Thursday, August 23, 2007

Where Have I Been?

Where have I been? Maybe you noticed I have posted in a week? No one actually commented on the blog that I have been missing but you "may" have wondered, I guess? Well I haven't been able to think of anything to say...still somewhat tongue tied! So I will just try to write and maybe I will think of something??

I just started listening to a book by Susanna Clarke called the Ladies of Grace Adieu and other stories. This book is written by the author of Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell. I had some trouble getting started with that book (Strange and Norrell) and finally went to audio book so that I could have it read to me! I really enjoyed having the book read to me and the narrator, Simon Prebble was one of my favorites.

Well, this time I decided to go straight to audio book with the Ladies of Grace Adieu. This time, read by Davina Porter. And Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell are in a few of these short stories. They are written in the style of a regency romance but much wittier and sharp. These stories are about magic and fairies and are quite compelling and even creepy.

Oh did I mention that the family went to see the movie, Stardust? Oh my, was it wonderful!
Based on a book by Neil Gaiman and starring Claire Danes and Michele Pfiefer, Robert DeNiro and Ian McKellen as narrator. It was a wonderful fairy tale and we all loved it. GO SEE IT!

Oh and by the way, Michele Pfiefer plays this witch character called Lamia.
There is some connection between Lamia and the Lillith in middle eastern mythology. Lamia was the daughter of Poseidon and Lybie—a personification of Libya. Lamia was a queen of Libya herself, whom Zeus loved. Either Hera turned her into a monster; The grief from Hera killing all her children, save Scylla, made her monstrous; or she was already one of Hecate's brood.

In modern Greek folk tales, Lamia is an ogress similar to Baba-Yaga. She lives in a remote house or tower. She eats human flesh and has magical abilities, keeps magical objects or knows information crucial to the hero of the tale's quest. The hero must avoid her, trick her or gain her favour in order to obtain one of those. In some tales, the lamia has a daughter who is also a magician and helps the hero, eventually falling in love with him. ( I personally would worry about my son marrying the daughter of Lamia as, in some stories, she has a tail and I would rather not have my grandchildren have to deal with tails!)

The Lamia who moodily watches the serpent on her forearm (painting by Herbert James Draper, 1909), appears to represent the hetaira. Though the lower body of Draper's Lamia is human, he alludes to its serpentine history by draping a shed snake skin about her waist.
So the Lamia and the Lillith have some characteristics in common-they don't seem to like children (except to eat them), they won't be controled by men, In Horace (De Arte Poetica liber, 340), Hieronymus of Cardia translated Lilith as Lamia, a witch who steals children, similar to the Breton Korrigan, in Greek mythology described as a Libyan queen who mated with Zeus. After Zeus abandoned Lamia, Hera stole Lamia's children, and Lamia took revenge by stealing other women's children.
Well, anyway, this character in the movie was marvelously wicked and she looked like a beautiful woman, at least to begin. The movie was full of mythology and fairy story and I loved it!


Anonymous said...

I had never heard the story about Lillith until my Woman's Study class, their interpretation was that she was blamed for alot of stuff because she was too stubborn to be beneath a man, so she was expelled to live by herself, quite happily, but was the equivilent of the male's version of the boogee-man. Oh yeah, and she stole children that were under 3 days old, an old explaination of sudden infant death, and babies were between heaven and earth until after that time. Weird but interesting, I wonder if Lillith knitted?

Lynda said...

I imagine that Lillith did exactly what she liked. And while that meant she didn't answer to anyone it may also have meant that at times she was lonely. Maybe that's why she stole shildren...
The Woman's study Class sounds fascinating!