A common modern misuse of the word “myth” is when it is used to refer to something that isn’t true. It serves to dismiss or diminish whatever concept it is modifying. However, anyone who has spent any time reading Joseph Campbell, or watching the PBS series “The Power of Myth,” understands that those stories related through myth, legend, and folklore transcend truth, as their narratives speak to the human spirit.
To illustrate this inward journey, we have chosen a cross-section of books to illustrate the range of interpretation of these foundational texts. From the well-trodden paths of the ancient Greeks that Homer laid out in his epic tale of wandering Odysseus, to creation stories from lands as far-flung as North America, Africa, and East Asia, we continue to turn to these narratives because we still struggle in the world—battling forces beyond our control to find our way home.