The Song and the Swallow: Authenticity and Love
by Matthew Anghelos March

"...nothing is ever gained chasing a siren’s call, and there will always be casualties of the heart and mind, and sometimes, human lives."

Archetypes from Greek mythology, specifically those embodied by Medusa and Perseus, are used in this philosophical discussion of identity, doubt, and authentic love. The author uses the call of the sirens to discuss the nature of making personal choices and the consequences found therein. Medusa is used to explain the concept of the devouring mother, which is the obstacle preventing Perseus from becoming a more self-realized individual. From here, the discussion expands into developing a tool to help recognize authentic and inauthentic love. The means given is a flower-shaped Venn diagram accompanied by a series of questions and ruminations designed as instruments for the reader to use to help reach their own conclusions.

March’s writing is accessible and thought-provoking. Although the text is cerebral, the author inserts bits of humor and pop culture references to help keep the audience engaged and not become mentally overwhelmed. There are many insights and a good discussion about understanding archetypes and how to properly identify with and distance the individual from them. Also, well-written passages encourage the individual to cut ties with what is comfortable and seek the difficulties necessary for personal growth. The book is written in a style that tends to circle a subject rather than approach it in a straightforward manner, leading to digressions that can sometimes hinder the overall cohesive direction and focus of the piece. However, those who enjoy the offered topics of discussion and prefer sitting through an unhurried, broad philosophical lecture from a knowledgeable orator will likely savor this work as they soak it in.

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