A historically perceptive and cheeky tour of a licentious mythological figure.

ZEUS IN ART

A SURVEY OF A SERIAL SEDUCER

An illustrated survey focuses on the artistic sources documenting the legendary lecherousness of Zeus.

Zeus figures prominently in Greek mythology as the “god of the sky, of lightning and thunder and king of the gods on Mount Olympus.” He’s the subject of innumerable depictions in visual art and poetry, both ancient and modern. Patricia Ann Colón and Angel Rafael Colón concentrate on two particular aspects of Zeus’ legend, his lurid reputation as a “seducer, rake, roué, and rapist” and his general, immoral “vindictiveness.” The book points out that “mythological tales usually cast Zeus as a lustful, narcissistic, temperamental and vengeful god who launched puissant thunderbolts with wild abandon to those who offended him, apparently an unsettling common occurrence, and is known as a consummate reprobate who maintained and further fostered the family tradition of incestuous relationships, whether sanctioned by marriage, seduction or rape.” The authors astutely draw on a rich literary tradition that features Zeus, including ancient writers such as Homer and Hesiod and modern ones like William Butler Yeats. Nevertheless, the highlights of the volume are its discussions of Zeus’ pictorial representations as well as those of his family and victims, often overlapping groups. Zeus was an equal opportunity predator, victimizing other gods, including his own kin; nymphs; and “vulnerable mortals.” The authors include nearly 100 beautiful illustrations of paintings and sculptures, a diverse offering of work by the likes of Rubens, Titian, and Rembrandt. And while the subject matter can be grim—Zeus is linked to dozens, if not hundreds, of rapes—the authors attempt to inject a spirit of levity into the book, sometimes exploring the gossipy salaciousness of Zeus’ transgressions. Toward the end of the volume, they include a newspaper article from the ersatz tabloid the Olympian Times with the headline “Zeus Again Accused of Rape.”

A historically perceptive and cheeky tour of a licentious mythological figure.

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64970-193-0

Page Count: 188

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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