There’s been a recent fashion for retelling ancient Greek myths from a feminist perspective. And I am here for it. I enjoyed these myths as a child, so to hear them retold from a different point of view is refreshing and often casts a different light on characters I thought I already knew so well.
Whether the myths are real or not, the places they refer to are often located in reality. I’ve been able to imagine Gods and Kings, Goddesses and Queens walking through palaces, on beaches or through fields. Because when we travel, we love to visit the ancient sites where people have walked before us.
Most recently I finished reading Ariadne, a retelling of the Minotaur story. We’ve been lucky enough to visit the palace in Crete, thought to be where King Minos lived, with his underground labyrinth made by clever Daedulus. We’ve also been to Athens where King Theseus is said to have lived. And we’ve visited the temple on the cliff where King Aegeus is said to have looked for the white sail of Theseus’s ship, only to throw himself from the rocks when a black sail appeared.
Reading these books has been a way for me to travel through space and time to revisit some of the mythical places we have been in recent years, and hope to visit again. This idea of the past, present and future all being mixed up, and all in some sense existing at the same time, is explored by André Aciman, best known as the author of “Call Me By Your Name”, in his new book of essays, “Homo Irrealis”. He meditates on the way that memories, whether accurate or not, affect our perception of the present and the past.
I realised that this is how I experience retellings of Greek myths, and why I enjoy them so much. They are the perfect escape from the present, in which the flow of time seems not to obey the usual rules. They remind me of fond memories of past adventures. And they offer the promise of new adventures still to come.
Such stunning images, and I can’t wait to read Ariadne. It’s just being released in the states.
Thank you. I hope you like it!
Gorgeous images, Kirstin. I often think about the way past, present, and future are sort of mixed up.
And I’m waiting for my library to get Ariadne!
It’s a lovely place to get mixed up in, isn’t it? Time travelling.
Just put Ariadne on my “wish list.” And photos of the sea in the beautiful tones of your photographs here, well, those pictures are on my “wish list,” too!
What a lovely thing to say. Thank you. x
Greece has always been on the top of my bucket list. Thank you for taking me there with your beautiful images, Kirstin…
I hope you get to visit Greece some day. Soon!
The tones and the light in your images always pull me right in. I have never been a big fan of the Greek myths, but you have got me curious now and I will have to check Ariadne out.
OOooo. You will have to let me know what you make of it! And thank you. x
What a beautiful escape. These photos are sumptuous!
Thank you! x
I haven’t been to many places that have been recounted in those myths, but on the rare occasions that I have it’s been transcendent. These photos fill me with that sense of awestruck wonder at connecting beyond and and through time. What a gift, k, especially now. xo
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