It’s all Greek to Me: Myths, Retellings, and a Summer of Epics

Sometimes I can get a little obsessive. It usually results in podcasts, music, tv shows and books all centered around a central theme. I’ll make little Sim families related to the current topic. I’ve gone off the deep end on the Plantagenet’s, I’ve gone gaga for impressionist artists in fiction and television, and like any good reader had my “will read any book about books” phase. 

This summer I am all about the Greeks. Last year I read Circe and I still think back to it frequently. Then I read The Song of Achilles, and the same thing happened. Most of my whimsical thoughts were captured by ancient Gods and timeless myths. This year I listened to all of the Silence of the Girls while working in my garden. By the end I was in love with ancient, decimated Troy and acutely aware I had never actually read The Iliad. So I did that. Then the Odyssey. I had my friend pick up Stephen Fry’s Myths and Heroes while she was in the UK so I could continue my obsession.

Oh. I also listened to Hadestown. A lot. My boyfriend is not amused. My dog is not amused. I sing WAIT FOR ME whenever I fall slightly behind a group.

I swear I am actually a pleasant person. 

Anyway, my goodreads TBR is now completely filled with retellings. I’m trying to finally understand myths that I’ve only ever heard from Disney or Wishbone and it is fantastic. For once it feels like one of my mini obsessions is something I can actually communicate. 

It can also grow naturally. After telling a girl at a humanities workshop about my recent time with the Iliad she talked to me about the Aeneid, and off I went. Roman history is less interesting to me but I still sped through the epic. 

I understand so many references now. I unfortunately still have zero interest in toga parties. 

There was a point this summer where I felt a bit like a one trick pony. All I wanted to talk about were Greek Gods and their extremely poor decisions. I didn’t want to share this thing that made me so excited because I was worried I would get blank stares and variations of “weirdo.” Call it a holdover from a childhood of wanting to be liked.

I wound up talking to friends. One read through the Iliad with me. My boyfriend still lets me blast Hadestown in the car. I’ve made new friends talking about this really old thing that has become so dear to me.

What I am trying to get at is obsessions are great. Sharing them with others is amazing. Fall down the rabbit hole and learn something. 

Who knows, maybe you’ll start learning Greek, or learn how to bind books (check), create a backyard garden (check), or get really into home repairs (check for the bf.)

Stay tuned later this week for a masterlist of all the myth retellings I am hoping to get to this summer. Also, leave recommendations in the comments!

3 thoughts on “It’s all Greek to Me: Myths, Retellings, and a Summer of Epics

  1. Greek myths and retelling have to be some of my favourite stories out there. I’m sure it’s because they are the ones that we get the most exposure to, but I’m never bored of reading them.

    On a side note, I enjoy your writing style. To me it’s very crisp and clean, but also personable. Reading your posts are very enjoyable!

    Liked by 1 person

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