In third grade I stole a book from the school library: The Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend.
I could barely read it, but the images on its cover and what little inside of it that I could understand called to me. As my reading skills progressed, so too did my love of myths and legends and the study of religion – I was a weird kid.
Also, this might be a good time to suggest that stealing books from libraries is a shitty thing to do.
If the Internet were a thing back then, maybe I wouldn't have swiped that book. There's no shortage of excellent resources on folk and myth scholarship out there. In my opinion, Folktexts is one of the best. Compiled by Professor D. L. Ashliman, Folktexts is deeply underwhelming in the looks department, but the way that it's organized is pure genius. Instead of simply presenting the stories as so many other online resources do, Professor Ashliman has gone through the bother of categorizing hundreds, if not thousands of stories by their central themes and related tales.
Let's say that you've read "The Emperor's New Clothes" and want to find out if other cultures have their own version of the story. No problem: just look under 'E.' There, you'll find information on the different names that the story is known by and what culture the story comes from. If that's not enough for you, the page even links to the text of all of the versions of the story that the professor is aware of. It's as much a labor of love as it is a work of scholarship.
Image: Viktor Vasnetsov - http://www.picture.art-catalog.ru/picture.php?id_picture=3298, Public Domain, Link
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Dale Maharidge is a journalist and J-school professor who is dear old friends with the muckracking, outstanding political documentarian Laura Poitras. Jessica Bruder (previously) is a a writer and J-school prof who's best friends with Maharidge. When Laura Poitras was contacted by an NSA whistleblower who wanted to send her the leak of the century, she asked Maharidge for help finding a safe address for a postal delivery, and Maharidge gave her Bruder's Brooklyn apartment address. A few weeks later, Bruder came home from a work-trip to discover a box on her doormat with the return address of "B. Manning, 94-1054 Eleu St, Waipau, HI 96797." In it was a hard-drive. The story of what happened next is documented in a beautifully written, gripping new book: Snowden's Box: Trust in the Age of Surveillance.
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The last few weeks have given us all a lot to think about. As we watched stores close, Costco lines snake through parking lots and items like hand sanitizer and toilet paper disappear everywhere like they were Lady Gaga tickets, there’s one significant takeaway it’s safe to say we all can agree on. We should […]
Whether it was Bach or Chopin, Ray Charles or Jerry Lee Lewis, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Alicia Keys or Norah Jones, there was someone whose mastery on the piano made you think, wow, I wish I knew how to do that. It’s a singular, almost timeless skill — and if you love music, there’s no […]