Tristan & Isolde


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Cista Mystica presents Martin Shaw’s new version of Tristan and Isolde. This is the first volume from a major body of work Shaw has been creating over the past few years. From the primordial caves of antiquity and up through the pagan imagination and Christian mysticism, Shaw wanders centuries, stories and ideas that reconsecrate our relationship to a living earth.

Based within the Celtic fringe of Britain, Tristan and Isolde is a dazzling exegesis of love, both disarmingly psychological and profoundly mythological. Shaw’s version heightens the latent Dionysian tensions and at the same time masterfully transmits a story that can be located in the experience of every reader.

‘We’d loved till we were beyond speech, or civility, or even humanness. We were fiery planets colliding in the black bed of space. We’d been stretched heavenly like lute strings, snapped harsh a hundred times over. We were so dumbed by love we couldn’t even recognise transgression, maybe only initiation.’

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Cista Mystica Press. Hardcover.


The new series from Cista Mystica Press


Praise for Martin Shaw

 ‘With potent, lyrical language and a profound knowledge of storytelling, Shaw encourages and illuminates the mythic in our own lives. He is a modern-day bard.’

Madeline Miller, author of Circe and winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction

‘A true master. One of the very greatest storytellers we have.’

Robert Bly, author of Iron John

‘Martin Shaw is listening to myths, dreams, the earth itself, the animals. He is a true shaman.’

Coleman Barks, author of The Essential Rumi

‘Radical eloquence.’

Stephen Jenkinson, author of Die Wise

‘Piratical brilliance.’

David Abram, author of Becoming Animal 

‘A consummate mythteller.’

Bill Plotkin, author of Wild Mind

‘Fierce courage and audacious wildness.’

Jay Griffiths, author of Wild

‘Martin Shaw is that rare teacher whose soul is a harp string strung between the urgency of heartbreak and the joyful ferocity of hope.’

Ariel Burger, author of Witness

‘Without exaggeration, the most powerful writer of prose I have read.’

Stephen Harrod Buhner, author of Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm


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