BOOK REVIEW / Twins studied: Twins and the Double - John Lash: Thames & Hudson, pounds 7.95

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Through the ages, twinning has been 'taboo', at once sacred and sinister. Greco-Roman mother-goddess figures suckle twins as all-powerful super-nurture; primitive representations of human doubles more often evoke the occult other or metaphoric twin, the dark side. Ancient Persia had twin gods, as did Mexico - Quetzalcoatl, Lord of the Morning Star, and his black counterpart Tezcatlipoca. In classical mythology, Clytemnestra repairs the havoc caused by her twin Helen. Everywhere, good and evil are intertwined. John Lash's fine short study of oral and visual lore, Twins and the Double (Thames & Hudson pounds 7.95), shows this image of Sedna, the Eskimo Ocean Goddess, full of zygotic eggs and nursing twin-headed progeny.

(Photograph omitted)