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Gelfand, Lynn. "The End of the World as We Know It: Neil gaiman and the future of mythology." The Mythological Dimensions of Neil Gaiman. Eds. Anthony S. Burdge, Jessica Burke and Kristine Larsen. Crawfordville: Kitsune, 2012. 223–38. 
Added by: joachim (9/8/21, 10:04 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (9/9/21, 11:59 AM)
Resource type: Book Chapter
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Gelfand2012a
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Categories: General
Keywords: "The Sandman", Gaiman. Neil, Myth, United Kingdom, USA
Creators: Burdge, Burke, Gelfand, Larsen
Publisher: Kitsune (Crawfordville)
Collection: The Mythological Dimensions of Neil Gaiman
Views: 58/705
Attachments   URLs   https://www.academ ... uture_of_Mythology
A story about a struggle between old and new deities is not particularly modern. Many of our oldest religious texts and mythic traditions address this theme. Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, however, depicts not simply a battle between old gods and new gods in a fight for survival. It demonstrates that if the pace of technology continues to accelerate at an exponential rate, old gods are not the only ones threatened; new and powerful gods can become obsolete within a matter of decades rather than centuries. American Gods aligns neatly with the theories of American inventor and author Ray Kurzweil who has argued that at the current rate of technological development, the next 100 years of human achievement will be the equivalent of 10,000 years of progress. If myths define and support a culture, as Gaiman’s body of work suggests, what happens when a culture evolves so rapidly and continuously that a multitude of traditional myths are in danger of being rendered irrelevant almost overnight, while newer myths are overturned long before they can take root? In a globally connected world that is subject to an ever increasing rate of change, will the very notion of myth itself become obsolete? An examination of Gaiman’s Sandman comic book series, his short stories (“Nicholas Was…,” “Sunbird,” “A Study in Emerald,” and “Goliath”) and his novel American Gods, in conjunction with Kurzweil’s theories, offers some provocative answers regarding the fluid nature of myth and its role in a world driven by technological change.
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