Greek Myths: A New Retelling, with drawings by Chris Ofili
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As cleverly as her protagonists (Athena, Alcithoë, Arachne, Andromache, Helen, Circe and Penelope) weave their tapestries, so she threads her stories.
I am grateful to have this on my retellings shelf as a solid and enjoyable addition I will happily revisit and cherish.
That said, it is easy to read and some parts of prose are clearly very inspired by Ancient Greek poetic voice (but the writing is, at the same time, quite clunky in parts — almost like it reads in translation. What the Greeks really wanted, all along, was Troy's wealth They wanted the treasuries of her temples emptied out, her women lined up and shared out-soft bodies on which to vent their rage and greed. And what a fitting ending you gave us with the trial of Orestes and the reasoning of Penelope – am I expected to be a human version of Odysseus’ loyal dog Argos?
They are stories of love and desire, adventure and magic, destructive gods, helpless humans, fantastical creatures and resourceful witches. And of course Helen, Helen who I had sympathy for while reading, Helen who is smarter than she appears who knows that she has no way to get out of something that was honestly between three goddesses who caused so much war and strife. When I first started this book, the “Athena” chapter was heavily influenced by Ovids Metamorphoses which I had just finished- so at these points my reading wasn’t super fast as the myths were already fresh in my mind.
In any pre-industrial society, textile production is socially conspicuous, if only on account of the sheer number of hours required to transform parts of plants and animals into sails, tents, fishing and hunting nets, clothing, carpets, blankets, awnings and ornamental wall hangings, with elaborate scenic designs. We use Google Analytics to see what pages are most visited, and where in the world visitors are visiting from. A lot of the women were raped, which was to be expected in a book about Greek mythology; however, I think a lot of substance was missing from those aspects.