There were several stories that stuck out to me, but upon further reflection, the one that had the greatest impact with the greatest possibility for creative interpretation was Pygmalion. The descriptions of his caresses are sensual and intimate, and yet he is in love with an inanimate object.

Notes:

  • There’s no real moral to the story. It’s just an imagining of a fantasy. Or maybe the moral is if you believe in something enough and ask for a wish from the Goddess you can make it come true?
  • Feminism has certainly changed the appeal of this idea for wider audiences, I would imagine. And yet, it’s been redone time and time again, interpreted in many different ways. People respond to it. Why?
  • I want to focus on Galatea as a character. Does she have a spirit? Does she have a personality? What has existence given her? What would it mean for their relationship?
  • The features are those of a real girl, who, you might think, lived, and wished to move, if modesty did not forbid it. Indeed, art hides his art. What does it mean, art hides his art? And why would modesty forbid her life and her wishes?
  • Pygmalion has an unrealistic expectation of women. He is narcissistic and loves his own work more than life itself. And yet, his love for her made her perfect. It made her real.

I’m going to move forward to the aftermath. What happens after Galatea becomes alive and gains self-awareness. What dos she do with it?

“Pygmalion” from Ovid’s Metamorphoses , translated by Terry Kline (2000). Web source.

Featured image source. I chose this image because it shows Galatea rising from the stone, forming her life, looking away from her creator and worshiper, instead marveling at her own existence. While she rises from the stone, Pygmalion falls into it, lost in his obsession with his creation. This line from the story speaks strongly: “The girl felt the kisses he gave, blushed, and, raising her bashful eyes to the light, saw both her lover and the sky.”