Károly Kerényi on Hephaestus and Aphrodite

“I shall have much to say about Hephaistos [Hephaestus]. Let is suffice for the moment to say that he was, according to most tales, a skilled and sturdy master metalworker, yet at the same time only a crippled craftsman dwarf. He created young virgins made of gold, who moved as fi they were alive, and thought and talked and worked. He fashioned the first woman, Pandora. She was not his wife, but the wife of beings closely resembling him. Hephaistos’s wife — according to Homer, in his Iliad, and according to Hesiod – was the youngest of the Graces, Aglaia, “the glorious”. Did more ancient tales (which these poets knew) mean that she, took was a living work of art? It may be so, for charis (“grace”) also means the delightfulness of art. Or was it their purpose to give the smith-god a lesser Aphrodite for wife, instead of the great one? In any case, in our tongue the love-goddess could also have been called Charis. In the Odyssey, the spouse of Hephaistos was Aphrodite, and Ares was her lover.”

[Via]

Starting Memorial Day, we’re marching into Pride Month with a free ebook download. Both our books are not only super QUEER but super FREE.

From May 31 to June 2, both of our books are free:

Vol. 1 | Vol. 2

COMING SOON: Cogs Rate Gods

GABBLER: The Narrator and I will be selecting one deity per post to examine and rate base don a 0-5 star rating. The criteria we use for the scale is subject to change and Their ability to smite us. We’ll be starting with Vulcan. Big daddy V.

BLA: Oh, so it’s OK for you to call Him that but not me in my own book?

GABBLER: I’m hoping it will soften the blow because we ALL know how you’re going to rate Him… But back to the audience: Let us know if you want us two “Cogs in the Machine” to cover a specific divinity in the comments below or send me a tweet at @Circofootnotes. There’s no set schedule yet, but you can subscribe to this blog to never miss a post!

BLA: This should really be a podcast. Everyone has a podcast.

GABBLER: You literally don’t speak, though. How would that work?

BLA: I could get a robot voice or something to read what I’m typing.

GABBLER: Great, another thing for me to edit… Let’s just see how this goes first.

BLA: I’m already regretting this.

GABBLER: Stay tuned!

Who needs Reading Rainbow when you have Reading Volcano?

On automata and statues:

‘Our imaginary identification with so alien a creature as a moving statue or an automaton can be profoundly satisfying, partly because that identification may spare us diverse anxieties about our place in the world, in our own bodies, about the proper location of the human. The freedom entailed by that identification lies not just in the idea of a turn against the blockage or oblivious figured by the stone, but in the fact that the living statues, for all its motion, yet tends to remain a statue, untroubled and unselfconscious (or at least we hope it does). Yet if the living statues does not disappoint us by becoming all too human (as Shaw’s Eliza Doolittle disappoints her “creator”), the fiction of animation is also likely to remind us of how alien and how disruptive of what we think of as the human are our vital energies, how catastrophic, petrifying, or mechanistic a form the entry into life can assume. Indeed, it suggest the ways in which the fantasy of the animated statue may constitute an implicit critique of our optimistic pictures of human desire, and of our wish that desire and the human could peacefully occupy the same space. The living statue may remind us that there is never any fixed space between.’

‘…Placing the question about the consciousness of stones thus in relation to the automaton fantasy, it starts to seem as if the desire to invite the inanimate into the space of the human conceals or mirrors a desire to push the human into a space of the inanimate. The face of objects granted a more than ordinary life becomes the face of Medusa.’

From The Dream of the Moving Statue by Kenneth Gross