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mark211What's your favourite piece of ancient literature?2015-01-12 13:52:52
mark211As readers and writers of Fantasy Fiction, and Science Fiction too actually, there is an extraordinary wealth of thousands of years of ancient literature, legends, myths, sagas and so on - so what's your favourite of these and why? Is it Homer's *Iliad* or Virgil's *Aeneid* for you? *The Epic of Gilgamesh* or *Beowulf*? How have these stories fired your imagination?2015-01-12 14:00:09
IronspiderI was lucky enough to hear a spoken-word performance of Beowulf at the Edinburgh Festival several years ago. Australian actor and PhD Felix Nobis had translated the poem and even started the performance with the first few sentences in Anglo-Saxon Old English - which gave the entire audience a fright, but Felix's intention was for people to hear how it would sound when first recited. I've read the Iliad, but much prefer the Odyssey. Not tackled either the Aeneid nor Gilgamesh.2015-01-13 23:59:28
mark211"I was lucky enough to hear a spoken-word performance of Beowulf at the Edinburgh Festival" That sounds awesome, to be honest.2015-01-14 13:18:12
mark211I was asking the question more because IMO in terms of "Gateways", using the addictions analogy, into Fantasy I absolutely went the route which was - Greek and Norse myths and legends - Dungeons and Dragons - Fantasy. But even as an adult, I am still blown away by stories like Gilgamesh and the Iliad and the Aeneid(I've not read the Odyssey). They always seem - often quite literally - incredibly visceral, a real gut punch. I mean, just to take a few scenes from the Iliad - the battle for the boats at the beginning, the descent of the Gods and Goddesses who 'inhabit' the bodies of the warriors to wreak havoc on the battlefields. Awesome stuff. And then of course "And then the unlovely night came over him" (depending on your translation). 2015-01-14 13:23:17
IronspiderThe spoken word performance was, indeed, an awesome experience - Felix held the audience's attention for well over an hour, just reciting his translated version of the poem, which came out roughly the same time as Seamus Heaney's (which I haven't read).2015-01-14 14:04:29
r.tornelloI like Professor Joseph Campbell's works on myth. He has an extensive publication list and has a PBS program that you can purchase. It's great.

I'd rather some one tell me the story, verbally annotated with footnotes that I can look up later..

2015-01-14 14:40:37
micheledutcherI'll take the easy way out here and say, The Bible. When looked at as a collection of stories, especially the first 5 books, there is so much myth telling with angels coming down from heaven and mating with women and on and on it's fun! 2015-01-15 08:28:29
mark211"The Bible." The King James Version is a bona fide work of literary art (no offence intended to Christians by my saying that btw). The Book of Job is an amazing story in its own right - I mean, how much more dramatic can you get than a conversation between God and Satan over the fate of one man? Really, it's got everything a good story should have.2015-01-17 11:11:29





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