I’m an avid podcast listener, and one of my favorites is Imaginary Worlds by Eric Molinsky where he talks about science fiction and fantasy.
I haven’t read nearly enough books about Greek mythology so I learned a lot from his interview with author Madeline Miller. I admire how she published her reimagined tales even though she was initially dissuaded from doing so by an ex-boyfriend who chided her for writing “fan fiction”. Speaking of which, I only learned from the podcast that the story of Achilles being held by the ankle and dipped in the River Styx by his mother Thetis to obtain invulnerability wasn’t in the Iliad; that side note appears in poems written many years later.
In the Iliad, Achilles refuses to fight Agamemnon until Hector kills Patroclus, after which he drags Hector’s body around the streets. Who is Patroclus, and why the seemingly disproportionate reaction over his death? Miller is thoughtful about Achilles’ motivations and pieces together clues about their relationship. I was so fascinated by all this I rushed out to put a hold on her book “A Song of Achilles” at my local library but there’s an extended waitlist.
Fortunately, today’s Amazon Gold Box sale has the Kindle version discounted to only $1.99 so I insta bought it. I hope it’s nearly as good as it sounds in the podcast.
P.S. If you enjoy Imaginary Worlds please consider joining me as their Patreon subscriber.