From: "Roy C. Lackey"
Subject: (urth) DOORS: men and goddess Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 02:31:42 -0600 mantis wrote: >So in Otherworld most men die between the age of 14 and 21, let's say. Any >man who survives beyond these years is either asexual or possesses an iron >will or is simply too frightened. And the breeding population isn't a >minority, it is just that the men are winnowed out so early that adult men >are a numerical minority. You would think so, but if you look back at the total of Otherworld individuals noted by Green you'll find that the majority are males. (Red-faced man on street, clerk in doll hospital, mounted policeman, men in mental ward, Sheng, Pille, conspirators, W.F., boxers, cop and firemen after explosion, hotel clerk and bellboy, Mama's sons, Klamm's bodyguards, prop man at theater, both taxi drivers, etc. And most of the females Green noted were in traditional female jobs--nurses, waitresses, clerks, hairdresser. I don't know what this means for Otherworld society, but there it is. >The ice queen, ah. My view of her is changing . . . today I see her, and >all the doll-attackers as following a model of the goddess which just >happens to be wrong, according to the goddess herself. That is to say: the >ice queen is enacting the behavior of Cybele, and the stained glass that >Roy was bugged by (sorry Roy, the short answer was "Love-goddess-with-spear >is far more ancient than Greek myths -- it is more like Ishtar and those >other fierce Middle Eastern goddesses of Love & War") is an example of the >wrong model being enshrined. Because Cybele loved Attis and became >insanely jealous when he fell in love with a mortal princess, so she caused >his insanity, which made him cut himself: but in TAD Lara says this was all >a mistake and misunderstood, which I take to mean that Lara is more like >Aphrodite, and the Otherworld church is focused on Cybele. [snip] >I dunno. Fanny's excitement is very odd to me . . . it marks her, somehow, >but as what? A visitor, maybe. Or an Aphrodite devotee in a world of >Cybele worshipers. (Ooops, these two options aren't that different.) Right; the two are one. If we *must* peg TAD to THE WHITE GODDESS (a point I'm not willing to concede; Wolfe has admitted to not even finishing reading stories/books he was passing judgement on for some contest; I find the prospect of him plodding through such a tiresome tome of tortured scholarship for so little reward to be incredible), then we must look at the larger picture of the Goddess as Graves (and his ilk, such as dear old Joe Campbell ) saw her. From virginal nymph to hideous crone and every stage in between, she is *the* goddess. There's only one. If Wolfe didn't write TAD with that in mind, then he wasn't taking his cues from Graves. Chapter XXXIV of Frazer's THE GOLDEN BOUGH (abridged, one-volume edition) is instructive. There may be found, in the Attis rituals, music such as that noted by Green at the parade, as well as mention of the everGreen pine-tree, and even priests of Cybele with "little images suspended on their breasts", mindful of Sheng's root. Green was at the tail-end of the parade; who knows what had gone before? Green knew only the Aphrodite persona of Lara. She showed signs of the bitch-goddess, and she hinted at her darker side at lunch, but Green was either oblivious or hadn't thought it through. Lora *Master*man, indeed. She seems to have cared even more for Captain Billy than Green, yet . . . "How long did you stay with him?" "Until he sailed. By that time I had fallen ill and had to be left behind." (279) Wolfe says it only that one time. Goddesses don't get sick, unless it's 'morning sickness'. -Roy --