July 12, 2010
Well, I missed yesterday for my blog-a-day attempt.
Today I wanted to talk about Lilith by George MacDonald. I’ve read this book several times before, but decided to re-read it, as it’s on the “recommended reading” list for the Hutchmoot conference Dave and I are going to in a few weeks.
The book starts out kind of agonizingly boring and obscure, with much talk about riddles and paradoxes…”dying into life,” etc. These discursive conversations are really wearying to me. I wonder if old George set it up that way, though, to present the enigma in a wordy manner, then go on to show in the story what truths he’s really trying to communicate. He does it WAY better in story form, because the very points he’s trying to make in the beginning of the story make little sense to me, but once the story unfolds, I grasp the riddles and paradoxes in very real ways.
He shows through the story of Lilith an idea that he articulated in a sermon. “The one principal of hell is ‘I am my own.'” To me this sounds confusing. But when you’ve read his account of Lilith, the legendary first wife of Adam who shunned her duty of childbearing, you see how evil this idea is. We are essentially created beings, even though everything within us wants to be our own source and creator and master of our lives. To veer away from realizing ourselves as creatures leads to evil and selfishness and misery.
Another thing that struck me about Lilith this time I read through it is: Lilith seems to be a vampire. She lives “by the blood and lies and souls of men.” She drinks the blood of the main character, as well as a few others in the course of the story. I have read the Twilight series, and also see “vampire” literature everywhere, so maybe that’s why I clued in to this dynamic. I googled “Lilith vampire” and came to find that she is, in fact, considered to be the first vampire. Interesting.
Two of my children have been playing around me and talking to me and each other as I’ve written this, and I fear that it is not clear and that I said a lot of “nothing” in this post. If so, sorry. But I’m trying to do a blog a day. 🙂 Maybe I’ll come back to this topic and explain how it affected me a little later.