Outset and Terminus

John William Waterhouse [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“From bodies various form’d, mutative shapes

My Muse would sing:—Celestial powers give aid!

From you those changes sprung,—inspire my pen;

Connect each period of my venturous song

Unsever’d, from old Chaös’ rude misrule,

Till now the world beneath Augustus smiles.”

— Ovid.

Stories use metaphors, they often are metaphors.  They require metamorphosis — the hero (or heroine) transforms himself; he gains something he lacks, he suffers a type of death, he is resurrected, but he never remains as he was, or there would be no story, he would never have life. 

Yet there is an underlying subject, the hero, who before his metamorphosis is in some way connected (although perhaps not identical) to who, or what, he becomes.  We are all heros (or antiheroes, nevertheless subjects) of our own stories and histories.  I suggest that personal identity is not static:  Identity is altered but rooted in, defined by, our social relations that are fluid, including relationships between the hero and his family, his friends, his community, and even his enemies.  They are also reflected in the relationships he has with the many selves he houses within himself; these may coexist or they may struggle internally.  We are often our own worst enemies, often fighting ourselves to the death.  Sadly, we are rarely our own best friends.

Metaphors and metamorphosis are mutually reflective.  We see this especially clearly in Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis and in stories of metamorphoses generally.  Metamorphosis is used as a metaphor for a person’s life, death, and rebirth.  All life is a metamorphosis that we interpret and  through metaphor. 

This website is dedicated to stories and metaphors of life, death, and resurrection – to change, transformation, metamorphosis.  They include myths, faery tales, allegories, personal histories, and stories and commentaries about persons, real and imagined.  These stories are not always fiction, not always nonfiction, but do combine them, as there is fiction in nonfiction and nonfiction in fiction.  We present some of these stories here, some in words and others in pictures, some together.  We also invite our readers to share their metamorphoses and metaphors with us, to share their own stories, both pictorial and reported.

© Copyright 2019, Metamorphorica

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