Catherynne M. Valente on Tolkien:

“JV: You’ve also said that the typical mythpunk author was “over Tolkien by roughly second grade,” and indeed many mythpunk authors had or still have an interest in his work. While Tolkien is, of course, a granddaddy of fantasy as we know it in the West today, what role does he play in mythpunk specifically?

CMV: Well, I mean, I was being confrontational, and trying to differentiate mythpunk from the bulk of mainstream fantasy which is still in deep hock to Big Daddy T. The fact is, I am a Sindarin-speaking Tolkien dork, the kind that genuinely loved the Silmarillion and memorized the poetry. I love Tolkien. Thus, I have no desire to repeat his work. I think that great work can be done by confronting head-on the anxiety (of influence) toward Tolkien’s dominant work, toward the assumptions and prescription of his incredibly pervasive memes. But that’s different than the trend I was talking about. Tolkien himself was reacting to a long tradition of folklore and myth, going to the sources for inspiration. Afterward, many authors looked to Tolkien as a first source rather than a reaction, and a great deal of generation loss was experienced by the field as a whole.”


On C.S. Lewis being an “Old Western Man”

“If we look at the various creative impulses that went into Lewis’ fantasies, we will see how they all come together in Perelandra. We can start with Lewis the self-confessed ‘dinosaur.’ As we have seen, he disliked modernity and its ‘goods’ – in particular the glorification of technology, the social ideal of equality and the liberalism of present-day theology – and turned, like his friend Tolkien, toward medieval cultural values; his description of William’s theology as ‘Nicene, hierarchical, severe,’ might equally apply to his own. He was particularly alienated from the humanist character of contemporary literature and criticism; and most of his own literary criticism is concerned rather with allegory or myth than the novel. In his inaugural lecture, De Descriptione Temporum, as Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English literature at Cambridge in 1954, he described himself as an ‘Old Western’ man, by which he meant that by preference he belonged to a culture which (as far as he was concerned) ended about 1830.”

From Modern Fantasy by C.N. Manlove.

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, and goodreads.]

This comes up a lot in our DIVINE household *cough, cough*

Tell us your favorite mythologist below!

Some other MYTHOLOGISTS  include:

J.R. Tolkien


C.S. Lewis

Edith Hamilton 

Roger Lancelyn Green


John Milton