Minos and the Moderns

Minos and the Moderns : Cretan Myth in Twentieth-Century Literature and Art

3.4 (5 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$55.00

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


Minos and the Moderns considers three mythological complexes that enjoyed a unique surge of interest in early twentieth-century European art and literature: Europa and the bull, the minotaur and the labyrinth, and Daedelus and Icarus. All three are situated on the island of Crete and are linked by the figure of King Minos. Drawing examples from fiction, poetry, drama, painting, sculpture, opera, and ballet, Minos and the Moderns is the first book of its kind to treat the role of the Cretan myths in the modern imagination. Beginning with the resurgence of Crete in the modern consciousness in 1900 following the excavations of Sir Arthur Evans, Theodore Ziolkowski shows how the tale of Europain poetry, drama, and art, but also in cartoons, advertising, and currency was initially seized upon as a story of sexual awakening, then as a vehicle for social and political satire, and finally as a symbol of European unity. In contast, the minotaur provided artists ranging from Picasso to Durrenmatt with an image of the artists sense of alienation, while the labyrinth suggested to many writers the threatening sociopolitical world of the twentieth century.
Ziolkowski also considers the roles of such modern figures as Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud; of travelers to Greece and Crete from Isadora Duncan to Henry Miller; and of the theorists and writers, including T. S. Eliot and Thomas Mann, who hailed the use of myth in modern literature. Minos and the Moderns concludes with a summary of the manners in which the economic, aesthetic, psychological, and anthropological revisions enabled precisely these myths to be taken up as a mirror of modern consciousness. The book will appeal to students and scholars across several disciplines, especially in Classics and Literary Studies.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 146 x 214 x 18mm | 399.16g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • numerous halftones
  • 0195336917
  • 9780195336917
  • 2,169,441

Table of contents

show more

Review quote

[A] slim, elegant book...in every chapter, there are concise and far-reaching insights...Ziolkowski writes with the skill of the connoisseur * Constanze Guethenke Bryn Mawr Classical Review * there is much to commend in this elegant volume * Antony Augoustakis, The Classical Review * a thoughtful examination of the power myth exerts upon the artistic mind. Excellently reserched and written. * Folklore Frontiers *
show more

About Theodore Ziolkowski

Class of 1900 Professor of Modern Languages, Emeritus, Professor of German and Comparative Literature, Emeritus, Princeton University
show more

Rating details

5 ratings
3.4 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 40% (2)
3 60% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X