About the Myth Reading Group

Here is a night that is very long, it is endless. It is not time yet
to sleep in the palace. But go on telling your wonderful story.
I myself could hold out until the bright dawn, if only
you could bear to tell me, here in the palace, of your sufferings.
Homer, Odyssey xi, trans. Lattimore

That passage is strewn with corpses. The mute, the sacrificial victim is part and parcel of the religious rite. But the myth claims other victims for itself, those who fall around the place of sacrifice, iron filings in the magnetic field. Out of the sacrifice, together with the blood, stream the stories.
—Roberto Calasso, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, trans. Tim Parks

Stories only live in their being read and shared together. The Myth Reading Group opens a space for such activity, breathing life into myth. Like Odysseus, we are conducted over international and stylistic boundaries: no topic is off-limits, and the definition of myth is never rigidly fixed.

We usually meet fortnightly in term time. We are based at the University of Essex Colchester Campus, but meetings from Autumn Term 2020 have been conducted over ‘Zoom’. Everyone interested in myth is welcome to attend. Details of past, present, and future events can be found here.

If you wish to introduce a topic for one of our sessions, please send proposals to mythic@essex.ac.uk.