Cretomania: Modern Desires for the Minoan Past

1st Edition

Nicoletta Momigliano, Alexandre Farnoux

Routledge
Published September 8, 2016
Reference - 296 Pages
ISBN 9781472474995 - CAT# Y258227
Series: British School at Athens - Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies

USD$165.00

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Summary

Since its rediscovery in the early 20th century, through spectacular finds such as those by Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos, Minoan Crete has captured the imagination not only of archaeologists but also of a wider public. This is shown, among other things, by its appearance and uses in a variety of modern cultural practices: from the innovative dances of Sergei Diaghilev and Ted Shawn, to public and vernacular architecture, psychoanalysis, literature, sculpture, fashion designs, and even neo-pagan movements, to mention a few examples.

Cretomania is the first volume entirely devoted to such modern responses to (and uses of) the Minoan past. Although not an exhaustive and systematic study of the reception of Minoan Crete, it offers a wide range of intriguing examples and represents an original contribution to a thus far underexplored aspect of Minoan studies: the remarkable effects of Minoan Crete beyond the narrow boundaries of recondite archaeological research.

The volume is organised in three main sections: the first deals with the conscious, unconscious, and coincidental allusions to Minoan Crete in modern architecture, and also discusses archaeological reconstructions; the second presents examples from the visual and performing arts (as well as other cultural practices) illustrating how Minoan Crete has been enlisted to explore and challenge questions of Orientalism, religion, sexuality, and gender relations; the third focuses on literature, and shows how the distant Minoan past has been used to interrogate critically more recent Greek history.

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