Mythopoeia  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Mythopoeia (also mythopoesis, after Hellenistic Greek μυθοποιία, μυθοποίησις "myth-making") 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. This meaning of the word mythopoeia follows its use by J. R. R. Tolkien in the 1930s. The authors in this genre integrate traditional mythological themes and archetypes into fiction.

Introduction and definition

Mythopoesis is also the act of making (or "producing") mythologies. Notable mythopoeic authors include J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, William Blake, H. P. Lovecraft, Lord Dunsany, George R. R. Martin, Mervyn Peake and George MacDonald. While many literary works carry mythic themes, only a few approach the dense self-referentiality and purpose of mythopoesis. It is invented mythology that, rather than rising out of centuries of oral tradition, are penned over a short period of time by a single author or small group of collaborators.

As distinguished from fantasy worlds or fictional universes aimed at the evocation of detailed worlds with well-ordered histories, geographies, and laws of nature, mythopoeia aims at imitating and including real-world mythology, specifically created to bring mythology to modern readers, and/or to add credibility and literary depth to fictional worlds in fantasy or science fiction books and movies.

Mythopoeia are almost invariably created entirely by an individual, like the world of Middle-earth.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Mythopoeia" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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