Lovers’ Legends: The Gay Greek Myths by Andrew Calimach
Published by Haiduk Press
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I found this book while browsing the wide and all-knowing internet for Greek Mythology books with something new or at least something I have yet to encounter. Now, I knew that there were myths involving gay relationships, but I had really only known about Zeus and Ganymede, and Apollo and Hyacinthus (which are in here). I was very interested to learn of other myths so I gave into my desire and purchased Lovers’ Legends: The Gay Greek Myths.
Despite the fact the book isn’t very long it holds thought-provoking takes on some of the old myths. For Example: this book explores the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus’ from The Iliad and the love behind it. I have recently reread The Iliad for class, around the same time I was reading this tale, and we also discussed the possible love relationship between those two characters. I was intrigued to see how many students in my class viewed them as lovers and how many viewed them as just best friends. I believe you are able to read their relationship either way.
This book also contains four parts called Different Loves weaved between the myths and it is a debate among a few characters on if the love of a woman or young man is best. I felt these four sections took away from the book slightly as it took focus off the myths, but they did make me think a bit as well. Still, I wish there had been more about the myths themselves or perhaps more detail on how these myths were thought of back than compared to today.
Lovers’ Legends is a good book to read if you are a Greek Myth fan and are looking for a different perspective on some of the myths such as Orpheus’ and Narcissus.’ This book made me reflect deeper on the meaning of relationships and what love is (mostly due to Different Loves), but I also felt it lacked same backing for some of the passages. I would recommend finding it at your local library and giving it a shot.