Fantasy

[blog tour] Of Poseidon

Welcome to the first stop on the official Of Poseidon Blog Tour! As an early reader, I’ve been spreading the word about this wonderfully entertaining novel to everyone I know, and I’m so excited to be part of this tour.

Today, author Anna Banks stops by to talk about the numerous depictions of mermaids in art. Despite the uncertainty of their existence, mermaids have continued to captivate people the world over. The visual media ranges from paintings to sculptures and each piece of art tells the story of an undying fascination with the sea and its mysteries. Take it away, Anna!

Mermaids A La Art

Okay, so when I was doing research for this guest post, I figured I’d dissect some old school paintings of mermaids, make fun of a few, and call it a day (because yes, I’m that mature). Well, I still might do that a little, but I want to point out something important first. Something that bothered me a little.

So. I Googled “Mermaid paintings” and “Mermaid art”. All the old reliables pulled up. You know what I’m talking about. Lovely mermaids with long flowing hair and elegant fins who are perched on sea rocks luring fishermen to a most pleasant death. Kind of like this very famous painting, A Mermaid (John William Waterhouse).

The thing that bothered me was: All the mermaids readily Google-able were European-looking. Not that this painting is not beautiful and the mermaid is not glorious. It is. She is. I even love that she doesn’t have a perfect body, that it’s a realistic build. There’s beauty in that.

And it’s not that Europeans didn’t spot them some mermaids from time to time. Even Christopher Columbus claimed to have seen three mermaids. But from his description, he wasn’t very impressed, because they “were not as pretty as they are depicted, for somehow in the face they look like a man.” (May propose this: It could have very well been a merman? And also: Duh.)

But scientifically, not all mermaids could be like the painting above, right? You see, there are many different kinds of people from many different places on earth. There are many different kinds of fish from many different parts of the ocean. It would be reasonable to assume then that there are many different kinds of mermaids as well, yes? And if so, surely these many different kinds of people have seen mermaids in their many different places on earth, right? Right???

The answer is yes. Mermaids have been sighted everywhere, apparently. And here are some of my favorite depictions of non-European-looking mermaids:

Africa has the Mami Wata, or Mother of Waters, pictured above. They believe her to be a water spirit. Pictured below is another rendition of her in wood sculpture form, called Dona Fish, created circa 1950-1960, originating from the Ovimbundu peoples. Cool, huh?

And who are in a better position to spot mermaids than the Hawaiians, hmmm?

Even the Japanese have their version of mermaids. In fact, a very famous  “mermaid” is thought to have originated from the Japanese, who perfected the art of sewing the torso of a monkey to the bottom half of a fish. Below is the famous Banff Merman, fashioned in this art style and on display at the Indian Trading Post:

So what is the point of all this? Of course, it is to prove that mermaids are real. They have
to be. Everyone, everywhere has seen them. Even ones with buttcracks, apparently (sorry,
couldn’t help myself):

Merman by Bruce Lennon & The Mermaid’s Friend by John Silver

Thanks Anna! My own favourite depiction of mermaids isn’t exactly classical art, but it’s absolutely breathtaking, and hearkens back to the original legend of The Little Mermaid:

My Dearest Prince by ~Alicechan

Want more Of Poseidon? Comment below or on my review of the book with your email address and/or Twitter handle to win a finished copy or an audiobook! I’ll be picking winners at the end of the tour. (US/Canada only)

Tuesday, May 22: Two Chicks on Books

Wednesday, May 23: Live To Read

Thursday, May 24: Jana The Book Goddess

Friday, May 25: Moonlight Book Reviews

Saturday, May 26: A Cupcake and a Latte

Sunday, May 27: YA Sisterhood

Monday, May 28: Into the Hall of Books

Tuesday, May 29: The Book Cellar

Wednesday, May 30: Bookalicious

Thursday, May 31: Good Choice Reading

Friday, June 1: Pretty Deadly Reviews

Saturday, June 2: That Artsy Reader Girl

Watch the beautiful trailer:

–read my review, and find out more about Ms. Banks in my Mermaid Month interview with her.

About Anna

Anna Banks grew up in a small town called Niceville (yes, really). She now lives in Crestview, Florida, with her husband and their daughter. Of Poseidon is her debut novel.

Add Of Poseidon on Goodreads | Follow Anna on Twitter @byannabanks | Visit Anna’s website

Order Of Poseidon from Amazon | Book Depository | Chapters

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20 replies »

  1. I am very much with you on the My Dearest Prince by Alicechan. It’s very Little Mermaid like and I now need a copy/print of it! Seriously I can not believe I had never seen that before, especially seeing The Little Mermaid is mine and my daughters fav!! Love the post and no one could have started this tour out better than you!!
    @Tiff_Mahaffy

    t.mahaffy25 (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. I seriously need my own print of that artwork!!! Gorgeous. All of the different mermaid lore is very alluring. Great post!! I loved it.

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  3. What a wonderful post! I share that similar belief with Ms. Banks. Though, I tend to love the very fishy looking mermaids. And, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Of Poseidon. It’s quickly jumping to the top of my TBR list.

    @Secretly_Samus

  4. Lol i love the pictures of all the mermaids:)) I can’t wait to read this book!!! But totally unrelated but kinda related.. Have you seen Splash(kinda an old movie depending on how you look at it) or Aquamarine??
    Twitter: @immabelieve

  5. After sooo many books about vampires and werewolves, reading a mermaid book must be really refreshing! I can’t wait to get my grubbies on Of Poseidon 🙂 My favorite picture from above is definitely My Dearest Prince. How captivating!

    Thank you for hosting this tour, and thanks for the opportunity to win!

    Twitter: @BlookGirl

  6. I’m terribly jealous you got to read this early, but I am eager to get my hands on a copy. I’m not the typical YA reader/reviewer, but I do love reading and posting reviews to support writers for all the YA goodness I read. OF POSEIDON has been on my TBR pile forEVer. So, thank you for the opportunity to win a copy. I’d love to have a chance to read my very first mermaid story. I love the artwork for My Dearest Prince, and the trailer for this book looks amazing. I’ll stop now before I inadvertently make an inappropriate reference to the buttcrack mermaids/mermen. *ahem*
    my twitter is: @gdcribbs

  7. Great post! Although I haven’t read that many mermaid books, I do enjoy them and love finding new ones. This novel sounds great. And I love finding Florida authors!

  8. Haha, I didn’t even realize her butt crack was showing. That’s such a silly picture. My Dearest Prince is, like you said, absolutely breathtaking. I love it! Some people are just so talented that I wish I had money to pay them to keep making art.

    @michellelong_15

  9. I really want to read Of Poseidon and I love the book cover. Thank you for the chance and giveaway! 🙂

    linda_flor019 [at] hotmail [dot] com

  10. This is such an original way of talking about a book! How cool is it to see all the different aesthetic takes and artistic portrayals of mermaids:) I love how each culture adds to the myth.

    Of Poseidon sounds awesome! Thanks for the giveaway:)

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

    @christinafiorio on twitter

  11. This boom sounds so amazing I have been wanting go read it so bad for a while now. Thanks for a chance to win a copy. The pictures are beautiful and thanks for the interesting post I didn’t realize there are so many different types of legends about mermaids its interesting to see all the different types of cultures and their take on mermaids.
    bridget.howard@hotmail.com

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