PHOTOGRAPHY: The Voyages of Ulysses by Erich Lessing

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29 012 This is the book for the weary traveler and for the aficionado of the ancient world of man and his myths. The Voyages of Ulysses by Erich Lessing is the book for those who have read Ulysses, that great literary saga by James Joyce.

It is no less a book for the photographer and the indefatigable researcher who is ready to give up at times, but goes on anyway not knowing where his path will lead him. It is a book for wanderers and wondrous thinkers who can marvel about how the classical world influenced us and society until this very day.

The book was published in 1965 in Germany and the story is so unique and so pointedly created assembling the many different elements like a great cook would do in his kitchen preparing a feast for the invited. It also echoes precisely the reasons why I have written so many posts for this imaginary museum (this blog) you go through at your speed and with the topics that interest you.

A few words and a brief bio about Erich Lessing’s photography that is outstanding and my scanner and camera nor my skills will come close in my wildest dreams to supplying images for this post, but imperfections are for the living, the rest is for the Gods, who will I am sure, gladly embrace him in their proverbial midst.

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It would be unfair to the other collaborators on the book not to mention them but let us go to start of the story, the publisher’s preface. As usual the red underlining is mine.

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Collaborators on the book are the following: Michel Gall, a French journalist, filmmaker, editor for Paris Match, Marie Claire and has a number of books to his name. During the seventies he lived in Los Angeles. He is also known by the pseudonym of Humphrey Richardson, under this name he wrote a book in English with the title The Sexual Life of Robinson Crusoe, in 1955.

Professor C. Kerényi, an Hungarian expert in Greek mythology, his scientific interpretation of the figures of Greek mythology as archetypes of the human soul was in line with the approach of the Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. Together with Jung he endeavored to establish mythology as a science in its own right. His daughter curated the Pictorial index.

The Voyages of Ulysses is a beautifully produced 261 page book, the binding has a greyish textured linen cloth covering the boards with a  stamped Grecian ship on the front. It is an over-sized folio format of 12″ x 15″ and divided into into 8 sections, including the Publisher’s Preface and the Pictorial and Literary Index shown below.

29 017Irrespective of whether you are interested in archeology or mythology or just plain old travel to the cradle of a 2000 plus year old Western Culture, you’ll be glad if you did it with the help of this book. I am glad I did!

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