Into the Mythopoeia…

As we eagerly await the new edition of The Magical World of the Inklings by Gareth Knight, let’s have a look at other great mythopoeic works of literature.  Since the 6th Century tales of Phereydes of Syros, the world of literature has often yielded great myth-making works, most notably from the members of the Inklings group (C.S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield).  The list could go on and on but here are a dozen other mythopoeic writers and a smattering of their works:

William Blake (Vala, or The Four Zoas)
The quintessential mythopoeic prophet – to the point that his contemporaries considered him mad.
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H.P. Lovecraft (The Cthulu Mythos)
A “shared fictional universe” from the 1920s, expanded after the author’s death.
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Jorge Luis Borges (Labyrinths, Ficciones, or Mirrors)
The greatest fabulist conspires to alter the known universe through a labyrinth of self erected mythos.
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George MacDonald (Phantastes and many  novels)
The inspirational Scottish fantasist, catalyst to Chesterton, Twain, Nesbit, and the Inklings.
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Robert W. Chambers (Maker of Moons, Tree of Heaven, and others)
The grand creator of the “weird tale” along with Lovecraft and Poe.
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Italo Calvino (CosmiComics, Invisible Cities,  and others)
Author of the fantastically impossible but always built around hidden myths.
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Michael Moorcock (The Elric novel series and others)
Editor for Edgar Rice Burroughs, he went on to become a wielder of parody and satire in imaginary worlds.
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Ursula Le Guin (Left Hand of Darkness, Dispossessed, and others)
The creator of galactic civilizations in order to portray the basic elements of human existence.
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Charles de Lint (Moonheart and others)
Moved fantasy to the world of urban sprawl with the deft touch of a ‘magic realist.’
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Jonathan Carroll (Bones of the Moon, White Apples, and others)
His cosmopolitan dream narratives demand that reading become an act of trust.
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Haruki Murakami (Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman and others)
Archetypal theory serves to shape stories of Japanese alienation and loneliness.
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Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic and others)
Magic and irony are woven together in this storyteller’s fabric.
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Feel free to add your own examples in the comments section.
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About Daniel

Writer & Musician
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2 Responses to Into the Mythopoeia…

  1. Peregrin says:

    Well, I personally would add Alan Garner. His Alderley Edge duo certainly hooked me as kid and started me off on the road to the mythical and esoteric. And whilst not creating a new mythos his Strandloper is magnificent in the weaving of English and Aboriginal Australian myths into a holistic wonder. 🙂 Thanks.

    • Rebsie says:

      Ooh yes, I loved Alan Garner as a kid, and loved him even more when I re-read the books in my early 20s. His descriptions of crawling through underground passages are so evocative you can hardly breathe as you read them.

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