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From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Copperheaded Lilith; timetable
Date: Sat, 19 May 2001 17:35:09 

on 5/9/01 3:20 AM, Roy C. Lackey at rclackey@stic.net wrote:

> Here is my spin on "Copperhead".

Very insightful post; just a couple of quibbles.

> As
> both Endymion and Paul Duggan have noted before me, the difficult phrase
> "Vhas a groose.", I translate as "[He] Was a grouse." In American slang, a
> grouse is a person who habitually complains. She was referring to Adam, and
> she is, as mantis intimated, Lilith.

I'm not happy with this translation, though it's better than any of the
alternatives I've seen (and I can't think of anything else myself).  For one
thing, it seems unlikely that she'd be using uncommon American slang.  For
another, it's phonetically inconsistent with the rest of her dialect.
Elsewhere she says "how" as "'ow," and "about" as "ahbawt"; and there are no
other transformations of "ow" into "oo."

But if she is saying "was a grouse," with the meaning Roy gives, she is
surely talking about herself, not Adam or Boone.  After all, she immediately
goes on to describe how she "groused," and Lilith's grousing is one of the
things she is most known for (it's also what has made her a modern-day
feminist heroine, something Wolfe would no doubt be sensitive to).  Besides,
when Lilith was with Adam, they were still in Eden; what would he have to
"groose" about?

> When the NP, in his new-found Pride at the Power of his position,
> inadvertently pressed a button on the Changer and exchanged the copperhead
> snake in the leaves for its cognate in The Garden, he got Lilith, Adam's
> first wife, who represents Sin, in general, and Lust, specifically.

And mantis wrote:

> She acts like a sex kitten with a destructive agenda, which would be "early
> Lilith" I guess (as opposed to "Lilith, =mother= of monsters").

Lilith has changed over time, but as far as I can tell she never behaved
very much like Jane Doe.  According to my skimpy research (in several
reference books, but primarily the Encyclopedia Judaica), she derived from
Babylonian demons called lilitu.  These were of two types: one endangered
women in childbirth and strangled their babies, and the other were succubi.
Later, in midrashic literature (Jewish commentaries upon the Torah), it was
said that she had slept with Adam and given birth to male and female demons.
A later midrash had Lilith as Adam's first wife, who left him and became a
killer of newborn children.  The final picture of Lilith synthesized all
these threads: she was both a killer of newborn children and a succubus who
spawned demons from the seed she collected.

So while Lilith is a seducer of men, she does so in order to engender
demons, which Jane Doe has no interest in; conversely, we apparently never
see Lilith using her sexuality to stir up discord.  Nor can one really say
that Lilith represents Lust.  So we might see Jane Doe as a conflation of
Lilith, the Serpent, and Eve (who is the real sexual temptress of the
Genesis story).

Incidentally, Lilith left Adam not because she wouldn't have sex with him,
but because she wouldn't have sex with him on top: "You will not never grunt
over me" indeed!  Perhaps the assertion that he was "Not like you" refers to
Clinton's "feminism" (or Hilary's supposed domination of him). <g>

Blattid wrote:

> This is all workable, as follows. I'm going to use the 2008
> election to avoid implicating any specific living persons:
> Winter 2007/8: The Old President dies/resigns/whatever, the NP
> succeeds to office (with minimalist inauguration)
> Spring 2008: The trouble in Spokane
> Summer 2008: The crash
> Late Summer/Early Fall 2008: Lilith appears
> November 2008: The NP is elected for the first time
> January 2009: The NP is inaugurated. He is now in a meaningful
> sense a New President -- he will have the "honeymoon"
> period with press & Congress that any new administration
> gets.
> February-March 2009: The murder
> March-April 2009: "Copperhead." (It is Spring, and about three
> years before the beginning of the 2012 campaign season.)

I don't believe that if NP had been in office over a year, he would still be
referred to as a "new President," even if he had been elected for the first
time four months ago.  (The last time this situation occurred was with LBJ
(Ford wasn't reelected); anybody care to look through old newspapers on
microfilm and confirm or disconfirm my belief?)


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

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