Chimera by John Barth

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By John Barth

In Chimera John Barth injects his signature wit into the stories of Scheherezade of the Thousand and One Nights, Perseus, the slayer of Medusa, and Bellerophon, who tamed the winged horse Pegasus. In a ebook that the Washington publish known as “stylishly maned, tragically songful, and serpentinely elegant,” Barth retells those stories from various views, reading the myths’ courting to truth and their resonance with the modern international. A winner of the nationwide ebook Award, this feisty, witty, occasionally bawdy booklet provoked Playboy to remark, “There’s each likelihood on this planet that John Barth is a genius.”

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The latter, in art monuments, is represented as a breastplate coveredwith dragon's scales,and surrounded with serpents, in the midst of which is the dreadful head of Medusa, which has the effect of turning every one that looks on it into stone. As goddessof peace, Athene is equally lavish in blessing. Everything necessaryeither to the physical or intellectual welfare of mankind was believed to proceed from her, and to be subject to her influence. Accordingly, useful inventions of all kinds are ascribed to her.

Among existing statues,the most celebratedis the so-calledDiana of Versailles, which came from the Villa of Hadrian, at Tibur (Fig. 14). It is now a chief ornamentof the Louvre collection, and is a worthy companionto the BelvedereApollo, although it doesnot quite equalthis in beauty. In this statuethe goddessdoesnot appear as a huntress, but rather as the protectress of wild animals. She is conceivedas havingjust cometo the rescueof a limited deer, and is in the act of turning with angry mien on the pursuers.

Another festival of less importance, called the Lesser Panathensea,was celebratedevery year at Athens in honour of the goddess. At Rome the chief festival of Minerva, the Quinquatrus Majores,washeld on the 19th of March, andwas,in later times, extendedto five days. It wasespeciallyobservedby all engaged in intellectual pursuits, and by artists and artisans. As Minerva wasalsopatronessof schools,the schoolboysalso took part in the celebration, and enjoyed,a welcome holiday. The virgin goddesswas at all times a favourite subject with ancient art.

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