Cast out of reality in the Labyrinth on the Sea: Zbigniew Herbert’s Crete and its myth
Labyrinth on the Sea, the 1973 collection of essays by the Polish poet Z. Herbert, was a fruit of his journey to Crete in 1964, but due to political circumstances the book appeared only posthumously, in 2000. Herbert’s encounter with Crete reads as a privileged pilgrimage on the one hand, and an empirical inspection of mythical reality on the other. This survivor from the twentieth-century history perceives the Cretan landscape as mediating between Greek antiquity and contemporaneity, and finds the key to its description in compassion. His meditations are contextualised in this paper by Freud, Eliade and Campbell writing on the (un)reality of myth.