Tuesday, 17 December 2013
The Parliament Of Rooks II
the nameless one;
The story that Adam began as a hermaphrodite parallels a story in Plato. There is already a daughter of Lilith in The Sandman. Lilith and her children are major players in the sequel series, Mike Carey's Lucifer. CS Lewis mentions that the White Witch of Narnia is descended from Lilith. I have been told that Lilith is mentioned only once and not by name in canonical scripture.
Eve quotes the Midrash as stating that Adam, having witnessed the step by step creation of the nameless wife, "...wouldn't touch her...'He saw her full of secretions and blood.'" (p. 215). Detailed descriptions of the disgusting contents of human bodies are one Buddhist way of teaching non-attachment to bodies.
"But some say Adam married only once. And they speak truly too." (p. 217)
How can it be true both that he married three times and that he married only once? Because these are stories and stories exist in different versions. We have known that since we first read a book and saw the film but it was already true in the Bible and in Greek myth.
(xiii) Abel's story presents what I think is the original appearance of the "Li'l Death" and "Li'l Morpheus" cartoon parodies of Death and Dream (p. 218).
(xiv) Matthew, who was a man before he was a raven, speaks for the readers when he asks:
"Look, can I ask a dumb question? All this Biblical stuff. I mean, how true is it? Are you guys the real Cain and Abel? Are you the real Eve? And I mean, y'know, how does it all tie in with cavemen and dinosaurs and all that shit?" (p. 221)
It is a relief that there is a character who can ask this question on our behalf and Abel says just enough to reassure us:
"Oh, this whuwasn't on Earth, thuh thu..." (ibid.)
It was in the Dreaming or in a closely related mythical space, not on the physical Earth.
(xv) Cain silences Abel with a clever misquotation of a common phrase:
"What's the point in having secrets and mysteries if you're going to blab them to every tom-tit, dicky-bird and...and harrier?" (ibid.)
(xvi) Matthew tells Cain that he sounds like Vincent Price, Cain replies, "That bargain basement vaudevillian? He sounds nothing like me..." (p. 209) and we think, "Yes, Price could have played Cain."