RTW: Humbaba's Curse

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors and followers post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's topic: In honor of this month's Bookmobile book, Marissa Meyer's CINDER, name a fable or story you'd like to see a retelling of. If you're feeling creative, come up with a premise of your own!

Back in my early college days, I took a Children's Literature course that was divided up into Picture Books, Mythology, and Poetry. At the time, I was starting out as a professional storyteller, so the Mythology section held my interest the most. I must have read hundreds of myths, legends, and folktales that semester, between the class requirements and searching for material to include in my storytelling repertoire.

For our final, we had to retell a myth from an unusual perspective, and I chose the Forest Journey portion of The Epic of Gilgamesh--told from the point of view of Humbaba, the monster. I can still remember the first line:

I emerged into the world through a cleft in the Mountain, slick with the waters that ran there and bearing a caul of moss.

I got an A on the project, but I would certainly do things differently now that I've got so many other skills in my writer's toolbox. But I had intended on picking up different parts of the epic and retelling them from different perspectives (like Gilgamesh's mother). And maybe I still will.

In the meantime, whenever I see books on the Gilgamesh epic, I always pick them up and check out the new translations and insights.

Feel free to put a link to your post in the comments if you played along with Road Trip Wednesday. Don't forget to go to the YA Highway post and read all the answers!

And by the way, I loved Cinder! Urged my niece to read it, but her dad won't let her buy books for her Kindle. I'll have to start giving her Kindle gift cards along with the paper books I give her for Christmas.

And nearly forgot this


Colin Smith said...

I've read THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH. It's certainly an interesting source for a story re-telling. I'm curious to see what you would come up with. :)

Unknown said...

Unexpected! I haven't read this, so I'm not sure what to think. Would you write it for a YA audience?

Alison Miller said...

I LOVE that line you wrote! And I've never heard of this, but now I want to check it out.

Great post!

Jaime Morrow said...

I'm not familiar with this tale, but I'll have to check it out now. I would love to see more retellings of the lesser known myths, legends, fairy & folk tales. How fantastic would that be? The Celtic tales alone could keep people going for quite some time. :)

Juliana Haygert said...

I haven't read this one too. This sounds very interesting! Now I want to check it out!
Thanks for sharing ;)

Stephsco said...

I agree with Jaime, I like the idea of more retellings of myths and classic folk tales beyond the ones Disney and the movies have already showcased. Here's my YA Highway Post

Samantha said...

Wow! Great post! Some great ideas you've brought up here!

Laurie Dennison said...

I read Gilgamesh in college, but it's muddled in my brain with the twenty other "epics" I read that semester. That first line is amazing! I hope all is going well with you-- I've been meaning to send you a message. :)

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Thanks for all the great comments, everyone! I sort of pooped out on returning comments (was feeling sick yesterday), but I do appreciate them.

And Liz, I don't know that this would end up YA. It started out as a prose piece and then I made it into a (non-rhyming) poem and read it aloud on a radio show called Radio Poet's Society. I think if I did the 3-part interpretation, I'd put it back to prose.

P.S. Just noticed that I put "read it aloud on a radio show" and lauged too hard to change it. Can you imagine a radio show featuring guests quietly reading to themselves?

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