Sirens Electric Circle

A History of Sirens – The Subtle Charm from Ancient Greeks to Kafka

Coco begins with a phrase attributed to St. Augustine “Do not ask yourself if these things are true. Ask yourself what they mean” – i.e. placing immediately as marginality or irrelevance the actual existence of sirens. If they have been imagined, the sirens are real. To understand their meaning it is thus legitimized to interrogate the history of their myth. Discuss sirens in the form of a traditional essay is not enough. This essay veers toward the love story, to the story of how the desire is the continuous explosion of imagination in search of a form in which to incarnate.

The attempt to focus on these mysterious beings created both adventurous and fascinating perceptions. The sirens were birds and fish, manatees and dugongs. They represented the most shocking sexual licenstiousness but were also nursing mothers. They have been chaste, but in their feral declination.

Omniscient, able to prophesy what will happen, the sirens are polymorphic because they are kaleidoscopic, trembling, ambiguous as has always been male representation of women has always been.

It is a rich text, full of objects and characters: Ulysses, Orpheus, Helena, medieval miniatures, the bestiary of love, discoveries of naturalists, deceptions of counterfeiters, religious ostracism.

pp. 141

The book of Coco also explores the way in which for centuries men have imagined and represented women.

La Repubblica, Giorgio Vasta

Rights sold: Italian [Codice Edizioni]