In Pelevin’s hands, the Minotaur is no longer a reminder of the union of human and beast but of human and machine; its head is a helmet that runs on reiterations of the past. Ariadne’s thread is re-imagined as a literal thread on an Internet forum where the characters discuss their situation and report their activities as they work towards escape. Finally, Pelevin’s novel multiplies the power of the labyrinth to enforce forgetfulness by structuring the story with a series of recursive metaphorical labyrinths, each of which suppresses memory in a different way. Pelevin’s novel dramatizes how both individuals and cultures use the past to make meaning in the present and thus illustrates the appeal of adaptations. The article closes with some suggestions for inviting students to reflect on the idea of adaptation, such as creating their own retellings, as well as for using the labyrinth as a theme for a larger study module.
The characters attempt to analyze each other’s labyrinths on the message board, but it is a highly unstable signifier. It is the site of devotion, repentance, and memory for UGLI 666, whose walk through it is a tour through her past. For Nutscracker, who suggests that the point is not the way out, but every next choice, it is a place of conflict between man and beast, a symbol of discourse, and a metaphor for life. Monstradamus finds a literal dead-end, and argues that all ends are dead, but some are less obviously so. Ariadne finds a release from reality in the form of dreams, although the dreams are also real.
Bacchus and Ariadne by TURCHI, Alessandro
 Among other things, of course; more even than the Minotaur or Ariadne’s thread, the labyrinth is open to a wide range of interpretations that are beyond the scope of this paper, which necessarily focuses on one particular aspect. On the labyrinth more generally, some useful starting places include Borgeaud, Deedes, Doob, Jaskolski, Kern, Matthews, and Santarcangeli.
Ariadne is alone in front of her cave
Given its prominence in the modern imagination, it will perhaps be surprising that the myth was not an especially central one in antiquity, and most of its figures are more celebrated for their after-stories. Theseus himself, perhaps as a result of conscious propagandizing in Athens in the 5th C. BCE, is primarily associated with the legends of his local labors. Ariadne, after being betrayed by Theseus, is rescued by Dionysus and becomes his consort. Daedalus, punished by Minos for aiding Theseus, escapes from Crete with the artificial wings that became so famous for costing his son Icarus his life. Neither the Minotaur nor the labyrinth that housed him appears in any other story. The labyrinth thus seems to exist primarily as a proving ground for Theseus. The story was not part of the epic cycle, and, although there were several lost tragedies dealing with it in the Classical period, it is really only a regular motif in Roman poetry of the late Republic and early Empire. However, the myth is very ancient and almost certainly predates Greek culture as we know it.
Three nymphs look on and lament her fate
When they arrived at Crete, Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, became enamoured of Theseus, and provided him with a sword with which he slew the Minotaur, and a clue of thread by which he found his way out of the labyrinth.