Chimera Author:John Barth "At this point I interrupted my sister as usual to say, 'You have a way with words, Scheherazade. This is the thousandth night I've sat at the foot of your bed while you and the King made love and you told him stories, and the one in progress holds me like a genie's gaze." — The speaker here is Dunyazade, kid sister of Scheherazade of The Thousa... more »nd and One Nights, who has her own way with words. There is also Perseus, the demigod who slew the Gorgon Medusa, and yet finds himself at forty "sea-leveled, parched and plucked, every grain in my molted sandals raising blisters, and beleaguered by the serpents of my past." And Bellerophon, the hero who tames the winged horse Pegasus only to discover, "My life's a failure. I'm not a mythic hero, I never will be."
Like the Chimera of myth, which had a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail, they are all joined into a single, dazzling whole that is the culmination of all John Barth's work thus far, transforming myth into reality as we know it and live it.« less