr=8-1

    Basically a book of a bunch of different short myths and legends, many about Japanese Mythology. It's a good book, I enjoyed it a lot. But then again, this is the type of stuff I thrive on.

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  • Chake99Chake99 Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    http://www.amazon.com/Prose-Edda-Mythology-Penguin-Classics/dp/0140447555 -- this looks great for Norse Mythology. Couldn't find the book I read on Norse Mythology by Penguin but this looks much more mature. Will prolly buy it myself.

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  • E.CoyoteE.Coyote Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    http://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Things-That-Never-Were/dp/0140100083

    This one is a good general mix, not as complete as bullfinch's but it's much less dry.

    p.s. Did you see the animated hellboy movies? They're animated in the same style as Samurai Jack.

  • fuelishfuelish Registered User
    edited July 2008
    You also want to read stuff like the original Grimm fairytales. Tales of the Supernatural, I think that was the name, had a lot of cool weirdness from around the world as well. A lot of Mignolas stories are based in this stuff.

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