Department header
Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories welcomes...

Patrick Kelly Morgan

Patrick Morgan teaches a course on Mesopotamian erotic magic at the University of Michigan. There, now. That announcement alone will bring a fresh influx of students, I’m sure. And Ann Arbor will acquire even more of a reputation for being a fun and interesting place to be.

Perhaps Patrick can answer a question that has been bugging me for a while. The subject is many centuries and countries removed from the Near East, but it’s of the same order. What is the role of the philtre — the love potion — in the story of Tristan and Yseult? Celtic magic it definitely is, and the potion may qualify Brangien — Yseult’s handmaiden — as a kind of hapless sorceress. But why is the potion needed in the first place, let alone as a device to put in the story in motion? Does it simply underscore the difference between a marriage of political convenience and that of romantic love? Possibly, but that explanation seems very limp: the lais of Marie de France do quite well without resorting to drugs. There’s a lot more going on here. Patrick, can you tell us what it might be?

Patrick’s first contribution to Bewildering Stories is “Orange Julius,” which has to do with magic. It’s playful and funny, but I will never look at a plate of pasta again without wondering what antics it may have caused the poor cook to perform.

Welcome to Bewildering Stories, Patrick! We hope to hear from you again soon and often.

Patrick’s bio sketch can be accessed here.

Copyright © 2005 by Bewildering Stories

Home Page