Who is Dick Hercules? That is the question everyone is asking. Actually, that’s not true. For example, you are not. And no one else is, either. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be. It only means you don’t know you should be.
Diklitous Phantasos Hercules is the second most noteworthy personage to hail from the tiny village of Potamós on the Greek island of Kythira, the first most noteworthy being of course Venus, Goddess of Love. Throughout much of history, Kythira was a crossroads for merchants, sailors, and conquerors. Thus it is in such environments that Mr. Hercules is most at home. But he is equally content in quiet contemplation on a high hill under the stars, where often he can be found creating poetry.
Yes, Dick is a poet, perhaps of the highest order. Or perhaps of dubious merit. This is a point of much contention among the poetic elite. His reputation as an adventurist and rapscallion cloud the debate, as some academics discount him as a mindless brute.
Facts About Dick
- He left home at the age of twelve after his parents left home first without telling him where they were going, or that they weren’t coming back.
- His first afternoon as an orphan was spent wandering in the mountains near Potamós, where he chanced upon the great Disomynomous Johnson, the shepherd well-known for herding Greek sheep in English. That afternoon, Dick mastered his first foreign tongue.
- On Dick’s second afternoon as an orphan, he found work on a fishing boat whose captain taught him the art of whispering to Sea Creatures.
- On his third afternoon, Dick grew restless and embarked upon a swim across the Mediterranean. When he reached the Straits of Gibraltar, he felt so good he decided to continue swimming West. Three days later he found himself in The Hamptons, thus becoming the first mortal to swim across the Atlantic. Although this is disputed by some who say he cheated by using whales to convey him at night while he star-gazed upon their backs.
Shortly after wading ashore, Dick’s belly was full of cocktails offered him by the posh family whose property he’d landed at, and within the hour he’d decided to join the U.S. Army. As a common foot soldier, he took part in a Great Battle and accomplished a Feat of Strength. After just two years of service, he’d logged seven Feats of Strength and worked his way up to Brigadier General, a rank to which no teen had ever risen, and to which Dick hadn’t necessarily wanted to. Twenty-seven minutes after his promotion, Dick retired from the service and hopped aboard a merchant marine vessel bound for the Philippines, where he’d heard there was good money in bare knuckle-boxing. It was in Manila that Dick’s legendary rapscallionism first emerged. But that story is told elsewhere.
In his nineteenth summer, Dick left Manila for Hong Kong, where he reveled in brothels and wrote three of his most popular action-thrillers – The Hercules Initiative, The Hercules Imperative, and Hercules Visits the Circus. Each of these bestsellers has been translated into 43 languages, most of them by Dick himself. He writes all his novels in his native Greek before translating them into English, and then translating them from English into other languages that he can then translate into yet others. It is this “multiplicity of layers” to which he attributes his appeal to readers across the globe.
But of course it is his poetry for which he is most adored. Or despised.
And you won’t find any of it in this post.