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Mythology, Fairy Tales and Epic Poem Books

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Does anyone read books of this nature?


I love 'em. I read Aesop's Fable, The Odyssey, Tales from the Arabian Night and Grimm's Fairy Tales over the Winter. Except for the Arabian Nights, they were all wonderful and inspiring, if dark. I thought Arabian Nights was pretty boring, so I am glad there were only 20 short stories in there. Sinbad and Alladin were big disappointments.


The others were cool though. I ended up buying collections of Norse mythology, Hans Christian Anderson and Chinese mythology. When I checked out, the cashier asked if I was a teacher. Again. Heh.


Does anyone have any good reccomendations? Or things to stay away from?

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I read them all the time!  I've read most of the big Greek epics, like the Illaid and the Odyssey, but if you want a change in mythology, read The Ramayana.  It's a Hindu epic and while the treatment of women still grate on my nerves, I still love it.

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I haven't read that one, I've heard its quite the tale though. In fact, I've had a difficult time trying to find translated versions of any epics other then the Greek epics and Beowulf. I buy mostly from brick and mortor stores though. I tried searching for them online, but sometimes all I end up with is essays and examinations and being unsure of what to get. 


Where did you find your copy? Have you read The Bamboo Cutter's Daughter? I really want a copy of it to read. (>_<)


I am also curious if you noticed any overlap, like there was a story in Grimm's Fairy Tales that was straight from Arabian Nights. I need to look up it title, but it was clearly modeled from Ali Baba and the Fourty Thieves.

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I'm a big fan of vampire folklore.  I mainly focus on Slavic stories, and they're legit scary, but the vampires from Asia are the stuff nightmares are made of and it is so. much. fun.


Werewolf folklore is fun, too, and the Slavs do it justice, but I haven't come across as much in comparison.

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I thought I was alone in feeling frustrated in not finding much outside of the Greek/Roman and Norse myths!  I am interested in all myths, but find myself,like Princess Ennui, not sure where exactly to find good, basic books on the myths themselves.


I appreciate the recommendation of The Ramayana. ::goes to add it to list::

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@PrincessEnnui , if you thought The Arabian Nights was boring at 20 short stories, stay firmly away from the full-length editions! (They can be found on the public-domain book sites.) Yeah, it's a whole different mindset from anything I'm used to. I admit, though, that I enjoy following the structure. There's a chapter for each of the 1001 nights, and (at least in the edition I've seen) the table of contents keeps track of the stories-within-stories (of which there are many) with outline indications like I, A, i, etc. And Sheherazade points out at the end that there was a gap in the numbering partway (which one probably doesn't notice at the time), when she needed a few nights off to have a baby; but the second baby came so easily, she didn't need any time off. (Obviously a man wrote this.)


One of my favorite gifts as a child was the Modern Library Bulfinch's Mythology. That book was actually just the first third (Greek myths, with some Norse tacked on at the end). The middle book was English legends: mostly King Arthur, but with some Robin Hood and more afterward. And the last third was all new to me and thus endlessly fascinating, the tales of Charlemagne's knights: the epics of Boiardo and Ariosto (Orlando Furioso and all that), plus the tale of Huon of Bordeaux. Gripping stuff for me at the time.

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That's what I figured about 1,001 Nights, but it's painful to even remember. :) I still can't think of a tale from that book I enjoyed. It was like 700 pages, so I doubt I have the patience to finish all of them.


I saw a nice collection of Japanese myths in my (semi)local Barnes and Noble. It contained the actual myths, though the order was a little weird to me. I think it started out with a couple of famous myths about Ameratsu and... her brother, then doubled back to Izanami and Izanagi. I could be remembering it wrong though.


I wanted to get it, but I am currently between jobs. T_T Can't even recall the title.

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