In the history of philosophy, art, and letters, there are few motifs as powerful as Princess Ariadne, abandoned while she slept on the island of Naxos and awakened by a god, Dionysus, who will make her his wife and grant her an unforgettable apotheosis.
In ancient Greece, Dionysus occupied an ambivalent place among the Greek gods most important for the community. He was the incarnation of reconciliation and collective cohesion, but at the same time of the ecstasy that made man lose his consciousness as an individual, bringing him close to the great mystery of the world. Between visible and invisible, the margins and the center, masculine and feminine, human and divine, the crucial role of Dionysus is reaffirmed in his modern reception, particularly from Nietzsche onward. But this multifaceted god resists most attempts to rationalize him from yesterday and today.
“A fascinating and accessible book that traces out the incarnations of this multifaceted god, with special attention placed on the woman he saved and elevated to the firmament, Ariadne.”
David Konstan, New York University
A full panorama bridging essay and narrative about Dionysus and the Dionysian, centered on an interpretation of the Dionysian figure of the woman.