Saturday, February 22, 2014

Guest Post: My Favourite Sphinxes In Fiction, by Thoraiya Dyer

Welcome again to The Book of Apex Blog Tour!  Today I am happy to host a guest post from Thoraiya Dyer, author of "The Second Card of the Major Arcana" in The Book of Apex, as well as a number of other works of short fiction.  The overall schedule of the blog tour can be found on Little Red Reviewer's site, here, so don't miss all the reviews, guest posts, interviews and giveaways.  Now, Thoraiya Dyer will introduce her favourite sphinxes in fiction!

My Favourite Sphinxes In Fiction

Sphinx. n. A mythical creature with the body of a lion and a human head.

I was first introduced to sphinxes in the Neverending Story film. My little brothers thought the pair were hilarious because they had boobs – right up until the moment their laser-eyes fried the knight in shining armour. I’m pretty sure we all screamed when the helm flew back and we saw the smoking, skeletal skull.

Important lesson: Don’t cross the sphinx.

My best friend in fourth grade later lent me the novel version of Michael Ende’s  Neverending Story. I found the book-version even more shivery-thrilling: The gaze of the sphinx freezes you until you answer all the riddles of the universe. The reason that the pair face each other is that only a sphinx can look into the eyes of another sphinx.

On my first trip overseas, I saw the Great Sphinx of Giza, and discovered that sphinxes could be men.

I saw more sphinxes flanking the throne of Astarte at the Temple of Eshmun in Lebanon, learned that that part of the Temple had been built in the Hellenistic period, and that the riddle-telling sphinx was originally Ancient Greek.

Astarte was a Phoenician goddess of fertility and of war, so I supposed the sphinx suited her – sexy woman-bits and powerful, war-like lion-bits.

It also gave me a delighted shiver to hear that in 300BCE, when those lion-bodies were carved, black lions roamed the Lebanon.

I loved the sphinx cameo in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

I ate up chapters on sphinxes in Greek mythology collections. It was inevitable that I would write a sphinx story, really.

I may even do it again.

Anyone else have any favourite sphinx tales?

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