Madison Morrison's Web / Sentence of the Gods / Renewed


Renewed is the second of four books in APHRODITE that employ “hypertexts.” Unlike Possibly and Divine, which heavily imitate Cervantes and Dante, even introducing their texts as intertexts, MM’s models here are treated much more lightly. A bit of Apollonius’ Argonautica is quoted at the outset of Part I. Vergil’s Eclogues, though all ten poems are quoted from, represent a fleeting element in Part II. Instead of the Koran or The 1001 Nights, works that MM earlier contemplated using, he chose instead a modern sculpture, “The Awakening of Egypt,” by Mahmoud Mukhtar (1928) as a “model” for Part III, quoting at length a contemporary account of its creation. Above all these hovers a hypertext only hinted at in the titles of the three Parts: Spenser’s Faerie Queene (Books I-II, III-IV and V-VI). In “A note on Genre,” MM had remarked, “I often say that I went to Egypt and gathered material for a book about Alexandria, the Nile and Cairo. This way of talking people can understand. Were I to say instead that I am planning to write a book called Renewed, about a renouvellement de l’esprit, that its mythic model is Osiris and its historical motifs, the renovation of Alexandria, the Roman appropriation of the Nile (as in the gardens at Hadrian’s villa) and the spiritual dispensation of Islam in the Mother of all Cities, people would wonder what in the world I was talking about.”

The full text of Renewed

Henotheism and the Gods of Ancient Egypt