Things like: Hey pixies are not faeries are not sprites.
First thing to acknowledge is that words change meaning over time, as do fairy tales. You're not gonna get a once-and-for-all definition of any mythological creature, but you can discuss what a creature's important characteristics have been, how those characteristics have changed in different times and settings, and what to make of those changes.
I do want to point out that I'm interested in the project you're proposing. Just want to manage expectations.
My post is completely on-topic! Are we not discussing mythology?I've personally always been a fan of Lion- and Dog-based mythological creatures. It's always fascinating to see how many different brands of Canine and Feline monsters the ancient (and video game) world was able to convince themselves must exist.I think Fairy-like mythological beings are probably my least-favorite. Hey! Listen! Don't add any Fairies to your project.
Morphological humans/giants in Nordic Prose Eddas who happen to maintain control over their transformed elemental state. Hræsvelgr (t. eagle) assumes position @ edge of the world to create the natural 'wind currents' for everyday life. Víðópnir (t. rooster) an emblem of the rejuvenation that light affords the world, though he oddly does not sit on Yggdrasil. We all know about Loki. Ótr, a dwarf that could transform into anything supposedly, but more standardly into aquatic life: otter as a mnemonic device perhaps. Discrepancy with Nordic Dwarves as hypersexual, tricky and inclined towards evil doing (not so far from 'older' non-Nordic dwarves), and the transformation of dwarves into the mainstream as nature-helpers. Though I feel it's safe to agree that dwarves, more often than not, are considered inhuman for moral or creationist purposes and their abilities compared to human abilities are only stifled by their psychological underdevelopments. Morphological humans/giants in general is a transcontinental concept developed in many non-Western cultures as well. I'd cite several African examples, but it's too tied into even 20th century beliefs that it would be an injustice to simply consider them as 'myth.' Performances re-animate the divinities through the activation of the human body and spiritual transformation, which would lead a Westerner to believe it's simply for show, though native audiences believe otherwise. I think it's interesting how significant morphological transformation is in several cultures (not simply being half-half, but a whole embodiment of 'x'), but how it seems that the popular understanding of such transformation is generally a curse by which nature claims over man and vice versa these days. Also, circuses. Pre20th-century American circuses were pretty gruesome and unkept similar to popularly-known 'circus' during ancient Roman times presenting only displays of animal stock. Pepin is widely known now as the 'traditional' circus of bravado and Cirque du Soleil opts for a purposely superficial displays instead of a true false reality. Thinking along the lines of Sarah Baartman and the disgusting portrayal of her physiognomy only to deify her as the 'authentic' representation of an African female whose existence depends primarily on primitive life and unnatural proportions. Not for hottentot, Mikhail Bakhtin is an important author on the subject that NotMiki and LadyDoor just backed: philosophy of language, and not specifically scientific. Also François Rabelais. Different iterations of sirens: mermaids, winged 'bard'ettes, eel and then it should follow logically about Biblical Lilith, Adam's supposed first wife made from earth as well. Her name is now appropriated for several different things like shows, gaming, and new creation myths. In short though, a water "spirit" or any morphological transformation of a female with an aquatic-ish or bird-ish inclination can potentially be considered a siren today (including succubi). Isn't there an X-Men character named after some sonic abilities that sirens have? If anyone has any biological understanding of the reproductive capacities of any iteration of those sirens besides the clear - has sex with human by luring them succubus-style -, do share. Alls I know as a kid is that Ariel's daddy had always been there. [=
In response to your question about male sirens, I'm pretty sure the idea of a "Merman" is solidly a creation of modern times and the 'softening' of fairy tales.
Agreed. That was a really interesting read. I want more of your views on Norse mythology in general.
So... yeah, I think Anderson's Little Mermaid is the first story to imply the existence of 'Mermen' through Ariel's father.
Quote from: DjinnAndTonic on July 15, 2012, 09:47:38 AMSo... yeah, I think Anderson's Little Mermaid is the first story to imply the existence of 'Mermen' through Ariel's father.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_WRTQVyZM0Also, I've seen a Cyclops with two eyes.