Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Legacy of Mata Hari

Here are four books on Mata Hari which arrived to me this week - new additions to my collection. The newest (Femme Fatale) was published in 2007, the oldest (the one in black and white, by Baumgarten) was published in 1934. 

It is amazing that this woman left to us so little and her memory still reverberates so much. Of her, we have some pictures, a few articles on newspapers, scattered letters to different people, and unsubstantiated stories and rumors. And yet, books about her have been written starting shortly after her death, in 1917, and continue being written.

Mata Hari's memory seems to be growing instead of shrinking. It is the power of mythopoiesis which makes ideas and memories invade the vast space that Aboriginal Australians call Dreamtime and grow bigger over the years.

There is at least another case of a person who is still very well known two thousand years after his death and who left us very little except stories and legends, and some words written in the sand that no man ever read.  The immense power of mythopoiesis.

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