MEDUSA, A MYTHIC SHORT; Jennifer Peter Woods, 2012

Medusa, A Mythic Short by Jennifer Peter Woods is, quite simply, the best re-telling of Medousa’s story that I have ever read. Indeed, I am glad I did not come across this story until after I had finished my own novel, because I certainly could not have done better justice to Medousa than Woods.

Medusa is not a book, but a short story, or perhaps a novelette, comprising only eight chapters. In these twenty nine brief pages, divided up into eight chapters, we learn the whole of Medousa’s life and fate, from her childhood with her parents and sisters through to the aftermath of her death. The sadness, pathos, tragedy, and outrage that attended her life are all there. The love shared between sisters, and their sacrifices for each other.

The author makes a point of Medousa’s legendary and astounding beauty, and is therefore able to contrast it well with what Medousa became because of Athena. The story tells how Medousa sacrificed herself, to serve Athena, that her sisters might be allowed to go in peace. Wood descr8bes Medousa’s humiliation as she submitted to one of the usurpers, and the chaos that arose as the Olympians turned the order of the cosmos upside down.

Wood is also clear on Medousa’s fate being part of an ongoing quarrel between Poseidon and Athena, describing the Gods’ contention over the city of Athens. And we see that Poseidon’s defilement of Medousa had as much to do with his desire for revenge against his Niece as his own lust. Wood describes Medousa’s rape without being explicit, yet making clear the horror of Medousa’s suffering.

Medousa’s sisters fly to her aid in the aftermath, and are also punished along with Medousa for daring to stand up to Athena on her behalf. And it is something for which Medousa feels great guilt; for she had bound herself to Athena’s service , hoping to spare her sisters pain and humiliation. And yet now, because of her, Stheno and Euryale also suffered. And now, because of Medousa, they lived as fugitives in exile.

Refreshingly, there is no romantic subplot involving Perseus, nor indeed anyone else in the story. But the author makes it plain how, after so many years, Medousa longs for death, that she might finally be free of her curse. Her sisters try to dissuade her, but she remains adamant.

I wish I could have written my novel as well as Wood composed her story.

I have only been able to find the book in e-format on Amazon:

But I strongly urge you to go find it and read it. It is far superior to my own tale of Medousa’s life.

Furthermore, do check out the author’s page on Amazon:




About Michael Butchin

I was born, according to the official records, in the Year of the Ram, under the Element of Fire, when Johnson ruled the land with a heavy heart; in the Cradle of Liberty, to a family of bohemians. I studied Chinese language and literature at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. I spent some years in Taiwan teaching kindergarten during the day, and ESOL during the evenings. I currently work as a high school ESOL teacher, and am an unlikely martial artist. I have spent much of my life amongst actors, singers, movie stars, beautiful cultists, Taoist immortals, renegade monks, and at least one martial arts tzaddik. I currently reside in Beijing's Dongcheng district
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2 Responses to MEDUSA, A MYTHIC SHORT; Jennifer Peter Woods, 2012

  1. cav12 says:

    I will have to check it out!


  2. Pingback: Crippling Self-Doubt. I’m Good at Crippling Self-Doubt. | MEDOUSA

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