Follow This Thread is brilliant. Maze-like in both content and form, it weaves a circuitous path through the history of the maze as both a material and symbolic phenomenon.
True to it’s subject matter, there are countless dead ends – stories or snippets of information that enthral you, only to come to a sudden stop, however through the many fascinating tangents, there is a clear narrative path.
Clear, but by no means straight! The path is kind of a double spiral – one arm traces a factual and historical path – looking at the mazes and maze-makers of the past and present. The other arm traces a mythic and symbolic path – exploring the concept of the maze and its significance philosophically, psychologically and even spiritually.
Perhaps the most compelling moments are when the arms of the spiral seem to meet, crossover or intertwine – when myth becomes lived reality, lived reality, myth.
This is demonstrated most strikingly in the stories of the maze-makers…
The myth of Daedalus – master craftsman who built King Minos’s maze – blends into real life through the story of artist Michael Ayrton, who became ‘possesed by the myth’ and wrote two fictional autobiographies on Daedalus as well as becoming the first man to cast real honeycomb out of gold – as the mythic craftsman is fabled to have done.
Then there is the story of Greg Bright – the real life ‘Maze King’ – who briefly rose to fame and then disappeared off the face of the Earth, leading to myths that he may have got lost in one of his own mazes!
As Greg’s story unravels through the book, it reveals another path – that of Henry Elliot – and the research journey he went on in writing it. A truly fun and fascinating read, I had a great time discussing it all with Henry at our event in Libreria…
Want to find out more? Head to our bookshop Libreria to pick up a copy of Follow This Thread.