“I address you across more than three thousand years, you who live at the conjunction of the Fish and the Water-carrier,” speaks Daedalus, an artisan, inventor, and designer born into an utterly alien family of heroes who value acts of war above all else, a world where his fellow Greeks seem driven only to destroy—an existence he feels compelled to escape.
In this fictional autobiography of the father of Icarus, “Apollo’s creature,” a brilliant but flawed man, writer and sculptor Michael Ayrton harnesses the tales of the past to mold a myth for our times. We learn of Daedalus’s increasingly ambitious artifacts and inventions; his fascination with Minoan culture, commerce, and religion, and his efforts to adapt to them; how he comes to design the maze of the horned Minotaur; and how, when he decides that he must flee yet again, he builds two sets of wax wings—wings that will be instruments of his descent into the underworld, a place of both purgatory and rebirth.
A compelling mix of history, fable, lore, and meditations on the enigma of art, The Maze Maker will ensnare classicists, artists, and all lovers of story in its convolutions of life and legend. “I never understood the pattern of my life,” writes Daedalus, “so that I have blundered through it in a maze.”