February 20, 2019, 09:56:37 PM

Author Topic: Mythopoeia  (Read 2021 times)

Offline Anhaga

Mythopoeia
« on: October 04, 2018, 02:08:51 PM »
Hi!

I was wondering if anyone was familiar with the notion of mythopoeia? For those who don't know what the word means but have actually done it, here is a quick definition from Wikipedia, which I thought was good enough to be quoted here: "Mythopoeia (also mythopoesis) is a narrative genre in modern literature and film where a fictional or artificial mythology is created by the writer of prose or other fiction".

So in more simple terms, mythopoeia is the art of myth-making. Tolkien was the one who created the word, I believe, when he wrote his poem Mythopoeia. So, has anyone made a complete mythology in their secondary world, just like he did when he wrote The Silmarillion? With a proper fictional pantheon and all?

I would like to end this message with a few verses from Tolkien's Mythopoeia:

The heart of man is not compound of lies,
but draws some wisdom from the only Wise,
and still recalls him. Though now long estranged,
man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed.
Dis-graced he may be, yet is not dethroned,
and keeps his rags of lordship once he owned,
his world-dominion by creative Artefact,
man, sub-creator, the refracted light
through whom is splintered from a single White
to many hues, and endlessly combined
in living shapes that move from mind to mind.
Though all the crannies of the world we filled
with elves and goblins, though we dared to build
gods and their houses out of dark and light,
and sow the seed of dragons, ‘twas our right
(used or misused). The right has not decayed.
We make still by the law in which we're made.

(And great pain I have got
For from a phone I wrote)
« Last Edit: October 04, 2018, 07:50:42 PM by Anhaga »

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Mythopoeia
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2018, 04:43:17 PM »
I'm familiar with all that, and applied it to my now on-hold novels. It's a nice framework within which one can anchor a story. Mine was complete for my purposes, which fall well short of Tolkien's, but then, doesn't everything?
The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

Offline Anhaga

Re: Mythopoeia
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2018, 07:45:37 PM »
I'm familiar with all that, and applied it to my now on-hold novels. It's a nice framework within which one can anchor a story. Mine was complete for my purposes, which fall well short of Tolkien's, but then, doesn't everything?

It is quite useful indeed. Might I ask what kind of deities you created? Maybe even a creation myth?

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Mythopoeia
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2018, 09:59:55 PM »
Because my world is 98% mortals, I didn't present the actual gods themselves, but the perception of them in the two intermingled religions. The creation myth is unusual, in that instead of the world being created to serve as a habitat for humanity, rather humans are the descendants of the gods' helpers who became enamored with the world and refused to leave, even though this world was intended to serve as hell. Not hell as in a place of punishment, but as in a penal colony where the worst spirits in the universe are sent. It goes on, but you're probably already asleep. The result is a world that is perpetually haunted by demons that arise all around; when killed, they just come back later. This is a slow but now accelerating process, resulting in a world where humanity will soon be overwhelmed.
The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

Offline Anhaga

Re: Mythopoeia
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2018, 10:18:20 PM »
Because my world is 98% mortals, I didn't present the actual gods themselves, but the perception of them in the two intermingled religions.

I see. So you adopted more of a detached descriptive kind of writing for that matter, right? Rather than saying "this is how the gods are" you're more saying "this is how people believe the gods are". Interesting, but what about the truth of the myth? I mean is the myth actually true or is it just a belief held by the people of you secondary world?

The creation myth is unusual, in that instead of the world being created to serve as a habitat for humanity, rather humans are the descendants of the gods' helpers

Very nice! It reminds me Mesopotamia and the Akkadian creation myth about mankind.

It goes on, but you're probably already asleep. The result is a world that is perpetually haunted by demons that arise all around; when killed, they just come back later. This is a slow but now accelerating process, resulting in a world where humanity will soon be overwhelmed.

This is all very interesting! Might I ask what the title of your book is?

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Mythopoeia
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2018, 05:04:46 PM »
I see. So you adopted more of a detached descriptive kind of writing for that matter, right? Rather than saying "this is how the gods are" you're more saying "this is how people believe the gods are". Interesting, but what about the truth of the myth? I mean is the myth actually true or is it just a belief held by the people of you secondary world?

I never got beyond the setup, but my world is run by a powerful order of wizards who use religion to control things. So the actual foundation is ancient and forgotten, for the most part, and it doesn't matter because in the here and now, the customs and beliefs are powerful, regardless of how erroneous.

Very nice! It reminds me Mesopotamia and the Akkadian creation myth about mankind.
I'll have to look into that someday. I borrowed from the Silmarillion's Valar and the Night Elves' decision to remain behind as the impetus.

This is all very interesting! Might I ask what the title of your book is?
It's the Gem Cutter's Son.

The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell