Title

Near Myth : A Collection of Three Stories

Date of Award

2002

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Andrew Taylor

Abstract

Near Myth is a collection of three short stories, as well as an accompanying essay. The stories are all loosely connected, all taking place in the same 'world', but at different times and different places. The same characters appear, or are mentioned, throughout the stories. The three stories arc character-driven pieces, based around dialogue, storytelling and mythology. As well as being connected through characters, the stories arc also similar thematically, covering ideas such as identity and reality. The main characters in each of the stories are searching for themselves in a modem world. The three are: • The View from Down Here: Odessa, an artist, desperately needs to go shopping for art supplies. Unfortunately, an angel appeared at the front door that morning and insists it go with her. So, how do you hide an angel, especially with that wingspan? • Whiskey Jack. Two friends sit on a beach down south, drinking and talking about life. One, Jack, has left the civilisation of the city to find himself. The other, Watatsumi, the 'Old Man of the Tide', tells stories of his family, and the origin of the ebb and flow of the waves. • Secret Origin. Alex bas just found out his girlfriend was raised by Dionysus, the god of wine. He wants to know why and how. It's a story of a debt held over from another time and repaid in contemporary society. The accompanying essay focuses on the myths, stories and writers that have influenced the main body of the thesis. Particular examples cited arc authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Neil Gaiman and Fontini Epanomitis; reference books such as Gustav Davidson's A Dictionary of Angels and Richard Carlyon's A Guide to the Gods; tarot cards; and the artwork of comic artist Paul Pope. The influences have all added up to not only provide ideas, but provide a different 'feel' of each story, such as the folkloric/pulpy tone of Secret Origin, the mythic stories within Whiskey Jack, or the arcane-meeting-the-everyday in The View from Down Here).

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