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From: "Roy C. Lackey" <rclackey@stic.net>
Subject: (urth) The redhead
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 01:45:18 

Matthew and Jeff Wilson wrote, respectively:

>> Where does it say that a Presidential term is only four years in *that*
>> universe?

>Indeed. Perhaps the NP is himself a replacement from another timeline
>where he was a junior politico. References to disasters and unrest that
>we don't see could be pointing to events there.

There are no justifications within the story to indicate that it takes place
in a world much, if any, different from our own. And the NP seems to have
obtained his position in the usual way: "He murmured comforting words, his
friendship with Boone and Marsha, the great contribution Boone had made to
his administration. After a time that seemed long, the silent TV showed him
with Boone, with Boone and Marsha, with Boone at the convention." and: "I
had been working hard. Not only after my inauguration, but for more than a
year before it. Working twelve or thirteen hours every day without a break."
Plus, he has concerns for the next election.

BTW, before it gets repeated any more, unless there's another one I don't
know about, Spokane is in the state of Washington, not Idaho. <g>

Rostrum wrote:

>Although I'm not sure how (if?) it fits with the creation narratives in
>Genesis, the Lilith myth seems to take place before the Fall.  There is a
>tradition that before the Fall, humanity and all of nature were different,
>more glorious.  This accounts for Adam's godlike appearance, his authority
>to condemn Lilith, and for the weirdness of the place where the new
>President ends up; he's in the unfallen Eden where the trees sing and the
>the ram's horns make music.

Could be, now that the snakes have been exchanged.

To expand on the Lilith angle: each person mentioned in the story is named,
*except* the two "boys" (Cain and Abel), the president's wife (="First
Lady"="first woman"=Eve), the president (by logical extension the "first
man"=Adam), and "Jane Doe". Wolfe deliberately doesn't name them because to
do so would give his game away too easily. However the theologians care to
fit Lilith into the creation story, she, as you indicated, popularly is
presented as Adam's first mate, necessarily before Eve, who herself
antedates the Fall; therefore Lilith, too, existed before the Fall. Whether
sexual coupling before the Fall was regarded as innocent recreation, no more
sinful than that of the animals, or not, by the creators of the myth, Lilith
wasn't added to the Genesis story because of her culinary skills. In any
event, the woman in Wolfe's story is SEX, big time, the snake in the grass,
so to speak, who brings havoc and discord wherever she goes. How Wolfe
thought to work her into the Cain and Abel story, I don't know, but her
complicity makes at least as much sense as the Genesis account, and, as he
has done with other mythological material (e.g., the Sidhe story in PEACE),
he doesn't let the "facts" get in his way when he wants to incorporate such
material into his work.

Lilith is shepherded in the story by Karen (="Purity"), a hopeless task,
which is why the NP says to her "You're beat,", and sends her off to sleep
in his wife's bed--he hopes, the hypocrite. Besides, he couldn't help
himself; like Sev and Horn before him, the woman tempted him. And everyone
knows Lilith was a redhead. <g>

Dan'l writes:

>>Dunno. I've seen "to grouse," a verb for a kind of habitual
complaining, but I've never heard or seen a nominal form.
MW on line only lists (as noun) the bird and "a complaint."<<

The definition I gave is from _Webster's New World Dictionary Of The
American Language_, College Edition, 1966. "n. [Slang], 1. a complaint. 2. a
person who habitually complains."

>>But why, I wonder, doesn't the "glorious" naked man speak with
a similar accent...?<<

Because he's not a snake. Snakes are known to talk funny. <g>

> ... when Lilith grabbed the Changer and pressed the button, *she*
> exchanged the NP for the old Adam she disdained, who "grunted" over
> her, who is the very tall man at the end of the story. And he is a
> man, not God; Wolfe conflates the biblical passages alluded to so
> that it is the new Adam who does both the cursing and who "shall
> crush your head under my heel."

>>Umm... is it maybe both? You put the words there: "the new Adam."
Who, in Pauline terms, is Christ, is the God-and-Man, and in fact
the one who crushes the serpent's head underneath His heel.<<

Could be, but that's not what I intended. I had it right the first time; she
wound up with the old Adam she didn't like, and the "glorious" man is only
the newest incarnation of him. But if Wolfe intended his appearance to be
the advent of the Second Coming, then he's whistling up a theological
tempest that a whole rowboat full of Augustines wouldn't put to sea in.


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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