The Double Tongue
In William Golding’s The Double Tongue, an aged prophetess at Delphi, the most sacred oracle in ancient Greece, looks back over her strange life as the Pythia, the First Lady and voice of the god Apollo. William Golding was a winner of the Nobel Prize for literature and author of Lord of the Flies.
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William Golding’s final novel, left in draft at his death, tells the story of a priestess of Apollo. Arieka is one of the last to prophesy at Delphi, in the shadowy years when the Romans were securing their grip on the tribes and cities of Greece. The plain, unloved daughter of a local grandee, she is rescued from the contempt and neglect of her family by her Delphic role. Her ambiguous attitude to the god and her belief in him seem to move in parallel with the decline of the god himself – but things are more complicated than they appear.