Our New Podcast Is Here!

Travel with us from indigenous Venezuela to Ancient Greece to modern Amsterdam in our first episode...

Mythology – Part One

At Asymptote we always try to experiment with different kinds of multimedia, and celebrate the full spectrum of language from the written to the visual to the spoken… So one day we thought: let’s make a podcast!

And here it is, our all-new audio adventure in which we explore some of the most fascinating ideas and issues in international literature. In each episode we’ll be making use of our global scope and travelling far and wide to bring you an eclectic sampler of interviews, readings and mini-documentaries from all over the literary world.

This quarter, we’re delving further into the Mythology theme of our October issue. These myths may be ancient, but they are far from dead. They’re the stories that define who we are today, our fantasies and our fears, our memories and our misconceptions.

In part one, we investigate two mythological mysteries. Erin Gilbert explores the cult of Maria Lionza, the shape-shifting, skin-shedding Venezuelan goddess who can’t even be pinned down by her own name. And Emma Jacobs follows the trail of the labyrinth from Ancient Crete to the modern metropolis, asking why it is that we’re both enticed by and terrified of what lurks at the center of the maze. Plus Norwegian writer Jan Grue reads from his electrifying story “The Minotaur”, in which the mythological beast is spliced into Amsterdam’s red-light district.

So jump right in! You can listen here or download it for later, and very soon you’ll be able to subscribe on iTunes (for free, of course) so you can get automatic updates when new episodes go live—easy as that.

And if you enjoy what you hear, keep an ear out in the coming weeks for part two, which will feature stories on the magic of Georgian folk music and the secret Israel hidden behind the myths. Not to be missed!

We’re currently holding an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for next year’s projects, of which this podcast is one. If this podcast or blog has added anything at all to your day, consider a small donation to keep us going. Thank you!

And if you’d like to get involved with the making of the podcast, now’s your chance! We’re looking for new team members with audio editing experience to help develop this exciting project, so if you’re interested check out the details here and email us now at podcast@asymptotejournal.com.


Episode produced by: Emma Jacobs, Erin Gilbert, Florian Duijsens, Kate Nic Dhomhnaill, Mirza Puric and Tim Ellison.

Music: “Silver” by Jahzzar; “Nocturno #2” by Maria Pien; “Rites” by Kevin McLeod; “Dolor Patriarcal” by Takanakuy; “Espionage at Noon” by Ergo Phizmiz; “miXmi” by Kosta T; “Lumien” by Jari Pitkanen; and “Philae” by Simon Mathewson. Creative Commons licenses can be found at http://freemusicarchive.org/. Some changes have been made to these tracks.


Emma Jacobs is an assistant editor at Asymptote, and also edits for Zero Books and 3:AM Magazine. She recently completed a degree in Literature at the University of Warwick. She’s currently based in London but will be heading to the U.S. at the start of 2015, somewhere or other on the West Coast.

Erin Morgan Gilbert is a belletrist whose work appears in a range of publications including AGNI online, the Ilanot Review, and Structo. She is an assistant editor at Asymptote, a college composition instructor, and a creative writing teacher at Hugo House in Seattle. She used to dance tango in the follow role, but now she’s learning to lead.

Jan Grue lives in Oslo, Norway and works at the university in that city. He holds a Ph.D. in linguistics and tries very hard to forget about that fact when writing fiction. “The Minotaur” is from his third book of stories, Kropp og sinn (Body and Mind). His first collection was called Alt under kontroll (Everything Under Control), although it clearly isn’t.