I enjoyed Liz Gloyn’s book on Classical monsters. It’s a bit of a grab-bag but all the parts are interesting, and there is (just) enough of an argument to hold them together. She also makes me think I need to read more Harraway - the Cyborg Manifesto is as much as I’ve managed at this point.
“In one Greek papyrus fragment, an illustrator has added pictures alongside an otherwise straightforward tale Hercules is telling of his adventures. In contrast to the heroic deeds that Hercules recounts, the illustrator playfully tells a different story - instead of wrestling the Nemean lion, Hercules grapples what is obviously a statue on a plinth; rather than stalking the Stymphalian birds, Hercules seems to be surprised by a flock while fishing.”
- Liz Gloyn
“Monsters come into being through a negative, repressive model of control, a response to humanity's fear of the monstrous. Once they exist at a distance from that mechanism, society responds by attempting to manage them using a positive model of control...”
“The replication of monsters through constant literary retellings, the resettling of mythical beasts in medieval bestiaries, even brightly illustrated children's picture books of classical myth, all seek to pin monsters down, to shape them, to observe them and explain their habits... The act of sight keeps the monster under surveillance, while flourishing kinds of classical reception keep reproducing it.”
- Liz Gloyn
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