COVID Anniversary Edition

The Mythoversal project at one year old, and what it means to disrupt the Trojan War

Excerpted from

The Mythoversal Newsletter

The Mythoversal Newsletter brings author commentary, mythological movie reviews, and occasional essays to your inbox.

Happy Anniversary!

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore also the one-year anniversary of the Mythoversal project.

Trapped at home by the lockdown, I started running one of my manuscripts through a vintage typewriter, creating a weekly series of poems set in the world of Greek mythology.

From Theban tales, I moved on to the Epic Cycle. From the typewriter, I moved onto the web. From retelling mythology, I moved on to disrupting it.

The pandemic has meant sacrifice and loss, and the pain for many is ongoing. It feels like a guilty indulgence to search for bright spots, but dark times require every bit of light we can kindle. The best thing for me has been an opportunity to work from home while spending more time with my wife and remote-learning children. Another good thing has been sharing a creative project that’s prodded me into setting and achieving small goals that have accumulated over time.

Through 2020, I posted a new poem every Sunday. For the first three months of 2021, I also released a newsletter every Wednesday. So far, I haven’t missed a week of either. As someone who has always written in spurts, this level of disciplined consistency has been unprecedented.

One year into the Mythoversal project, I have a completed manuscript, two more in the works, a fun new website, a newsletter platform, and a budding community of myth fans.

April should bring warmer weather, vaccine doses, and a new three-month plan to grow Mythoversal into the summer. I appreciate everyone who has joined me on the dark year’s journey we’ve just completed, and I look forward to traveling onward with you into a better and brighter Mythoversal Year Two.

Disrupting the Trojan War:

As of this week, I’ve found that I’m no longer thinking about how to disrupt Homer’s Iliad. Now, I’m thinking about how my Iliad can disrupt the Trojan War.

The Epic Cycle, as it’s come down to us, is anchored by two Homeric epics with a gap in between that was once filled with story. The Iliad tells us about that one time Achilles went a little nuts before Troy fell, and the Odyssey describes the things Odysseus went through on his way home after Troy fell. But the equally ancient Aethiopis, featuring an Amazon queen and an African prince, has been obliterated from the official record. Telling their stories is disruptive, but such a telling needs to be paired with an Iliad designed to showcase the Aethiopis rather than to supplant it.

In next week’s newsletter, I’ll describe some of the ways in which the Mythoversal Epic Cycle is disrupting Homer for modern readers. Until then, I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Greg R. Fishbone, Mythoversal Author-in-Residence