The Beloved of the Dawn
Franz Fühmann’s subversive retellings of four Greek legends were first published in East Germany in 1980. In them, Fühmann plumbs the ancient tales’ depths and makes them his own. Attuned to conflict and paradox, he sheds light on the complexities of sex and love, art and beauty, politics and power. In the title story, the love of the goddess Eos for the mortal Tithonos reveals the blessing and curse of transience, while “Hera and Zeus” probes the divine couple’s tumultuous relationship and its devastating consequences for a world embroiled in war. Fühmann’s unflinching account of Marsyas’ flaying by Apollo has been widely read as a dissident political statement that has lost none of its incisive force. At times charged with sensuality, and at others honed to a keen analytical edge, Fühmann’s shimmering prose is matched by Sunandini Banerjee’s exquisite collages.
‘Fühmann is a gifted storyteller whose poetic prose and ironic tone are pitch perfect.’—Joseph Schreiber, roughghosts
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