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Those who know me are aware of my fondness for maenads so, while I like to think that I am open to stories being open to personal interpretation, I could not help but feel that the writer of this article
which uses the maenads to illustrate things not to do in one's corporate career, had somewhat missed the boat.

Here are some lessons I have learned from maenads.
1. Being a maenad is an alternate lifestyle.
2. Maenads do not participate in any activity which requires wearing pantyhose, because wearing pantyhose detracts from the joy of dancing barefoot.
3. Maenads are the opposite of passive aggressive, believing, as they do, that if something gets in your way you should rend it and wear its skin. This may be aggressive, but it isn't passive agressive.
4. Maenads do not tolerate sexual harassment, in or out of the office, and even adopted wearing live snakes as belts as an anti-rape device. Live snakes!
5. Dionysus is a lot more fun to work for than any corporate boss, and that king had it coming anyway for disrespecting Dionysus's mom.
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LJ user tinybuffalo came over to watch "Behind the Mask: The Rise and Fall of Leslie Vernon" (which is tied with "Scream" as my favorite meta-horror movie) and then A. and I watched "Cabin in the Woods" for the first time.

I have to say: Marty, I love you!

Other than Marty, however, I didn't feel that there was a lot of fun in "Cabin." There is a really fine line between creating parody but still conveying a love of the genre (as, I think, "Scream" manages to do) and creating something which is just a montage of mean-spirited snark. Yes, the second category can still be witty, but it's like hanging out with the Algonquin Circle--intellectually stimulating but not really a positive social experience.

Something which I did find intriguing about "Cabin" was the character of Marty, who, like Randy in "Scream" is not only a fan knowledgeable about what genre he is in ("Okay, I am drawing a fucking line in the sand here and saying, do *not* read the Latin!"), but also a Cassandra figure. By Cassandra figure I mean that, like Randy, he that certain actions will doom other characters's fates. At the same time, however, he conveys a tiny sliver of (Pandora-like?) hope, not for his future, but for a future, something else's future, something else that might get a chance.

Overall, though, "Cabin" seemed just a little too much like the paint-by-numbers horror movies it was pointing the finger at, but I'm still intrigued by the dynamic of the story where, if the final girl actively picks up the phallic knife/gun/ax (though really, mythically I would think an ax/labris would be a female symbol), a male character becomes the passive prophet and wise fool/advisor.
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[T]he ultimate conflict between monotheism and polytheism has a sexual root. D.P. Walker in his book, The Ancient Theology, reveals how early Christianity had to missionarize a sexuality of its own, a monotheistic sexuality which excluded polytheism by excluding the many sexual forms of the pagan gods.... polymorphous since there are different gods, with their various forms of sexuality, in all of us. These forms seek expression at different times during a lifetime, forms to be lived psychically, without our sexuality being fixed to a preconceived model.
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_Hermes and His Children_ (2003) by Rafael Lopez-Pedraza, pp. 119-121
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I'm currently reading _Hermes and His Children_ (2003) by Rafael Lopez-Pedraza, which is an exploration of Hermes as a Jungian archetype, and ran across this phrase, which I love.

[Walter] Otto describes another way in which Hermes makes his epiphany:
But the marvelous and mysterious which is peculiar to night may also appear by day as a sudden darkening or an enigmatic-smile. This mystery of night seen by day, this magic darkness in the bright sunlight, is the realm of Hermes, whom, in later ages, magic with good reason revered as its master. In popular feeling this makes itself felt in the remarkable silence that may intervene in the midst of the liveliest conversations; it was said, at such times, that Hermes had entered the room... The strange moment might signify bad luck or a friendly offer, some wonderful and happy coincidence.'
p. 27
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From the book on archetypal psychology which I am currently reading, _Pagan Grace: Dionysos, Hermes, and Goddess Memory in Daily Life_ by Ginette Paris (1990, 2003)

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I find it amazing that the Greek language crossed over so many natural boundaries, because the history of languages tells us that a natural barrier such as mountain, river or sea normally defines the frontier of a language. For example, the unity of Egypt or of Mesopotamia was clearly favored by geography. If we follow this reasoning, it's surprising that Greece, a chopped-up territory if there ever was one, could have attained such linguistic and cultural unity; from Cyprus to Ithaca to Sicily people could understand each other, as if language floated over mountains and bodies of water and even the most inaccessible peaks. This paradox illustrates the passion of the Greeks for communication. For them boundaries and frontiers were not obstacles but places to meet and communicate, a little like neighbors leaning over a backyard fence.

The Greeks expressed their talent for communication even when words could not be exchanged. They adopted a form of communication used by the Phoenicians, a kind of "silent trade." If, for example, I am the captain of a ship and I must get some fresh food, I might leave an assortment of gifts on the beach for the local inhabitants and then return to my ship. I come back the next day. My gifts are gone, but in their place I find fresh provisions that will help me continue my voyage and perhaps some crafted objects that I like bringing back home. If one of the objects I left is still there, I understand that the local people are not interested in it. If it was a fair trade, I might return.
The Greeks had an expression for these found objects--"a gift of Hermes," a gift that is left somewhere without knowing to whom it might be useful. Another example of this silent trade is given by the peasant who lives beside a well-traveled road: he might leave a "gift of Hermes" when he puts some bread, water and cheese in a jug at the crossroads. The hungry traveler leaves a "gift to Hermes" when he returns a few coins or other useful items in the jug after consuming the food. Adjusted to the invisible, this form of communication is based on intuiting the needs of someone who will never be seen or known. But since Hermes is "he who carries the message," it doesn't matter if the messenger is visible or not, or the language is verbal or non-verbal, literal, or symbolic, written or spoken, as long as people understand each other. (pp. 62-63)
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Kes: This book is available to blind readers through, as is a modern short story collection loosely based upon Ovid's _Metamorphoses_, Kate Atkinson's highly enjoyable _Not the End of the World_
review at
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As part of the Aphrodite exhibit, the MFA will have a program on Nov. 30 which will include Greek music, wines, and drama based upon Ovid's "Metamorphosis"--it all sounds delightful!
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"Eurydicey," a play by Sarah Ruhl (Samuel French, 2008)

A retelling of the Eurydice myth from Eurydice's point of view, this version presents Eurydice as someone who is more than just Orpheus's dead wife who serves as the instigating element for his adventure to the underworld.

Sarah Ruhl is somewhat reminiscent of Tom Stoppard in her ability to create characters who can be funny, petulant, witty, weird, scared, clueless, confused, and compassionate--namely, fully human--within the small interval of time measured by a play's length, and yet remain completely believable.

This retelling reminds us that Eurydice was young, a teenage girl who was just beginning to find out who she was, and just beginning to wish to be something other than Orpheus's girlfriend, when her life was cut short by the whim of a god. Finding herself in the underworld and once more with only the vaguest sense of who she had been, Eurydice must recreate herself despite the mockery and the seeming senselessness she finds in her new world and, just as she appears to have created a life for herself and her father, Orpheus shows up to bring her back to her previous daylife life as his wife. Eurydice's conflicting desires result in what may be a tragedy, or may merely be the myth of the eternal return.

In many ways, this is not a complex play. It is brief, to be performed without intermission; it has only a handful of characters; it has almost no props beyond an imaginatively used ball of twine (a clew, perhaps?) and a few sound effects.

Yet, in other ways, this is a fascinating puzzle of a play which concerns itself with that most puzzling of questions, who am I?, a question which is perhaps, even more confusing for young women who are so often pressured to see themselves as the girlfriend of some significant male, be it the local football hero or an international rock star. Ironically, it is the twilight world of the dead which provides Eurydice with the tools she needs to discover herself, although those tools seem to be nothing more than a ball of twine, a book containing the complete works of Shakespeare, and the space within which she can be herself.

Eurydice will be produced here in Boston by the
Independent Drama Society
April 22-30
The Boston Center for the Arts
Plaza Black Box Theatre
more info at
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I requested that Bookshare try to acquire this book fromt he publisher and encourage other Bookshare members who are interested to also make a request. The $100+ price tag and the language issues make me think this book would be difficult to acquire and scan for myself. There's a link to a fascinating NY Times article about teh book at the end of this post.

The Red Book
by C. G. Jung, Sonu Shamdasani, Mark Kyburz, and John Peck (Hardcover - Oct 7, 2009)
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co. (October 7, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0393065677
ISBN-13: 978-0393065671

The Holy Grail of the Unconscious
Published: September 16, 2009


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