Emily Wilson’s translation of Aphrodite’s affair & Hephaestus’s snare – The Odyssey, Book 4, lines 265-367:

‘The poet strummed and sang a charming song

about the love of fair-crowned Aphrodite

for Ares, who gave lavish gifts to herHephaestus catching Aphrodite and Ares in their affair; circo del herrero imagery for the poem

and shamed the bed of Lord Hephaestus, where

they secretly had sex. The Sun God saw them,

and told Hephaestus–bitter news for him.

He marched into his forge to get revenge,

and set the might anvil on its block,

and hammered chains so strong that they could never

be broken or undone. He was so angry

at Ares. When his trap was made, he went

inside the room of his beloved bed,

and twined the mass of cables all around

the bedposts, and then hung them from the ceiling,

like slender spiderwebs, so finely made

that nobody could see them, even gods:

the craftsmanship was so ingenious.

When he had set the trap across the bed,

he traveled to the cultured town of Lemnos,

which was his favorite place in all the world.

Ares the golden rider had kept watch.

He saw Hephaestus, famous wonder-worker,

leaving his house, and went inside himself;

he wanted to make love with Aphrodite.

She had returned from visiting her father,

the mighty son of Cronus; there she sat.

Then Ares took her hand and said to her,

 

“My darling, let us go to bed. Hephaestus

is out of town; he must have gone to Lemnos

to see the Sintians whose speech is strange.”

 

She was exited to lie down with him;

they went to bed together. But the chaisn

ingenious Hephaestus had created

wrapped tight around them, so they could not move

or get up. THen they knew that they were trapped.

The limping god drew near–before he reached

the land of Lemnos, he had turned back home.

Troubled at heart, he came towards his house.

Standing there in the doorway, he was seized

by savage rage. He gave a mighty shout,

calling to all the gods,

 

“O Father Zeus,

and all you blessed gods who live forever,

look! You may laugh, but it is hard to bear.

See how my Aphrodite, child of Zeus,

is disrespecting me for being lame.

She loves destructive Ares, who is strong

and handsome. I am weak. I blame my parents.

If only I had not been born! But come,

see where those two are sleeping in my bed,

as lovers. I am horrified to see it.

But I predict they will not want to lie

longer like that, however great their love.

Soon they will want to wake up, but my rap

and chains will hold them fast, until her father

pays back the price I gave him for his daughter.

Her eyes stare at me like a dog. She is

so beautiful, but lacking self-control.”

 

The gods assembled at his house: Poseidon,

Earth-Shaker, helpful Hermes, and Apollo.

The goddesses stayed home, from modesty.

The blessed gods who give good things were standing

inside the doorway, and they burst out laughing,

at what a clever trap Hephaestus set.

And as they looked, they said to one another,

“Crime does not pay! The slow can beat the quick,

as no Hephaestus, who is lame and slow,

has used his skill to catch the fastest sprinter

of all those on Olympus. Ares owes

the price for his adultery.” They gossiped.

 

Apollo, son of Zeus, then said to Hermes,

“Hermes my brother, would you like to sleep

with golden Aphrodite, in her bed,

even weighed down by might chains?”

 

And Hermes

the sharp-eyed messenger replied, “Ah, brother,

Apollo lord of archery: if only!

I would be bound three times as tight or more

and let you gods and all your wives look on,

if only I could sleep with Aphrodite.”

 

Then laughter rose among the deathless gods.

Only Poseidon did not laugh. He begged

and pleaded with Hephaestus to release

Ares. He told the wonder-working god,

 

“No let him go! I promise he will pay

the penalty in full among the gods,

just as you ask.”

 

The famous liming god

replied, “Poseidon, do not ask me this.

It is disgusting, bailing scoundrels out.

How could I bind you, while the gods look on,

if Ares should escape his bond and debts?”

 

Poseidon, Lord of Earthquakes, answered him,

“Hephaestus, if he tried to dodge this debt,

I promise I will pay.”

 

The limping god

said, “Then, in courtesy to you, I must

do as you ask.” So using all his strength,

Hephaestus loosed the chains. The pair of lovers

were free from their constraints, and both jumped up.

Ares went off to Thrace, while Aphrodite

smiled as she went to Cyprus, tot he island

of Paphos, where she had a fragrant altar

and sanctuary. The Graces washed her there,

and rubbed her with the magic oil that glows

upon immortals, and they dressed her up

in gorgeous clothes. She looked astonishing.’

PSA: Read The Automation for free on Smashwords

Read it for free.

Tweets of the Week: We’re two birds of a feather

Here’s our Valentines Day tweet: 

And another:

An important link/opinion on the future of publishing: 

Pathetic movie is pathetic: 

This was just freakin’ hilarious: 

On marginalia/Gabbler’s line of work: 

A beautiful video series that gives nature god-like voices (that we should all listen to):

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellow B&N | Amazon | Etc.

What the hammer? What the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? // October roundup:

In case you missed the whole month of October on this blog/are too lazy to keep on scrollin’, here are some highlights:

We asked the Internet why J.K. Rowling didn’t self-publish her Robert Galbraith novel if she really wanted her pen name to stay a secret.

Gabbler wrote an essay over post-apocalyptic stories.

We shared some thoughts on Lev Grossman’s The Magicians series and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series.

Gabbler recommended a bunch of crap. Like Halloween Songs and this comedian.

We gave you a look at B.L.A.’s original manuscript for THE AUTOMATION preface.

Here is a reminder of some of our social media accounts.

Out now - in paperback and ebook formats
Out now – in paperback and ebook formats

10 things you might not know about THE AUTOMATION – in GIFs!

10 things you might not know about THE AUTOMATION – a dark fantasy novel about ancient Automata invading our modern world:

  1. There are Automata (uppercase-A, yes, thank you) in this novel. They’re divine as fuck and not made by men – and they’re often mistaken for human. Here’s a lowercase-a automaton to illustrate what they are NOT like:
  2. Those Automata can only function with a human soul. Thus, they need a human “Master” to wind them up. This makes for some awkward situations for some of the characters.
  3. The Greco-Roman gods Vulcan and Venus have small roles in the novel. Though they play a bigger part later on in the series and will likely eff more shit up for the  poor human characters.
  4. One of the characters is a cat. Don’t ignore the cat. Though the cat can ignore YOU.
  5. One character’s sexuality is changed in the novel. Because the gods Vulcan and Venus need him to like girls instead of boys. And it’s not fair.
  6. The Narrator (whose abbreviated name is B.L.A.) and the Editor (Gabbler, whose contributions show up as footnotes) are also characters in the story. It’s actually B.L.A.’s memoir, you could say (though Gabbler is of the mind it’s – ahem – obviously embellished). [But just to be clear: the novel is written by one person, not two, despite what they tell you. PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN].
  7. It is for readers who like sf novels set in “this” world like: Vicious, The Magicians, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, American Gods, The Just City.
  8. It claims to be Epic Poetry, but it’s written in prose. Thus “Prose Epic” is apparently applicable.
  9. The novel breaks the fourth wall. It knows it’s a novel. Meta to the max.
  10. You can read the first chapter online for free. Be our guest. Enjoy the show.

THE AUTOMATION is available in paperback and for DRM-free Kindle download. In all countries. Maybe. Probably. WE DON’T KNOW, OK?

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellow B&N | Amazon | Etc.