Ó Bright Air Black ☆ Download by ¸ David Vann Bright Air Black by David Vann2 stars 4 out of 10Some months ago I read Christa Wolf s excellent version of Medea , so I was interested in reading David Vann s re working of the Medea myth.
In this book, Vann is retelling the story of Medea and Jason of Jason and the Argonauts , very much from the point of view of Medea but told in the third person and the present tense We are privy to her thoughts and her memories.
Vann s writing is extremely vivid He spares the reader little, which means that I found several sections of the book too brutal and gory to enjoy reading However, his poetic language enlivens the reading of this book, especially with the descriptions relating to nature and to the sea.
The section that I was most impressed with, was that describing the meeting of Jason and Pelias, and the subsequent events.
I appreciate that David If I was to rate this book purely based on its language it would be a five star book, hands down David Vann really knows how to write the most amazing sentences Some paragraphs were just breathtakingly beautiful in a truly unique way He mixes short, fragmented sentences with longer elaborate ones and the result is absolutely stunning There were so many instances where I had to pause reading just to appreciate the sheer genius of his expression and I am beyond impressed with thisIf you don t know the classic Medea myth, the following paragraphs will be full of spoilers In this retelling of the Medea myth, Vann creates a brilliantly dark atmosphere and a relentlessly compelling narrative structure We follow Medea from the moment she leaves Colchis, having just dismembered her brother, to the moment she is most famous for killing her twin children From the very beginning t In Bright Air Black, David Vann Transports Us To Th Century BC To Give A Nuanced And Electric Portrait Of The Life Of One Of Ancient Mythology S Most Fascinating And Notorious Women, MedeaIn Brilliant Poetic Prose Bright Air Black Brings Us Aboard The Ship Argo For Its Epic Return Journey Across The Black Sea From Persia S Colchis Where Medea Flees Her Home And Father With Jason, The Argonauts, And The Golden Fleece Vann S Reimagining Of This Ancient Tale Offers A Thrilling, Realist Alternative To The Long Held Notions Of Medea As Monster Or Sorceress We Witness With Dramatic Urgency Medea S Humanity, Her Bronze Age Roots And Position In Greek Society, Her Love Affair With Jason, And Her Tragic DemiseAtmospheric And Spellbinding, Bright Air Black Is An Indispensable, Fresh And Provocative Take On One Of Our Earliest Texts And The Most Intimate And Corporal Version Of Medea S Story Ever Told Earlier this year, I read the hugely popular Circe, named for a demi goddess who becomes a witch A witch who sometimes turns men into pigs Once, in a fit of jealousy, she turned a nymph into a hideous multi headed swamp beast Reading this reminded me that Greek mythology isn t pretty.
Well, Bright Air Black makes Circe look like a child s bedtime story Medea, niece of Circe, priestess of Hekate, is the witch to rule all witches Shakespeare s weird sisters have NOTHING on her Eye of newt Please Medea puts balls of king into her cauldron Medea stands naked in a hot, steaming room, tending to her gory soup, thinking of the time she chopped up her brother and then lay next to his rotting parts on the ship as her father followed in furious, close pursuit Bright Air Black requires and rewards rapt attention Like every other Vann novel the writing is a unique mix of poetry and viscera There is really no one else who writes like this There is no one else who could have so deeply imagined Medea murdering her brother on the deck of Jason s ship, as she flees with Jason from her father s wrath The moment where she cuts her brother s throat, which she does without hesitation but while looking into his eyes, loving him, is moving and also very disturbing Chapters later she scrapes her brother s remains from where they have congealed on the deck, and Vann s meticulous care in describing this scene would be remarkable all on its own, but these scenes and their remarkableness just keep coming, one following another I don t think the style is similar but in its revivification of an ancient and familiar story it 4.
5 StarsVann s telling of his story of Jason and Medea begins aboard the Argo, with Medea s father in pursuitShe has ripped out all their hearts, she knows Her father s crew crippled to see him made smaller She will humble him until there s nothing left, until his men don t know why they re rowing They will collect the pieces of the son and wonder that demigods can fall so easily.
Vann s Medea is fiery, a quick tempered, passionate, feisty descendant of gods and royalty A sorceress She falls in love with Jason, leaves her home to travel with him on the Argo to his home, Iolcos, where they will marry and then rule it is Jason s birthright The prose is spellbinding Vann has such a way with weaving his spell around horrifying scenes with some of the most gorgeous, crafted imagery Violent, dark and disturbing, Medea is, as Jason says to This is a thing of beauty True and utter beauty.
David Vann retells the story of fabled Medea Anyone not knowing the myth should read it first or at least google it before reading this book and my review because there will be spoilers.
Medea is the most famous daughter of Colchis, supposedly some kind of witch, who killed her own brother and chopped his body to pieces, to help Jason getting away with the golden fleece which he was only able to steal because she helped him Later, after being betrayed by Jason, she kills their sons in revenge.
As with most of the ancient stories featuring women in leading roles, the story was about the monstrosities Medea committed and the male hero who had to endure her This retelling, however, shines light at what made her do all the things she did.
We start with Medea already being on the Argo Jason s ship after getting the fleece She chops her brother s b Bright Air Black is lyrical retelling of the story of Jason and Medea, drawing on elements from the Argonautica and Euripides Medea to craft a tale that s at once unique and familiar Book I of David Vann s novel begins in medias res Medea has just killed her brother, and is helping the Argonauts flee from her father Aeetes, which she reflects on as they sail from her home in Colchis to Jason s home in Iolcus, having obtained the Golden Fleece Book II follows Medea as she assists in Jason s ascent to power, before the novel finally culminates in the story s famously tragic and violent conclusion.
Vann s Medea is instantly recognizable as the notorious, vengeful priestess that we know from the classics, rage personified But rather than resting on this archetype, Vann goes further Here Medea s rage isn t only portrayed, but thoroughly examined Bright Air Black is
Thanks to Netgalley for this ARC I knew I was going to get a retelling of Medea from her point of view during the quest of The Golden Fleece and after, with Jason, but I wasn t quite prepared for just how beautiful the lines of the text were I mean, getting it all from the PoV of Medea was a pretty awesome treat, all by itself, and found myself fully in her camp despite all the awful things she does, but what really caught my attention, even , was the prose.
This is some true mythopoetical realism, yo.
I will admit that there were some parts during the first half of the text that could have been improved, at least making the text accessible those who haven t studied up on the old legends and the plays, for so much of the action has already happened right when the prose opens up Born to destroy kings, born to reshape the world, born to horrify and break and remake, born to endure and never to be erased Hekate Medea, than god and than woman, alive now, in the time of originBright Air Black is a lyrical ode to the rage and power and will of one woman, Medea Spirited from the pages of Greek mythology and Euripides Medea, David Vann s Medea is a fierce, mostly fearless princess and priestess, as much in love with Jason as desperately seeking her own dominion to rule, her own decisions and choices to make, her own power to exercise as she sees fit, who teeters in darkness and madness when the threats of enslavement or subordination arise Book I is dedicated to the escape of the Minyae Ar