The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


THE MARRIAGE OF CADMUS AND HARMONY is a book without any modern parallel.

Forming an active link in a chain that reaches back through Ovid's METAMORPHOSES directly to Homer, Roberto Calasso's re-exploration of the fantastic fables and mysteries we may only think we know explodes the entire world of Greek mythology, pieces it back together, and presents it to us in a new, and astonishing, and utterly contempory way.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Ancient religions & mythologies
  • ISBN: 9780099308010



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A re-read after about 15 years. I haven't read a book so slowly in a long time and it felt like a very indulgent exercise.I'd recommend it to anyone with a taste for Ovid, Homer or Plato. It's a retelling of the myths with a distinctly labyrinthine feel and theme after theme of betrayal, repetition, metamorphosis, sacrifice and innocence amongst others. Crowns and garlands, statues and monstors abound in the fanciful parts alongside some ripping apart of Plato and a knowing take on the Spartans. My only complaint is a reference to 'one foul swoop' but whether this is a slip on the part of the otherwise brilliant author or the otherwise brilliant translator, I don't know.There is a cheekiness in the writing too, sometimes pulling the reader into the joke sometimes putting the reader in his/her place, so you feel almost at sea, which also features heavily in the book, starting with Europa being carried off by the bull, Zeus.Back on the shelf it goes now, with lots of corners of pages turned over for dipping into whenever and wherever.

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