Civilization Retelling the Myth of the Minotaur

Akgün B.

Translating Myth Conference, Colchester , United Kingdom, 5 - 07 September 2013, pp.13

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Colchester
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Page Numbers: pp.13
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Victor Pelevin's The Helmet of Horror and Toby Whithouse's Doctor Who episode "The God Complex" are both retellings of the classical myth of the Minotaur and the labyrinth of Crete. Both retellings, each serving as a labyrinth in itself, claim that myths are expressions of the subconscious frustration, and question the possibility of progress  and civilization. The texts also point to the fact that Theseus (the victim) and the Minotaur (the victimizer) can be the one and same character while the myth can be interpreted as the homebound quest of the hero as well as the brutal sacrifice of the monster. While Ariadne's thread is replaced by a chat thread started by the character with the screen-name Ariadne in Pelevin's novel and by the notes of Lucy in Whithouse's script, the labyrinth takes on many forms from the actual labyrinths as an extension of the rooms, in which the characters wake up at the beginning of the novel, or the bonkers prison designed to look like a hotel with its constantly changing rooms and corridors in the script, to the labyrinthine mosaics on the cathedral floors, a hardware model of Window's screen-saver called "maze" to the internet, brain, discourses and choices between several alternatives.  The repetitive killing of the Minotaur in The Helmet of Horror and the Minotaur's repetitive killing of his victims in "The God Complex," too, underline that everything--history, progress and/or civilization--is but the repetition of the same myth in slightly different forms.