Researching Myths with the Intent to. . . Reboot!?
Of course, I have to be the one who whines when Hollywood butchers Greek mythology. So, it is understandable if I’m feeling as if I’m teetering on the edge of abyssal hypocrisy. Why? Because it just feels right in this case.
And maybe, just maybe, I’ve been to strict with my attitude towards adapting mythology. What makes Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans (1981) work while Immortals and Troy fail miserably? I honestly don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t even have anything to do with mythology, but rather the execution of the whole film.
Is this change in position self serving? Hell yes. But I do think that I should try to moderate or change my position. Seriously, it’s not like I worship the Olympians. So playing with and reinterpreting ancient myths should not be a problem. Hell, myths are always in flux. As an originally oral story telling form, myths changed with each telling. So why was I so strict? Must be a character flaw.
Researching various mythologies is both fun and frustrating. The fun comes from discovering things I never knew (and I am quite knowledgeable concerning Greek mythology). But the frustration comes in trying to find good sources. Or sources period.
My initial focus is on the Mediterranean and Near East. So that means I’ll need to research Greek, Italic (including Roman, Etruscan, etc.), Hittite, Levantine, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, etc. Now, some of those will be very easy to research. Namely Greek, Roman and Egyptian. But what about Etruscan? What about Levantine? Such a pain.
There is also a matter of quality and interpretation at work. What are good sources to look for? I love Graves’s Greek Myths, but I am well aware that he imposes his own critical philosophy onto those myths. And I wouldn’t be surprised if other sources did the same thing. I could stick to primary sources, but then tracking some of the more obscure texts down may be incredibly difficult. Particularly if the home cultures are lacking in recent scholarly popularity. . . (And age has issues all its own. . .)
But hey, that is the joy of research, feeling the rush of excitement as weeks or months of work bear fruit.
The idea I have, working off of the third option from my last post, is to reimagine various mythologies on an alternate Earth. I have some ideas already for stories. And I have a protagonist/narrator. Now I just need to figure out who the hero is (I’m splitting up the two).
I’m excited with what I’ve come up with so far. But I’m in the research phase right now. In the meantime, I’ve got some sorcerers to deal with. . .