14 de enero de 2017

Review: World mythology in bite-sized chunks

Pic taken from http://realitysabore.blogspot.com.es
Habitualmente reseño en español pero dado que el idioma del libro es inglés voy a tirar de mi segunda lengua para hacer llegar lo mejor de este libro.

The first time I was taught about mythology dates from the year 1999 or so. I was 15 and had to repeat a whole academic year as I had failed several subjects. As changing my mind was necessary, I opted for registering a new optinal subject: Classical Culture, which immediately became a challenge and one of the most positive decisions I've ever made. I enjoyed while reading myths and while listening to my teacher's explanations and accounts of deities, heroes, nymphes, etc. Currently, despite being a specialist in English, I'm fond of the mythological.

What I've liked most is the simplicity with which every story has been described. The tales are totally focused on the most significant facts that have tried to explain the world where we live. This is reinforced by the list of chosen characters, who are the most important too of every civilisation. Since the stories are brief, understading them becomes duck soup even though you don't know what a myth is.

The book is divided into nine chapters which include nine different civilisations. For someone having been taught only Greek and Roman mythology, the essay is an invitation to enjoy the shocking contrast among how each one interprets the origin of everything. There's a special emphasis on how the world was created. According to our ancestors, we can think differently, someone that enriches the reading and, of course, your own culture.

Despite being too brief for someone who a lot about mythology (relatively), it is amazing the large number of characters who parade page after page, apart from other curiosities where several of them are involved: the signs of the zodiac and the days of the week are the most common example. For sure, you are going characters who you have never heard about and with an unpronounceable name.

One of the stories I have liked most is related to Chinese mythology, particuarly the "Chinese New Year". Also, it is worth quoting what hides the Thor, a Norse god. I'm not going to detail anything to avoid spoiling the reading to those who want to cast an eye on tyhe book.

To sum up, what you are finding here is a basic compendium of the most well-known stories and mythologycal beings which have been considered to be the most influential in the civilisation which are described. A very good resource for those who want to start learning about mythology. 

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