Mythos, by Stephen Fry

Second paragraph of third chapter:

Something else began too — what shall we call it? Personality? Drama? Individuality? Character, with all its flaws and failings, fashions and passions, schemes and dreams. Meaning began, you might say. The seeding of Gaia gave us meaning, a germination of thought into shape. Seminal semantic semiology from the semen of the sky. I will leave such speculation to those better qualified, but it was nevertheless a great moment. In the creation of and conjoining with Ouranos, her son and now her husband, Gaia unwound the ribbon of life that runs all the way to human history and our own very selves, yours and mine.

A run-through of Classical myths and legends by Stephen Fry, leaning on Ovid a lot, of course, but drawing in other writers too – apparently the first of three volumes, the other two dealing with heroes in general and the Trojan War in particular. It’s breezy and sometimes even funny, and Fry doesn’t gloss over the awkward castrations and incest. I found it especially helpful in locating the legends referred to by Jan Christian Hansche in his non-religious sculptures. You can get it here.

This was my top unread sf book. Next on that pile is Fugitive Telemetry, by Martha Wells.

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