alea iacta esto

The Marriage Of Cadmus And Harmony

Book review: The Marriage Of Cadmus And Harmony by Roberto Calasso

“We enter the mythical when we enter the realm of risk. It is a spell the soul casts on itself”

What an incredible way to approach Greek mythology. Europa, Dionysus. From Zeus to Heracles to the Danaids. Hera. Pelops. The Elysian mysteries. From Kore and Demeter to Cassandra. Calasso doesn’t just tell us the myths – he weaves, he dances, he connects the threads, grows the synapses, extracts the juice. It’s quite absorbing and uber fascinating. It’s also very demanding on the brain. Like Daniel Kahneman notes in his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, when the brain is asked to do too much like really concentrate and do some work, we prefer usually to bail out. I didn’t and boy, am I glad. Cadmus and Harmony, eh? I quote:

“To invite the gods ruins our relationship with them but sets history in motion. A life in which the gods are not invited isn’t worth living. It will be quieter, but there won’t be any stories.”

Enjoy the stories.


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