Hi guys! Sorry for my recent absence. I’ve had a bit of a bumpy time with my EDS, including several day trips courtesy of the NHS, culminating most recently in a partially dislocated wrist, so writing has been pretty much impossible for me of late. I’ve missed you all but I’m well on the mend, very ready for my holiday to Tenerife, and then back to my writing.
While indisposed, I spent some time learning new stuff. Something I’ve been meaning to do for the longest time is to familiarise myself more with the classics. At the top of my list was the Iliad by Homer. I’ve always had a secret soft spot for Greek mythology. No, I haven’t read it all, but I finally made a start. And I made an interesting (to me) discovery that I will try to share with you.
As I was reading the beginnings of the Iliad I was also googling information on the main players in an attempt to get it straight in my mind. Well, you all know how the research thing goes, one thing led to another, and before I knew it I was totally absorbed in the story of Cupid and Psyche. It makes up part of the Metamorphoses/The Golden Ass by Apuleius. Lucius, the protagonist, gets turned into a donkey by magic gone wrong and in order to get turned back into a human he has to undergo various trials and adventures. It is a story of curiosity and magic.
What’s interesting to me, other than the story of Cupid and Psyche itself, is the fact that Psyche’s story mirrors the main story of Lucius. More curiosity and magic, trials and adventures. I won’t attempt to recount the story because I won’t do it justice, but it’s well worth reading.
Now to the bit that fascinates me and gives me goose bumps.
In reading about Cupid and Psyche I stumbled across the term mise en abyme. It means, and I quote:
“Mise-en-abîme occurs within a text when there is a reduplication of images or concepts referring to the textual whole.” — Wikipedia
In simple terms, in a literary context it means a story within a story, which very much describes how the story of Cupid and Psyche fits into the Metamorphoses as a whole. Well, guess what? Unbeknownst to me until I stumbled across this story, the book I’m writing now is a mise en abyme! And just to add the cherry on top, Psyche was the Greek goddess of the soul, and my book is heavily focused on the soul!
So I ask again: coincidence or serendipity?
Happy writing, peeps.