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The Helmet of Horror: The Myth of Theseus and the Minotaur (2006)

av Viktor Pelevin

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Serier: The Myths (4)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
5001735,110 (3.27)39
Labyrinth 1. An intricate structure of intercommunicating passages, through which it is difficult to find one s way without a clue; a mazeThey have never met, they have been assigned strange pseudonyms, they inhabit identical rooms which open out onto very different landscapes, and they have entered into a dialogue which they cannot escape- a discourse defined and destroyed by the Helmet of Horror. Its wearer is the dominant force they call Asterisk a force for good and ill.Victor Pelevin has created a mesmerising world where the surreal and the hyper-real collide. The Helmet of Horroris structured according to the internet exchanges of the twenty-first century, yet instilled with the figures and narratives of classical mythology. It is a radical reinvention of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur for an age where information is abundant but knowledge is ultimately unattainable.… (mer)
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» Se även 39 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 17 (nästa | visa alla)
I have an uncorrected proof of this book from such times as I used to pinch such crumbs from Jessa's table. As it has been languishing on my shelves for many years, that makes it a good candidate for my to-read challenge, and reading Winterson's Weight not long ago sparked my interest in the Canongate Mythology series. So here we are.

I knew really nothing about Theseus and the Minotaur before reading this book, which I'm sure didn't help anything at all. In this book everything is up for interpretation: who is Theseus? Who is the Minotaur? What is the labrynth? What is reality? It is written as a chat room transcript, and we are to believe it is populated by people trapped in near-identical rooms with no memory of how they got there and computers that do nothing but provide access to this particular chat. But, as with everything online, what can you really believe?

Many aspects of this book were interesting. Some were bewildering. Some I didn't get I'm sure because I wasn't familiar enough with the myth behind it, some seemed more like the pompous philosophizing of college students too self-important to bother learning to fully explain their theories -- other people's bafflement just proving to them their own superiority. Maybe that was supposed to the the point and it was just too... deep for me, but I ended up feeling for most of the book that meaning was disappearing around a blind corner, just out of my grasp.

If that was the point, it just may be brilliant. ( )
  greeniezona | Dec 6, 2017 |
Ha tutto ciò che amo in un racconto: è russo, è surreal-grottesco, è di un autore che stimo, è breve. Dov'è il problema? ( )
  icaro. | Aug 31, 2017 |
Ahem.

… the frontal net, heated by the action of the stream of impressions falling on it, transmits heat to the now grid. The grid sublimates the past contained in the upper section of the helmet, transforming it into vapour, which is driven up into the horns of plenty by the force of circumstances. The horns of plenty emerge from the forehead, curve round the sides of the helmet and intertwine to form the occipital braid, which descends into the base of the helmet. There, below the now grid, the bubbles of hope that arise in the occipital braid are ejected into the region of the future." (pp78-9).

I can't write any more. That is just a brief excerpt from just one of many of Victor Pelevin's descriptions of the titular 'helmet of horror' from this execrable book. And before you think I am disingenuously quoting out-of-context, I assure you – the majority of the book is like that. It's a bunch of self-important, pseudo-philosophising, if-you-can't-appreciate-how-clever-this-is-then-pretend-you-can tripe. It makes less sense than the scrawlings of a crazy person smeared in shit on the walls of his padded cell: you might be able to discern a certain perverse train of thought, but only if you become a bit crazy yourself – and if you can stand the stench. Even the (admittedly successful) attempts at humour only make me suspicious that Pelevin is taking the piss. I could rant and rant about how disappointing and self-indulgent it is, but I think I've already wasted enough time just in reading it. I'm struggling to sum up my opinion of this book: whether to describe it as horseshit, dogshit or bullshit. In keeping with the Minotaur theme, I think I'll go with bullshit." ( )
  Mike_F | Jun 3, 2016 |
Eight people wake up and find themselves alone, each one is in a room with a bed, a bathroom, a computer screen and keyboard, and a locked door. They can only chat with each other in a computer chat room. It seems that they are all caught in the labyrinth, held captive by the minotaur. The entire book is written as a chat room conversation. Each character explores their own personal labyrinth and reports what they find to the group. Pelevin explores different kinds of labyrinths and different philosophies explaining the psychology of the myth. The characters are aware of the myth the are caught up in and they all wonder who is Theseus, is he already among them, and will they be saved. This was a very weird and confusing book. I think a lot of the philosophies presented went way over my head. I am still not sure I really understand the ending. I liked that I could feel my mind stretching to understand each person's personal labyrinth and that I still thought about the book days later. ( )
  Cora-R | Jan 17, 2016 |
4.5 stars. I'm not a philosopher, and I don't remember everything from the classes I took in college, but it did remind me of a modern-day (albeit cast with a horror-survival sheen) take on Sartre's No Exit. ( )
  Amy_Jesionowski | Nov 3, 2015 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (9 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Pelevin, Viktorprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Bromfield, AndrewÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Slofstra, FroukjeÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Tretner, AndreasÜbersetzermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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No one realised that the book and the labyrinth were one and the same... - Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths
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According to one definition, a myth is a traditional story, usually explaining some natural or social phenomenon.
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If you put on a Batman mask and look in the mirror, you'll see Batman. But the mask will never see itself.
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Labyrinth 1. An intricate structure of intercommunicating passages, through which it is difficult to find one s way without a clue; a mazeThey have never met, they have been assigned strange pseudonyms, they inhabit identical rooms which open out onto very different landscapes, and they have entered into a dialogue which they cannot escape- a discourse defined and destroyed by the Helmet of Horror. Its wearer is the dominant force they call Asterisk a force for good and ill.Victor Pelevin has created a mesmerising world where the surreal and the hyper-real collide. The Helmet of Horroris structured according to the internet exchanges of the twenty-first century, yet instilled with the figures and narratives of classical mythology. It is a radical reinvention of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur for an age where information is abundant but knowledge is ultimately unattainable.

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