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Arcadian Nights: The Greek Myths Reimagined - download pdf or read online

By John Spurling

ISBN-10: 1468313274

ISBN-13: 9781468313277

The colourful retelling of the critical Greek myths by way of acclaimed novelist John Spurling, writer of The 10000 Things, winner of the 2015 Walter Scott Prize for historic Fiction

The classical Greek highbrow culture pervades approximately each point of our sleek Western civilization. Our common sense and technology, our philosophy, politics, literature, structure, and artwork are all indebted to the traditional population of the small mountainous Mediterranean kingdom. And the robust myths of the Greeks, subtle by way of Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, and the nice Greek dramatists, nonetheless resonate on the middle of our culture.

Taking as his start line the various recognized vacationer websites within the Peloponnese, the place the tales are set, John Spurling, winner of the 2015 Walter Scott Prize for ancient Fiction, freshly imagines key narratives from the Greek canon, together with stories of the doomed apartment of Atreus (notably Agamemnon, chief of the Greeks at Troy, murdered through his spouse in his palace bathroom); of the god Apollo; goddess Athene; Theseus, scourge of the Minotaur; the Twelve Labors of Heracles; and Perseus, rescuer of Andromeda. 

In this vivid, gripping and sometimes grisly retelling of the Greek myths, tales of homicide, strength, revenge, love, and disturbing relations relationships are made new back for our time with wit and savour through a talented writer. Spurling has additional scene, discussion, and context, whereas continually staying real to the spirit of the unique fantasy.

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Example text

Gaia tends him and gives Kronos a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he swallows. Later, Gaia again deceives Kronos, and he vomits up the stone, which is followed by Zeus's brothers and sisters. Zeus erects the stone as "a marvel 24 Athenian Myths and Institutions and a portent to mortal men" (500), memorializing both the wonder of female cleverness and power and its ominous implications for males. Having recorded Ouranos' failure, Hesiod gives Kronos the capacity to improve on his father's scheme by having him mate with a sister instead of the mother and by permitting birth to take place before hiding his children.

In particular, this episode exemplifies how heroic poetry seeks to restore order, for heroic poetry prescribes fitting behavior and, within the confines of its verse, implies as a reward the maintenance of the status quo. For Nestor, the warrior's life is social. A man joins others because they recognize his worth and confer upon him the prizes of combat and the glory of success. Nestor puts his message in the context of what every son assumed— to be better than his father—and what every father expected—to be obeyed by his son.

The effect is twofold. Gestated by the sea, Hesiod's Aphrodite has no mother, nor will she bear children. She Hesiod's Myth of the Birth of the Cosmos 23 offers gods and men the delights of sexual union without the necessity to submit to the process of change and to the forfeiture of male privileges that result from the birth of a new generation. Also, the charms of the female, now freed, cause trouble, since they operate outside the proper function of sexual union, the bearing of children. Ouranos is less a king than a patriarch whose authority depends upon his fertility.

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Arcadian Nights: The Greek Myths Reimagined by John Spurling

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