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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: Re: (urth) DOORS: keyed Visitors
Date: Sun, 9 Feb 2003 03:14:33 -0600

mantis quoted me and wrote:
>> Liddy, and by extension North,
>>may be off-center ideologically, but he is intelligent and practical.
>>Reaching the summit of political power would not alter biological fact.
>>may have the _cojones_ in Otherworld, but if they use them they die. This
>>the emasculation ritual of the priests of Attis writ large.
>I'm not following this part.  Are you saying that North would create/cement
>his Otherworld power-base with an official eunuch corps?  (This finds an
>unexpected ring with the starship finale of Spinrad's THE IRON DREAM, fwiw.
>Neat, because that book is an sf novel written by Hitler in a alternate
>history world where he emmigrated to America and more-or-less founded sf.)
>Or that the O-male politicians we see are openly eunuchs?  This would,
>indeed, be a "priests of Attis" construct.  But the Otherworld biology
>(with drones who die) does not seem to be Attis-like at all to me.

No, I wasn't thinking of eunuchs. I meant it metaphorically. The book
specifically links Lara to Attis, so we have no choice but to see her as
Cybele, though we both agree that she seems more like Aphrodite. We all know
what happened to Attis. The Goddess apparently gets her kicks by 'loving 'em
and leaving 'em', sort of an Olympian version of one-night stands. She may
think fondly of her discarded lovers, but not fondly enough; when she goes
she's gone, and she doesn't look back. Having loved a goddess, her former
lovers are ruined for life; mere mortal women can't compare. Witness Green's
complete lack of interest in sex with other women, even when openly pursued.
That's not natural.

Otherworld's matriarchal society and peculiar reproductive system mimic the
Cybele-Attis model in that men are reduced to one-night stands, a means to
an end. The very act that the Goddess sought out men for is the one act that
guarantees Otherworld men will, like Attis, die in consequence. Certain
death is as potent a check on the essence of masculinity as there is. Not
being native to Otherworld may have confused Attis, so that he mistook her
admonishments against sex too literally. Men in Otherworld suffer no such
illusions. They have been, in effect, biologically and socially emasculated,
so that they are not men as men are in our world. That's why the Goddess
hunts her prey in greener lands.

>The "maze" that I'm talking about is not one of Lara's making, or at least
>it is not entirely of her making.  The maze is peopled by agents who are
>trying to help Green to follow his dream and agents who are trying to
>hinder him (and save his life/restore his sanity).  Early on the doctor
>tries to tell Green that "Lara" is probably an escaped convict who did
>something terrible as a child:
>"If she had committed a serious offense in her teens -- a murder, perhaps,
>or if she'd  had some complicity in a murder -- she would have been sent to
>a girls' correctional center until she was of age, and then transfered to a
>woman's prison to complete her sentence.  Thus she might easily have spent
>the last ten or twelve years in one or the other, Mr. Green" (6).
>(This, in turn, finds strange corroboration with Tina's memories of
>belonging to a girl/goddess who had some trauma.  Could it possibly be that
>the crime was what happened to Attis?)

Too many years between Attis and Green for the doctor's comments to be
literally true. I dismissed the doctor's comments, just as I did those
Freudian utterances of the hospital staff in FREE LIVE FREE. I thought Wolfe
was just, again, poking fun at the psychobabble establishment spinning
elaborate, fanciful webs out of so little real knowledge. Unless the doctor
was privy to the fact that her receptionist was more than she appeared to
be, i.e., a goddess, there's no way for the doctor to have known any such
thing. And if the doctor didn't know that Green's Lara was the same person
as her receptionist, then she had even less to go on.

But your theory does bring up another point: was Lara a Visitor herself? Was
she not native to Otherworld?

>But my main point in bringing it up is to show Lara as a hunted and/or
>imprisoned goddess, very much like Kypris of LS series (and other Love
>goddesses that we won't mention right now).  We know about Kypris's
>situation in LS: she was the Isis-like lover to Osirus-like Pas.  We know
>hardly anything about Lara's predicament -- in fact, my even suggesting
>that she has one may be an over-reaching on my part.

And we all know what the one part of her dismembered lover that Isis
couldn't find was, don't we? 



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