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“Mermaid Discovery Guide”

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“Mermaid Discovery Guide”

Interesting and fundamental essay to have a broad and profound vision of the myth of the Sirens. “Guide to the discovery of the sirens” by Serenella Quarello and Fabiana Bocchi, published by Nicola Pesce Editore, is a book in which history and legend intersect, giving life to a reading with a strong expressive power, as the authors do not limit themselves to a simple listings of the various types of sirens present in the legends scattered around the world but analyzes their birth and belief.

The work starts from the most famous and well-known sirens in literature, i.e. those born from the hand of Homer in the Odyssey to reach the present day, yes, sightings have also occurred in this ultra-technological era.

These creatures, linked to the element of water, over the centuries and based on local folklore have taken on different forms and the famous fish tail was not a prerogative of the beginnings, as in classical culture they were always represented with female faces but with the lower part with limbs of birds of prey.

The main element is her nature as an enchantress, bewitching the unfortunate sailor she attracted him to herself with her voice and then locked in a deadly embrace. Very particular creatures that are present wherever there is a stream, a lake, a pond and according to traditions they can be bearers of luck or misfortune, even if at the base of their stories there is always a dramatic story,

From the Mediterranean to Northern Europe, from the Middle East to Caribbean America, every civilization has its own sirens, whose name varies, they merge and blend together but who, especially in the Middle Ages, are mentioned in bestiaries, one of the first forms of cataloging of living beings on the planet, in which they are considered the devil, they embody temptation, vice and corruption, so much so that they are often represented while looking in the mirror brushing their long hair, elements that symbolize lust and female vanity.

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Their tormented love stories with human beings, with a tragic ending, have become over the centuries works of art, from theater to paintings, from novels to cinema, in which there are aspects of revenge against those who have taken game of them.

Also in distant Japan there is a sea creature called Ningyo, mentioned in texts from the Edo period, described as a woman with a fish tail but with an ape-like face, possessing a vibrant voice which instead of attracting sailors shuns them. Characteristic is that many have tried to capture her to eat her, as her flesh would give immortality.

This reading takes the reader on a fantastic journey, in which many elements intertwine, reaching a point where one wonders if all this is based only on the imagination of the human being. These almost magical creatures have been a source of inspiration for artists but also elements of scams for unsuspecting gullible people like the famous Fijian mermaid.

Whether they exist or not, thinking that in the midst of the waves there may be a beautiful girl with her harmonious song that calls to herself, has a charm that goes beyond time and reality.

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