Saturday, August 2, 2014

Eros & Thanatos

In these philosophical dialogues, questions of love, sex, death and retribution are explored by a group of characters representing a wide diversity and experience.

Unlike many books with a dialogue format, this one doesn't have a Socrates character who is always right. Each character brings some aspect of truth to the table and it is only through a clash of ideas and insights that they approach a solution to the problems they confront.

Catullus Kirkman is a young gay artist flirting with Christianity in spite of his parents' attempts to raise their children as good Roman Pagans. His angst over how, when and if to come out to his family form the backdrop for a discussion of sexual morality and the nature of love.

Germanicus is a devout Stoic whose dedication to rational abstraction rarely ports well to his personal life. His attempt to help his brothers with their respective struggles forces him into a deeper engagement with the complexities of truth, and the importance of the emotional life.

If Nietzsche does philosophy with a hammer, Juvenal does it with a chainsaw. Haunted by the restless spirit of a murdered child, he delves into the morality of necromancy, life after death and the nature of justice as he discerns whether to become the instrument of its bloody vengeance.

Get it here.

UPDATE: Now available on here.


  1. Melinda is too modest to express just how amazing this book is. Some readers of this blog may not know that Melinda's first love is as a writer of fiction. The great thing about these dialogues is that she is able to bring her literary and imaginative talents to bear on the social, moral and philosophical issues she writes about in this space and in articles published elsewhere.

    The dialogue format, popular among philosophers for centuries, is all too often a merely didactic device to present arguments in a more popular or digestible way. Eros and Thanatos, on the other hand, while being philosophically rigorous, owe no less of their power to poetry and Greek tragedy. The characters are convincing and interesting, not just hangers for certain positions. The only thing I know of that is like this book is Iris Murdoch's Acastos. The books are of similar quality, but while Murdoch's characters are ancient Greeks, Melinda's are thoroughly modern and her plots are much more ambitious and engaging.

    I would also add, in another correction to modesty, that the three portraits above are also done by Melinda. She started with photos of busts of ancient Roman worthies and photoshopped from there.

    Okay, Melinda, there's my plug for your book. Did I earn my case of beer?

  2. Aaaaaaahh I'm so excited it's out! Yay!

  3. sound great, i gona read it. thanks


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