My bookshelf has a place reserved for Myths, Sagas, and Tales. I find myself wondering about the interest I have in these- some are great literature, some are not so great, but all are old, and more than just being old stories, they are old ideas, ideas that someone thought important enough to form into a narrative and have survived to be discovered by new generations. When the boys were growing up, we read to them daily, and occasionally one of these books made its way off the shelf and a story or two from them landed into their formative brains. Hmmm. They both managed to survive, although the youngest was into the macabre at a frighteningly early age (he wanted to go to an Anne Rice book signing when he was eleven!) These books, along with more modern variations (Tolkien, Douglas Adams, Poe and Lovecraft) gave them at least a chance to have some cultural background besides pop culture (not that that's always a bad thing!)
The children are gone now, off on their own adventures (see Tuesday's post) but these stories remain within them. I still read them; the Icelandic sagas are a recent addition (not exactly light fare), and I'm still get enjoyment from them. The world is a strange place, full of stories, I won't say that the old ones are always the best, but they do possess a selflessness that can be hard to find in modern literature.