Thursday, 15 July 2021

Mythos - By Stephen Fry

A couple of years ago, I was working in a complex care home with people who have tricky mental health issues. We had all sorts there, a murderer, bipolar folks, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenics... you get the picture.

It wasn't for me though. I found the work rewarding, but I couldn't switch off after working hours, and I definitely suffered with transference.

In the end I was taken ill with that whole Brachial Neuritus thing which left me with half a paralysed hand after six weeks, but before I quit, one of my colleagues bought me Stephen Fry's Heroes book about Greek Mythology. I was really chuffed with it, but because it was the second book after Mythos, I thought it best to read part one first. I'm OCD on things like that.

Southampton Central library only had Mythos as an audio book, and it's taken me six months to listen to it properly, but what an experience. It's up there with Professor Freedman's Early middle ages lectures at Yale for opening up quite a complex subject that had previously always baffled me.

The thing with Greek mythology that had stymied my wish to understand the subject, is that it's all about the hierarchy of the Gods, or rather the Titans, The Gods, The Olympians and so forth, much like John Dee's empire of Angels.

Once the structure is in place, then another world opens up which is so bizarre that I'll leave it to you to find out how weird it is, but let's just say that internecine isn't too incestuous a word, but if anybody came up with these 'stories' in modern times, there would probably be some readers asking if a shrink might be in order.

It's that effing weird.

Oddly enough, I was once snared by some USA dude from what I assume to be an alphabet agency, who wanted to check me out and let me stew in the process for way longer than necessary.

However after he'd done his thing he told me that everything I needed to know was embedded in the mythology of the Greek gods, and here I am ten years or so later and realising he wasn't bluffing.