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The Death of Actaeon

February 2, 2014

actaeon flyer 2 feb

Over the last few months I’ve been involved in the evolution of this project, first as a participant in a writing workshop with the enticing title of “Sex, Death and Dismemberment”, then as one of a team of four editors distilling  the work of twenty-one writers down to a half-hour script for performance, perhaps as a radio play. It has been a very exciting and rewarding experience immersing myself in the myth and working with Sue Boyle, whose brain-child this is, and the other editors.

But to get to the point … if you’re within reach of Bath on the first of March, do come and be a part of something really rather special!

The subject is the myth of Actaeon.  I am often drawn to Greek myths as inspiration for poetry.  I first read as a teenager the two volumes of the  Penguin “Greek Myths” by Robert Graves, given to me by a cosmopolitan and remarkably free-thinking grandmother. It is a towering work of scholarship, imagination and conjecture. I still frequently refer to it and to the Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology, awarded to me as the Classics Prize at the end of my last term at school in July 1963. For the next four years I read Classics at Keele. Despite the ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation they were wonderful years, full of folk music, protest marches, hill-walking, poetry, deep friendships and discoveries of all kinds.

Myths001

Background Reading

One grandmother gave me
Beatrix Potter
The Water Babies
Shakespeare and the Bible.

The other gave me
Ernest Thompson Seton
Old Peter’s Russian Tales
Dante and Robert Graves.

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