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.’