This 55-minute shadow-puppet movie is based on our limited-edition Herakles and the Eurystheusian Twelve-Step Program.
It is available for $20.00.
Lawrence G. Van Velzer
Christopher L. Graham
Christopher L. Graham
Original music written and performed by:
John M. Bower
Exclusive interview with the author:
Publisher: First of all, can't you spell Hercules the way others do?
Author: Yes, if I were Roman I could spell Hercules the way Romans do, but since I'm Greek I spell it Herakles.
Publisher: You're not Greek, you're Dutch.
Author: I'm actually Californian, but the point is I use the Greek spelling rather than the Roman.
Publisher: Greek mythology is kind of quaint at this point in time, what with the ipod and iphone and Batman. Why Herakles? Why a twelve-step program? How is this relevant to a modern book collector?
Author: If I give you drink do you not abuse your wife and steal money from your friends?
Publisher: Actually, no.
Author: Well, what could be a better time to learn something from our past? Half of us are in some kind of twelve-step program and the other half should be. Our economy needs a twelve-step program; ditto the environment, our congress and the policy wonks driving our foreign policy.
Publisher: Herakles, as least in the beginning, is so angry. I don't remember him being that angry. Did you make that up?
Author: MAKE IT UP!!! Sorry. Make it up? No, no. If you read your Greek mythology you'll find that everything I've written about Herakles is true. The twelve-step program I've written about is what at the time would have been called a set of Labors. Eurystheus didn't have a lot of research to fall back on. He had to make it up as he went along. You have to give the man credit.
Publisher: It's mythology. It's in public domain. Why should I give credit to anyone?
Author: Sure, fine. I'll take away your horoscope, the muses, Aphrodite, and see how you get through the day.
Publisher: I would get through the day.
Author: How about the night. Try it without Hypnos.
Publisher: I like the illustrations a lot. What can you tell me about them. They don't look like traditional Greek vase painting to me.
Author: That's because the Greek vase painters were in the business of selling vases. They would have had kittens on all the vases if it would sell vases. What we have here is journalism.
Author: Eye witness accounts.
Publisher: Are we still talking about Greek mythology?
Author: Sure. But these illustrations were done on the run as you can imagine they would have been, if you were to keep up with Herakles.
Publisher: Has this book been vetted by any Greek scholars?
Author: I know what you're implying and the answer is yes. A genuine Greek scholar read the manuscript before it was ever put into type. This is a man with decades of teaching behind him and he has even written books on the subject.
Publisher: And what did this scholar conclude?
Author: He agreed with me that the name should be spelled Herakles.
Publisher: Did he have anything else to comment on in your handling of Herakles's story?
Author: He had no other complaints.
Publisher: Other that what?
Author: Well, it wasn't exactly a complaint.
Publisher: What was it?
Author: He laughed.
Publisher: You could read that in a couple of ways.
Author: No. It was clearly a laugh of approval.
Publisher: I find the binding unusual.
Author: Yes. It has been designed to separate the twelve Steps or Labors into single pages that fold out and terminate in an illustrated vase. The book can be read while lying flat in the common manner or standing up with the pages extended for displaying several vase paintings at once.
Publisher: Who should buy this book?
Author: This book should be bought by anyone who owes me money, anyone who loves literature, cares about the letters (Greek or Roman); those who want to enhance their public or private libraries, and to further the Greek cause.
Publisher: What Greek cause?
Author: Oh, the immortals haven't been getting the respect they used to. We take them for granted now and it's our loss.
Publisher: What would we get that we don't have now?
Author: We fight over our gods. If we went back to the Greeks, we could be at peace and let the gods fight in our place. That's practically all they do.
Publisher: Thanks for that thought but it'll never happen.
Author: I won't lose any sleep over it.
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