What is Myth Takes?
Myth Takes is a newsletter with irreverent feminist analysis of classics, literature, parenting, and more. From essays on “mom rage” and Achilles’ rage, to appreciation for the best classics-influenced video games, to further investigation into why ancient depictions of dolphins are so horrifying, Myth Takes is a place to explore the weird and fascinating intersections between my obsessions, starting with Greek myth.
Were you obsessed with D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths when you were a kid? Or maybe you had a copy but had a healthy and normal appreciation for it, stopped reading it when you grew up, and didn’t turn loving mythology into your entire personality and then your career? Either way, this is the place for you.
Who is Donna?
According to the author bio of my first book (Not All Dead White Men: Classics and Misogyny in the Digital Age), I’m “a Silicon Valley–based classicist who received her doctoral training at Princeton University.” According to a random troll, I’m “a horrible excuse for a writer.” According to my son, I’m “one of my three best mamas!” I guess it’s all a matter of perspective.
A (very negative) review of Not All Dead White Men in Quillette called me “arguably… the most influential scholar of Greek and Latin literature in America.” On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who likes to read Quillette, this might not be the newsletter for you. Also, I don’t really write scholarship anymore, although I still love footnotes.
In 2015 I founded Eidolon, an online classics publication for essays that were “personal and political, feminist and fun.” Eidolon led the charge in forcing some of the most challenging and necessary conversations in the field of Classics, from white supremacist classical appropriation online to sexual harassment and racial discrimination within the discipline. We also published pieces about bad Latin tattoos and why the dicks on ancient statues are so small. Eidolon stopped publishing in 2020, but I miss it (and its sister humor publication idle musings), so here I am.
I’ve also written for the Washington Post, the Times Literary Supplement, Jezebel, BBC.com, and many other publications. You can read more of my writing here. I’m currently working on a memoir, Antiquated: Marriage, Gender, and Other Myths I Used to Love, about how my ex’s transition changed my perspective on parenting, partnerships, and life in general, with classical myth and literature braided through. It will be available… someday. Until then, this newsletter will cover some similar material.
If you enjoy reading my work, please subscribe to show your support! Writers are fragile, temperamental creatures and subscribing is the best way to provide the sweet sweet validation we need. I don’t make the rules.
Currently, all subscriptions are free, but if the trolls find me that’ll change and commenting will only be available to paid subscribers. I want this to be a community for delightful weirdos to geek out, and I’m not going to let haters ruin that. I may also paywall more personal and controversial posts that I only want to share with a trusted community. Subscriptions will also help me pay for guest contributors, art, and other delicious treats. If you want to subscribe but can’t afford it, contact me.