Translating Myth (Legenda, 2016)

TM_CoverTranslating Myth, edited by Ben Pestell, Pietra Palazzolo, and Leon Burnett (Routledge/Legenda, 2016)

Buy: Routledge; Blackwells (hardback); Hive (ebook).

Publisher link: Legenda.

Read the Translating Myth Q&A with editors Pietra Palazzolo and Ben Pestell on the OU Classics blog

Ever since Odysseus heard tales of his own exploits being retold among strangers, audiences and readers have been alive to the complications and questions arising from the translation of myth. How are myths taken and carried over into new languages, new civilizations, or new media? An international group of scholars is gathered in this volume to present diverse but connected case studies which address the artistic and political implications of the changing condition of myth – this most primal and malleable of forms. ‘Translation’ is treated broadly to encompass not only literary translation, but also the transfer of myth across cultures and epochs. In an age when the spiritual world is in crisis, Translating Myth constitutes a timely exploration of myth’s endurance, and represents a consolidation of the status of myth studies as a discipline in its own right.


Introduction — Ben Pestell and Pietra Palazzolo

Part I: Translation and Myth: Across Languages, Media, and Cultures

  • 1. Indian Myth: Postcolonial Transmissions — Harish Trivedi
  • 2. Accommodating the Primordial: Myths as Pictorial Storytellings — Leon Burnett
  • 3. The Anima at the Gate of Hell: Middle Eastern Imagery in Milton’s Paradise Lost — Sharihan Al-Akhras

Part II: William Blake’s Myth

  • 4. The Evolution of Blake’s Myth: Urizen’s Multiple Identities — Sheila A. Spector
  • 5. Unweaving the National Strand of the ‘Golden String’ of Jerusalem: Blake’s British Myth and its (Polish) Translation — Eliza Borkowska

Part III: Myth in Early United States Literature

  • 6. America — No Second Troy: A Study of Early American Epic — Christina Dokou
  • 7. The Power of Narrative: Hawthorne’s A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys — Jessica Allen Hanssen
  • 8. Of Marble Women and Sleeping Nymphs: Louisa May Alcott’s A Modern Mephistopheles — Michaela Keck

Part IV: Myth in Modern and Contemporary Poetry

  • 9. ‘I have no speech but symbol’: Nationality and History in Yeats’s Poetics of Myth and Myth-making — Rached Khalifa
  • 10. The Faust Myth: Fernando Pessoa’s Fausto and C. G. Jung’s The Red Book — Terence Dawson
  • 11. ‘Pius Seamus’: Heaney’s Appropriation of Aeneas’s Descent to the Underworld — Emanuela Zirzotti

Part V: Myth in New Political and Cultural Environments

  • 12. Another Oedipus: Leloup’s Guéidô — Barbara Goff
  • 13. Translating Myths, from Sita to Sati — Suman Sigroha
  • 14. (Re)writing and (Re)translating the Myth: Analysing Derek Walcott’s Italian Odyssey — Giuseppe Sofo