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Minos and the ModernsCretan Myth in Twentieth-Century Literature and Art$
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Theodore Ziolkowski

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195336917

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336917.001.0001

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The Other Cretans: Alienation, Invention, Liberation

The Other Cretans: Alienation, Invention, Liberation

(p.117) 4 The Other Cretans: Alienation, Invention, Liberation
Minos and the Moderns

Theodore Ziolkowski

Oxford University Press

This chapter, “The Other Cretans,“ briefly surveys literary treatments of the three principal Cretan women—Pasiphaë, Ariadne, and Phaedra—and then focuses on the shifting popularity of Daedalus and Icarus. While Daedalus initially held the foreground as the hero of scientific invention and technology, he was gradually displaced in popularity by his son, who came to public attention with the ascendancy of aviation and, in 1912, with the rediscovery of Pieter Bruegel's Landscape with the Fall of Icarus. Icarus provided an appealing image of youthful rebellion and idealism as well as a personification of the poet. The chapter examines the case of the Italian resistance fighter Lauro de Bosis, whose life and death in 1931 eerily reenacted his poetic drama Icaro. It also examines some of the many poems that deal with Bruegel's painting.

Keywords:   Pasiphaë, Ariadne, Phaedra, Daedalus, Icarus, aviation, Pieter Bruegel, Lauro de Bosis, scientific invention, youthful rebellion

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