Contemporary Mythography: In the Time of Ancient Gods, Warlords, and Kings
Monsters, gods, characters, and stories from classical myth are ubiquitous in the texts of contemporary popular and mass culture. The first lesson to draw from pop-culture theory and criticism is to pay particular attention not only to the texts of popular culture, but also to the reading practices of their audiences. "Echo", a piece of short fiction by Ilthit published on the website Archive Of Our Own (AO3) in 2004, both exemplifies and thematizes one form of pop-cultural mythographic reading. This chapter sketches the mythographical practices that produce the vast narratives or megatexts of contemporary popular culture narrative objects whose unity is to be found in their "mythos" rather than within the boundaries of any single text. These mythographical practices are characterized by the use of euhemerism and etiology not to explain mythical stories, but to produce more of them.