Not to keep stirring the pot (although I am more and more seeing my role here as partly taking on unpopular positions, in order that they are at least represented;) but where do artists like André Gide, and more importantly, Sartre, fit in?

Gide's "Oedipus" and "Theseus" are legit--they certainly rise to the level of the great mythological literature of Antiquity, which was, in part, commenting on the contemporary society of the times.

Sarte's "The Flies" is easily in the very top echelon of mythological literature. (In some sense, Sartre is continuing Euripides' work of "deconstructing" Aeschylus, and Sarte may not be Shakespeare, but was a skilled dramatist in addition to being a philosopher.)

Even in antiquity, the cannon is largely comprised of artists and scholars (σχόλιον) commenting on their forebearers of centuries past.

I also think D'Aulaire belongs beside Aesop, and has become "canonical" purely by reason of influence, by which I mean D'Aulaire is likely one's first contact with Classical Mythology, and thus his work is taken to be canon.

  • 3
    Obligatory "if you have a good question in mind, go ahead and ask it" comment.
    – yannis Mod
    Sep 28, 2016 at 7:14
  • 1
    I'm with @Hamlet. Myths are myths. If there are legitimate, answerable questions to be asked about the Percy Jacksonverse or the D'Aulaires' books (both of which I love), why not ask them? I'd consider them entirely on-topic. Oct 5, 2016 at 10:00
  • @LaurenIpsum let me clarify my comment. If someone asks a question that references Percy Jackson (or D'Aularies), then I would be fine with it. However, I would absolutely downvote any answer that cites Percy Jackson or D'Aularies as a source, unless that answer also cites sources from actual greek mythology, and distinguishes the two as "ancient" and "modern" interpretations.
    – user62
    Oct 5, 2016 at 16:47
  • @Hamlet Sure, I'll go with that caveat. Something like "In the D'Aulaires' Norse Mythology, the text says that Loki tricked the Jotun into building the wall around Asgard, but Children of Odin says it was Odin and Loki together. Who tricked him?" and the answer cites the Prose Edda or whatever. (Just cobbling stuff together off the top of my head.) Or the question is outright "Who tricked the Jotun?" and the answers are "According to the D'Aulaires, a modern interpretation, it was Loki alone. In the Prose Edda, Loki had help." [big quoted citation in Old Norse] Oct 5, 2016 at 17:06
  • I can live with that, although I don't really see any equivalence between Riordan and D'Aulaire. The latter was undertaking a fairly faithful retelling of these myths in a children's format, while the former is adapting them (read bastardizing) to create a best-selling series per the success of Harry Potter. Put more simply, reading D'Aulaire, you come away with a fairly accurate knowledge of the myths. Reading Riordan, you come away with a rather confused picture.
    – DukeZhou
    Oct 6, 2016 at 20:12


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