Hermetica: Myths, Legends, Poems.
2021 Pine Lake Rd, Suite 100, Lincoln NE 68512
ISBN 9780595449569, $21.95, 1-800-288-4677, www.iuniverse.com
"Hermetica" is a captivating literary collection of myths, legends and poems. In the preface to the book, the author, Paul Kiritsis explains to us the differences among three different classes of folklore. First, there are myths which often take place far, far in the past and are generally accepted as true. Second, we have legends which "are set in a remembered or historical time and presented as undisputed truth, often being more secular than religious." (p. xiv) Lastly, there are folktales which are fictional stories.
Kiritsis gives us a history lesson on the origin of folklore which started in Ancient Egypt. He then describes to us one of the greatest myths of all time, and also the first love story, which is about Osiris and Isis. Throughout this literary collection Kiritsis seeks to expand on this ancient myth with his own renditions of the events that occurred.
The title of the book, "Hermetica," was derived "not only from the fact that it was influenced by Hermetic literature but also because it concerns itself with alchemy, primarily the alchemy of love." (p. xvii) The book is divided into two different sections which are poems and verse drama. The poetry section consists of six different subsections: alchemica, astrologica, mythologica, philosophica, musica, and erotica. The second section, containing verse drama, is composed of seven different short stories including the author's prequel to the known myth of Osiris and Isis.
Kiritsis is a very creative and talented writer. He obviously is wonderfully educated in the subjects he writes of and this definitely shines through in his stories. Not unlike ancient oral and written literature, Kiritsis' stories also have lessons to teach. His words will whisk you back to a time long ago and keep you there until the last page is turned.
Although I enjoyed both parts of the book I would have to say that I enjoyed the second part with the myths and legends the most. Once I started reading that section it was hard for me to put the book down until I saw how everything played out. I think anyone who enjoys poetry, myths, legends or just a general escape from books set in modern day, would enjoy this unique literary collection--"Hermetica: Myths, Legends, Poems."
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|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||May 1, 2008|
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