Myths are ancient but not outdated


The Guardian's series of Greek myths, free with the paper every day last week, are sitting on my coffee table like talismans of nostalgic pleasure. These tales of gods and heroes, gore and glory, monstrous anger and world-changing love, were an essential part of my imaginative landscape as a child. Familiar with them long before they came up at school thanks to Rosemary Sutcliffe's exciting, elegant retellings and the sinister magic of Jim Henson's wonderful Storyteller TV series, I soon moved on to the more complex and meditative adaptations of Robert Graves and Mary Renault.

Although I first fell for the myths' exciting action and fantastical creatures, they retained their appeal as I got older and their emotional world became a perfect match for the elemental petulance of teenagerdom.

As an (alleged) adult, their narratives and symbols still resonate through my reading and writing. So why is it that, until today, those freebie editions of my beloved myths have sat on the coffee table, unopened?