Thursday, January 19, 2006

Cyclopean Tower

I've been thinking about the lighthouse as a mythological symbol. The fire on the hill, the flash of light that that warns one of danger in the blackest night.

The references that come to mind are mostly modern, however. The early sections of Joyce's Ulysses, where Stephen and Buck are living in the martello tower (not exactly a lighthouse, I know). They Might Be Giants song Birdhouse in Your Soul which talks of killing off Jason and "countless, screaming argonauts" instead of keeping the beaches "shipwreck free".

Is it simply the idea of the tower? Or is there something specific and special about the one-eyed tower overlooking the rocky waters?

I would be interested if anyone else could provide examples of the lighthouse as a mythological symbol.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's not exactly mythical, but Ray Bradbury's short story, "Fog Horn" is about a sea monster that attacks a lighthouse.

The story is online to read at