So I'm working on Fafnir's Bane,
which is a futuristic steampunk urban fantasy High School A.U.
(well, the three focal characters, Sigurd, Brynhild and Gudrun, are high school age). I've recently come across the opinion that adapting tales from mythology into high school actually cheapens the original, because the elements of the original myths don't really fit
in high school eg the story of Hades and Persephone has a violent aspect in the abduction- and waters down the original.
A reader of Peggy Orenstein's blog,
Simone comments on this subject:
It disturbs me that not only have they turned these strong female goddesses into simpering girls pining after boys, they’ve taken tales of adultery, attempted rape, and abduction and turned them into silly tween “romances”.
which happens to be exactly what I'm thinking. I've always felt funny about books like that.
As someone who's writing a retelling of the Volsunga Saga
, a fantastically tragic tale with subplots dealing with honour, suicide, treachery, incest, and cannibalism, which also happens to have high school aged characters, I want to be able to retell this story and keep the spirit of the original without turning Sigurd into a stereotypical hot teen hero (although he is
very young and attractive) with a crush on HAWT!android!Brynhild and Brynhild and Gudrun into catty girls who fight over the hot new guy (Erk!)
because the saga isn't about romance. The romance is there, but it's not the main part.
So does anyone have opinions on whether or not it is possible to adapt something like that in a high school setting without cheapening it? How would you go about it? I have nightmares about accidentally cheapening the saga.
About the only high school adaptations (not of Volsunga Saga) I liked were Clueless
and Ten Things I Hate About You.
edited 3rd May '13 11:08:08 PM by MorwenEdhelwen