8/08/2007

Thanatos and Aletheia

Been musing about Thanatos in the frame of Eros - it's proving to be a bit tougher to think about 'living outside the body.'

There've been convergences, though, of note... the novel came back from the freelance editor a couple of weeks ago and I got a chance to chat with her about it on the phone. There's alot of work to be done to get it through the next draft, but I knew that. Thankfully she had both good comments and good guidance on how to get through this next stage.

One of the niggling problems that I'm still working out is this idea of Redemption - how are deaths used in fiction to redeem a character or show how a character is truly irredeemable? I think of the deaths in Harry Potter 7, which characters died believing in their cause, which ones didn't, which ones realized at the last moment that they were on the wrong side of the battle and died nobly, how redemption and resurrection are tied in many myths and stories, not just in Christianity.

What makes a character redeemable? Why is redemption such a theme in our universal consciousness? Is the purpose of Thanatos to create that space where we can see the potential for and act accordingly toward redemption?

Thanatos is about perspective, I think, of being able to look back in totality, not just forward and guessing the future through the experiences of the past. From Thanatos, we can see what choices we've made and how those choices lead to other choices and how the choices of others molded our Eros experiences into what they became and later who we became as a result of those experiences.

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Is retelling myths, then about taking that Thanatos perspective and bringing it forward? Thanatos is often linked with Lethe, a river of Styx and the opposite of 'lethe' in Greek is aletheia - unforgetfulness/unconcealment. Stealing from Thanatos, reversing Lethe, then is an act of remembering, of bringing forward that which has been concealed.

I can't think of a better way to describe the process of decolonization actually.

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And thinking of the sound "aletheia" reminds me that I once had an RPG character named Althea Weaver. She was a tailor... and weaving always makes me think of the Fates and Arachne who was transformed into a spider for daring to portray the Greek gods unfavorably in her tapestries, of Penelope who wove and unwove her tapestry to keep suitors at bay and by extension, Odysseus alive.

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And myths remind me of my recent searches for Sarimanok stories and finding the blog of Francis Tanglao-Aguas and wishing I could have seen his performance in Hawaii, seen him shake hands with Elizabeth II.

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And Hawaii and Telling remind me of Grace's work and how Telling is healing and power-filled and affirming and world-changing.

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And I have my own thoughts on how all this applies to sex and sexuality and reclamation of identity, but that's for a different essay, a different time.

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Because the little sleep is upon me now and I need to rest.

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