Provided the necessary help Well noone cares about this tiny detail all that matters is that the ob is done However when everything crumbles because of disloyalty and ambition it s time for the Scapegoat to be driven out Medea is either a healer or a bringer of curse This is what the mob the ever changing witless crowd believes She is the Other the Foreigner the one who threatens the established order with her powers and invocations Jason is blaming his obsession and lust to Medea always unwilling to admit what a phony hero he is He doesn t care any the glory is his and it s time to find a younger docile wife who would worship him without uestions and thoughts of her own Is it a comfort to think that people everywhere fall short of the agreements they have made I feel that this uote expresses the essence of our times extremely accurately In the outstanding introduction Margaret Atwood refers to the political and social background and the status uo that shaped Wolf s work Coming from the troubled land of former East Germany it is clear that her political and social views influenced her writing How could it have been otherwise Medea was written in 1996 six years after the reunification of Germany and while reading one can feel a deep sense of bitterness and intense distrust towards the institution of the state and the authorities Knowing the political context Medea becomes much than a retelling of an ancient legend The writing and the characterization are uniue The portrait of Medea is moving sad hauntingThere are uite a few exceptional descriptions of the city of Corinth and the nightly scenes are eerie foreboding Don t expect any infanticides gore violence or sex and the end will surprise you I will not compare Wolf s work to Euripides or Seneca Each one is a different beast all masterpieces in their own right However I know which one I prefer Wolf s esoteric haunting solemn cry for the truth and for a world that turned out uite different than promised For the innocent victims of the frustrations of the mighty the demonization of the weakest links Up there in the dark night blue sky like a slightly tilted silver of peel the crescent moon was still swimming though on the wane reminding me of my waning years my Colchian moon endowed with the power to pull the sun up over the edge of the earth every morning My reviews can also be found on uality Rating Three StarsEnjoyment Rating Three StarsI ve wanted to read Medea ever since I discovered Cassandra another ancient Greek myth retelling by Christa Wolf I can t tell you how much I fell in love with that book and so to be fair Medea was always going to have a hard time competing In the end it didn t even touch Cassandra in terms of excellence but I think there were several circumstantial things that contributed to that aside from the storyThe first of which is that I m pretty sure Medea must have had a different translator to Cassandra Christa Wolf was a German writer and scholar and so her works are translated into English Medea felt so much harder to read for me it was dense its word choice wasn t as vivid and succinct and ust generally hard to read The book is less than 200 pages and it took me the better part of a month to get At the end she said They ve made what they need out of each of us Out of you the Hero and out of me the Wicked Witch They ve driven us apart like that Medea to JasonBefore I had even read Euripides s retelling of Medea Medea had already been representative to me of a destructive force propelled by vengeful rage And what Christa Wolf does with this modern retelling of an ancient tale is present Medea in a different form compared to the versions given priorAfter helping Jason to retrieve the Golden Fleece and having fled her homeland Colchis the couple settle in Corinth where having left one power struggle Medea finds herself at the center of another This Medea is wiser sensible and less amorously passionate than her predecessors As an outsider she is able to observe the faults of the Corinthians she does not become subservient to "the land she has been exiled to as custom demands of women and " land she has been exiled to as custom demands of women and she discovers the heinous secret that is the source of Corinth s prosperity and magnificence the powerful of Corinth plot and succeed in executing her fallIf I was to be improper and summarize this brilliant book I would say that it concerns the workings of power the abuses of power and the lengths people in power work to maintain their power Before she had fled Medea and the other Colchian women were working to restore tradition that would shift power from King Ae tes her father who is corrupt to her sister Chalciope but the king is resolute in maintaining and clinging to power In Corinth King Creon and his circle worked to ensure that he remains in power An already patriarchal society works to maintain its power while subjecting even force to its subjects and using and nitpicking certain old traditions to reviveThe theme of the scapegoat is everywhere in the tale Primarily used by the ones in power to hold onto power longer as sacrificial offerings or as distractions and the objects of responsibility for disasters Medea uickly becomes a convenient scapegoat when tragedies occur and finally we see that those in power not only have the absolute say in present and future matters but in also how history is rememberedI ll finish this review that s become longer than I intended with the apt words Margaret Atwood gives in the introduction to this marvellous book Medea is no two dimensional allegory Like a tunnel full of mirrors it both reflects and echoes The uestions it asks the reader through many voices and in many different ways is what would you be willing to believe to accept to conceal to do to save your own skin or simply to stay close to power Who would you be willing to sacrifice The political human being as a narcissistic monster who projects its crimes on the victim What a scary scary tale And how bizarre that I thought it was milder than Euripides and Seneca the first time I read it a long time ago It is brutally wild After her experience of the breakdown of East Germany Christa Wolf wrote this novel retelling of the ancient myth of Medea in the early 1990s after some years of depression and *silence due to the shock of the loss of her country and *due to the shock of the loss of her country and following witch hunt that hit her unexpectedly from an increasingly arrogant West German ournalism and literary criticismMedea seems to be her catharsis her way of writing herself out of the pain of not having a place to call home any The old place Kolchis in the novel had crumbled and died in the brutal showdown of an all powerful male ego Her new home Korinth needs her to be a scapegoat to deflect from inherent problems in their own political power structures The wild woman refusing to bow to ambitious and vain men is hunted down and put on trial for not being part of the danse macabre of RealpolitikWhat is truth Truth is what you can make people believeThe honest living and breathing people the outsiders and foreigners learn the hardest possible way that there is no lie too blunt to be believed if it benefits the believer to make it an infallible truthWho killed Medea s childrenDoes it matter as long as history is written by a homo politicusMedea trying to live a real seeing life must accept her homelessness in a world of childishly egomaniac leaders supported by ruthlessly opportunistic and inhumanely indifferent advisers Gro e schreckliche Kinder Medea Das nimmt zu glaub mir Das greift um sichWhat a brilliantly twisted interpretation of the old patriarchal myth Christa Wolf offers here Her vision is crystal clear disillusioned honest and she will burn as a witch for her insolence pointing out the weakness of men as a woman and a refugeeThis is Medea in her true colours Scarier than the ancient version because she is the victim of a fake news factory not the killer holding a knife or a machine gun She is the truth that is denounced as fake news by a scared yet powerful political animalChapeau Wolf Wild woman you ar. N readers a portrayal of a fiercely independent woman ensnared in a political battle. ,
I really don t feel like I have the words to do this Conjure In African American Society justice but it s undoubtedly one of the best books I ever read It s like a huge portrayal of the dynamics of human nature and society the clash of different cultures intrigues oppression and power and in the middle of it this headstrong independent woman with her modern views and the way she uestions everything and by that threatens to bring the entire corrupt system down which is the cause of her downfall in the end She s the stranger the one who doesn t fit in the one who doesn t bow the ideal scapegoat for people to blame for problems actually caused by the higher authorities It goes without saying that all of this is especially fascinating contrasted with the original myth of Medea and how it s completely turned on its head hereI can t get into detail because I would have to write an entire book myself The story is told through multiple perspectives and every character even the ones with no POVs hell if you think about it even the anonymous masses is so intricate and psychologically complex that I feel I could read this book 10 times and still discover new thoughts new implications new perspectives I definitely want to read of Christa Wolf s books now There is a part of me which is Medea There is a part of me which is Kassandra Each of these parts hurts terribly They force me to walk towards the abyss step by step They force me to raise my voice when it would be best for me to stay uietOooh they are not always strong But they are thereThere have been better reviews of the book that I will ever be able to write Soust go and read It s frighteningly easy to turn the pages The text flows and you know where it goes oh you know and still you have to read onYou hear Medea on the other side of the paper wall between the millennia And you walk with her and with the others blessed and cursed into this existence And for a moment you are glad that you live today And then the illusion goes away and you know that things are not better Different perhaps but human nature has not changed not yet and not in our lifetimeAnd because it s Margaret Atwood who is uoted on the backside of my edition praising Christa Wolf for the book a praise than earned everything I missed it Atwood s Handmaid s Tale is here A perfect and sharp diamond knife 375I was looking forward to this reading about the one who had snakes for hair until I realised the mistake I d madeStill at least that eliminated any chance of me turning to stone and Wolf s story although not my first choice Greek mythology temptress was pretty goodI found this better than her other historical novel Cassandra and not knowing the story of Medea beforehand I really didn t made it appealing to me than say to those who know Greek mythology like the back of their hands Here Wolf reveals the sorceress and murderer of her children as a victim of male arrogance and sexual insecurity with her homeland a darker counterpart to the kingdom of Corinth a self aggrandizing state that brutally distorts truth to ustify its imperialistic crimesThere is a chorus of voices here from the eponymous heroine and her weak willed adventurer husband Jason to the other important players in the unfolding drama of Corinth s power struggle As much as I did like this it s nothing compared to her masterpiece Patterns of Childhood Wolf s strength undoubtedly lies with writing about her homeland during and after the war She was there she lived it It s odd how at times my readings appear to converge or echo each other uite unconsciously From two entirely different directions I determined to reread my collection of Emma Goldman s writings and Christa Wolf s Medea And yet I found striking parallels between Goldman and Medea Both women flee their homelands Tsarist Russia and Colchis respectively when young disillusioned with their countries Both travel to an idealized land that promises a better life America ancient Greece And both hook up with men who prove unreliable Alexander Berkman Jason But aside from these rather superficial correspondences the vital parallel is that both women fight to live in a world where they can freely express their individuality and beyond world where they can freely express their individuality and beyond for a world where everyone can have the same opportunity It can be disheartening to see how little progress we ve made in the 72 years since Goldman died Indeed I could suggest that we re rapidly becoming and like the societies both women fought *against making this book and Emma Goldman all the relevantFor those *making this book and Emma Goldman all the relevantFor those with the story of Medea and that may be a larger figure than I d like to think considering the state of modern education let me uote from Margaret Atwood s introduction as she gives a reasonably concise outlineAeson king of Iolcus in Thessaly had his throne usurped by this half brother Pelias Aeson s son Jason was saved and sent away to be educated by the centaur Cheiron Grown to manhood he arrived at the court of Pelias to claim his birthright but Pelias said he would surrender the throne only on condition that Jason bring back the Golden Fleece from Colchis a demand which was thought to be the euivalent of a death sentence as Colchis situated at the extreme end of the Black Sea was thought to be unreachable Jason had either to refuse the uest and give up all hope of the throne or accept it and endanger his life He chose the latter course and summoned fifty heroes from all over Greece to his aid These were the Argonauts named after their ship who after many perils and adventures arrived at last at Colchis There Jason demanded the Golden Fleece as his by inheritanceAe tes King of Colchis set impossible conditions Jason was ready to admit defeat when he was seen by Princess Medea daughter of Ae tes granddaughter of Helius the sun god priestess of the Triple Goddess of the Underworld and a powerful sorceress Overcome by her love for Jason she used her occult knowledge to help him surmount the various obstacles and to obtain the Fleece in return for which Jason swore by all the gods to remain true to her forever Together with the Argonauts the two lovers set sail by night but once the alarm was raised King Ae tes and the Colchians followed themSome say Jason killed Medea s younger brother Apsyrtus others that Medea herself murdered the boy dismembered him and scattered the pieces in the ocean After several escapades the two now lawfully man and wife were welcomed at Corinth by its King CreonJason forgetting both his debt of gratitude and his vows to all the gods forsook his loyalty to Medea Some say he was swayed by the insinuations of Creon others that he was overcome by a new love others that he was impelled by ambition but in any case he decided to repudiate Medea and marry Creon s daughter Glauce thus becoming the heir to Corinth Medea herself was to
"Be Banished From The CityMedea "banished from the cityMedea by conflicting emotions concocted a horrible revenge Pretending to accept Jason s decision and to wish for peace between them she sent a bridal gift to Glauce a beautiful but poisonous dress which when the rays of the sun hit it burst into flame whereupon Glauce in agony threw herself into a well Some say that the people of Corinth then stoned Medea s children to death others that she herself killed them either to save them from a worse fate or to pay Jason back for his treachery She then disappeared from Corinth some say in a chariot drawn by dragons Jason abandoned by the gods whom he had foresworn became a wandering vagabond and was at last crushed by the prow of his own rotting ship pp ix xiAs Atwood alludes and as one can read in Robert Graves The Greek Myths there are many variations to the story It was ancient when Homer composed The Iliad and its most ancient layers hearken back to a pre Greek era when the Goddess in her many guises was the supreme deity and women than the chattel of their male relations It s this most archaic stratum that Wolf mines to present her version of the myth While it can be read as a strictly feminist tract it shouldn t be It s issues are far broader than a discussion of women Medea is among the most notorious women in Greek tragedy a woman who sacrifices her.