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Ball, Philip: The Modern Myths. Adventures in the Machinery of the Popular Imagination. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2021. (426 S.) 
Added by: joachim (08/04/2021 09:48:09 AM)   Last edited by: joachim (08/04/2021 09:48:42 AM)
Resource type: Book
Languages: English
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 9780226719269
BibTeX citation key: Ball2021
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Batman", Myth, Superhero, USA
Creators: Ball
Publisher: Univ. of Chicago Press (Chicago)
Views: 9/27
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Abstract
Some stories keep returning, each time reimagined to fit the occasion. In some cases, we know them without having read the originals, and in a few brief sentences we can sketch the essential plot points and key characters. Robinson Crusoe, Frankenstein, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Sherlock Holmes, Batman: their stories, Philip Ball contends, are among our modern myths. Written since Crusoe was published in 1719, these modern myths truly serve the same function as the stories of Thor and Loki, Hercules and Jason, and other ancient universal myths of creation, flood, redemption, and heroism. What is that function? Why are we still making myths? Why do we need new myths? And which are they? By posing these questions and seeking answers, The Modern Myths makes bold claims about the nature of storytelling, the condition of modernity, and the categories of literature. The themes and meanings of modern myths are decided collectively and dynamically and shift with the times. They escape the intentions of their authors because they inadvertently touch on issues that trouble and obsess us and become vehicles for exploring them. The Modern Myths takes a wide-ranging journey—discovering unexpected truths behind familiar tales, excavating strange and colorful histories, and finding hidden connections between them. The result is an exploration of how stories are created and how they evolve. And from this, Ball crafts provocative conclusions about the purposes and values of literature today and about the roles that new media and technology will play in creating the myths of tomorrow
  
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