Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The First Love Stories; From Isis and Osiris to Tristan and Iseult

Seven stories, each from a different ancient culture, each focusing on a different aspect of love.  The Egyptian, Isis and Osiris (one of the stories I got the book to read) on Love is greater than Nature.  Inanna and Dumuzi, the Sumerian tale of the cyclical nature of love, although since Inanna gets mad at Dumuzi and banishes him to the underworld, and it is his sister who loves him enough to trade off six months a year, so he can still be in our world, it may be more about sibling loyalty, since Inanna's love is all about her vuvla and in my mind lust.  Then the Hindu Shiva and Sati, the Passion of the mind.  The Song of Songs, a Hebrew love song in the Catholic Bible we read as kids??, is a sensuous yearning love.  The Greco-Roman Psyche and Eros is supposed to be about forging yourself - but I see it more as curiosity killed the cat, literally in terms of Psyche's sisters and almost Psyche herself.  Layla and Majnun, loving for love itself, from a distance, the madness of unfulfilled love (and in my opinion the most depressing story in the book - spoiler - everyone dies)  Finally the Celtic Tristan and Iseult (the other story that prompted me to read this book) Is about choosing duty and honor over love, king, country, promised marriage, yet loving until death do you join, also pretty depressing.

The book is well worth the read, because of references to these timeless stories, and it's good to know that lust and premarital relations was going on for thousands of years, not just today.

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