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Galatea

by Madeline Miller

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4052054,190 (3.82)10
In Ancient Greece, a skilled marble sculptor has been blessed by a goddess who has given his masterpiece - the most beautiful woman the town has ever seen - the gift of life. Now his wife, Galatea is expected to be obedience and humility personified, but it is not long before she learns to use her beauty as a form of manipulation. In a desperate bid by her obsessive husband to keep her under control, she is locked away under the constant supervision of doctors and nurses. But with a daughter to rescue, she is determined to break free, whatever the cost... Pygmalion's story has moved millions through the centuries, inspiring George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, and later the beloved musical My Fair Lady.  Ecco is proud to publish Orange Prize-winning author Madeline Miller's E-book original short story Galatea which will appear in the forthcoming anthology xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths to be published in October. This retelling of the Pygmalion myth from the statue's perspective is a tale that will make readers rethink how they relate to the great myths of our time.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
I wish this was longer or part of a short story collection! I would have probably rated it higher had it been a little more fleshed out or part of a collection - but alas - I will take my Madeline Miller where I can get it. Galatea reimagines the myth of Galatea and Pygmalion. A sculptor creates the most beautiful woman and wishes she were alive. When she awakens she is immediately impregnated finds out that life is not meant for her. It is all controlled by the sculptor. She is locked away and kept in constant supervision by doctors and nurses who drug her. But she knows what she wants and that is her daughter. She may have been made of stone - but her heart beats for one thing only and that is her daughter. ( )
  ecataldi | Nov 15, 2022 |
3.2 stars! Galatea was powerful. A great mother, even. Although, short, it did best to portray women being taken as uneducated and sexualized. Whoever that painter was, he rightfully deserved it. ( )
  averoscel | Oct 26, 2022 |
Der Pygmalion Mythos neu interpretiert. Zehn Jahre sind vergangen, seit Pygmalion seine in Stein gemeißelte Frau zum Leben erweckte. Nun befindet sich Galatea in eingesperrt in einem Zimmer unter Aufsicht einer Schwester und eines Arztes. Ihre Tochter darf sie nicht sehen, auch den Raum nicht verlassen. Die einzigen Unterbrechungen sind ein widerlicher Tee, den sie unter Aufsicht trinken muss, und der ihr Kopfschmerzen bereitet, und die Besuche ihres Gatten, bei denen sie ihren Schöpfungsmythos nachspielen muss. Doch nun will sie ausbrechen, vor allem für ihre Tochter Paphos, die nicht hinter einer neuerlichen Statue verschwinden soll.

Madeline Miller ist mit Neuerzählungen klassischer Sagen in den vergangenen Jahren aufgefallen und vielfach ausgezeichnet worden. „Galatea“ ist nicht nur wegen der Kürze bemerkenswert anders, der Text unterscheidet sich vor allem dadurch, dass er Leerstellen füllt und die weibliche Sicht schildert, die Ovid in seinen Metamorphosen nicht bietet. Der zauberhafte Pygmalion Mythos erscheint dadurch in einem gänzlich anderen Licht. Ergänzt wird durch Text durch Illustrationen von Thomke Meyer, die der lebendigen Statue auch hier Leben einhauchen.

Aus dem kreativen Schöpfer, der die Götter anfleht, wird ein herrschsüchtiger und gewalttätiger Mann, der Frau und Tochter kontrolliert, einsperrt und von Bildung fernhält. Was er als Schutz deklariert ist ein Beschneiden von Rechten, zu seinen eigenen gehört auch das Verfügen über den Körper seiner Frau, den er bewundert, nachdem er durch allerlei Hämatome wundervolle Farben auf ihn gezeichnet hat.

Was in der Antike als Inbegriff grenzenloser Liebe erschienen sein mag, wirkt unter heutigem Blick wie der Inbegriff häuslicher, männlicher Gewalt in vielerlei Facetten, oft schweigsam geduldet und als übliche Geschlechterverhältnis herabgespielt.

Vor- und Nachwort ordnen die kurze Geschichte gewinnbringend ein und erläutern den unterschiedlichen Deutungskontext, weshalb sie nicht überblättert werden sollten. So kurz die Geschichte und Neuinterpretation des Mythos ist, so stark wirkt sie nach in den Fragen, ob man Ovids Meisterwerk nicht nochmals unter einem anderen Blickwinkel betrachten sollte und ob wir nicht bestimmte Verhaltensweisen damit legitimiert haben, dass wir über Jahrhunderte zweifelhafte Verhältnisse unhinterfragt als große Literatur bewundert haben. ( )
  miss.mesmerized | Oct 19, 2022 |
This was a quick read and very different from what I was expecting from the author. I didn't really expect it to be set in modern times (or at least I interpreted it as such) and the abuse was difficult to read at times. I also didn't like the ending.
It is an ok story, but it was an hard read for me because of the subject matter and the way it was handled was not ideal.

Edit: Seems like it was supposed to be Ancient Greece after all, but it felt very modern to me and I could not imagine ancient times at all. ( )
  elderlingfae | Aug 11, 2022 |
“I felt him looking at me, admiring his work. He had not carved me like this, but he was imagining doing it. A beautiful statue, named The Supplicant.”― Madeline Miller, Galatea

My review:

I have always adored Mythology. So when I saw this short story, a reimagined version of Pygmalion and Galatea I knew I had to read it.

This story was quite different than the original and quite sad. Actually bitterly sad. Galatea is a sweet and strong woman who is miserable under the relentless control of her husband. Pygmalion is an abusive and angry man who is jealous of everyone and everything his wife loves and keeps her locked away, a virtual prisoner after she tried to run from him once.

To be honest, while I was glad to read this, I didn't fall in love with it as others have said in their reviews they did. Not because it is not written beautifully and hauntingly which it is, but because it was shorter then I realized and over almost before it began. I'd have liked it more as a novella I think.

I'd still recommend it, especially to anyone who loves the original story or loves Mythology in general which I do. I would like to read more of this author's work. I have not read anything by her and I wonder if she has written any other reimagined Mythological fables. I'd love to see more so if anyone reading this knows of any, let me know. I'd love to see one about Echo and Narcissus and Atalanta and Meleager.

In any event, I did enjoy this sad little tale and the cover art is magnificent.3.5 stars. ( )
  Thebeautifulsea | Aug 4, 2022 |
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In Ancient Greece, a skilled marble sculptor has been blessed by a goddess who has given his masterpiece - the most beautiful woman the town has ever seen - the gift of life. Now his wife, Galatea is expected to be obedience and humility personified, but it is not long before she learns to use her beauty as a form of manipulation. In a desperate bid by her obsessive husband to keep her under control, she is locked away under the constant supervision of doctors and nurses. But with a daughter to rescue, she is determined to break free, whatever the cost... Pygmalion's story has moved millions through the centuries, inspiring George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, and later the beloved musical My Fair Lady.  Ecco is proud to publish Orange Prize-winning author Madeline Miller's E-book original short story Galatea which will appear in the forthcoming anthology xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths to be published in October. This retelling of the Pygmalion myth from the statue's perspective is a tale that will make readers rethink how they relate to the great myths of our time.

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