MAGDALENA – an introduction by the author
Magdalena started out about eight years ago as a reconstructed autobiography in verse
of Mary Magdalene, based in part on the confusion of Maries in the New Testament,
in part on the Apocryphal Gospels, and reinvigorated by a journey through the South
of France that included sites associated with her.
The present text is an expansion of the original poems. The collection now includes
characters like the necromancer, who profits from superstitions and myths
surrounding Mary who is herself , after death, still bound to her earthly existence,
imprisoned in her own skull in the rituals that are associated with the annual
procession it takes through the streets of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. The
mention of a potent charm given to her by an admirer perhaps complicates the picture,
as does her desire to find her own God reincarnated, which draws her, in the mid 20th
century to Manubehn, the niece of Mahatma Ghandi.
So Mary is a character with whose humanity the reader can empathize, but also a
mystic who takes out of body journeys, a devotee of her living God, an object of
worship herself, a disembodied spirit, and through all her multi-faceted existence
retains this humanity at her core.