marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

Death Personified

Death portrayed in human form. . . .

And what is Death anyway?  In ancient Greek myth, you had Hades, god of the dead, and Persephone, and Hermes the Psychopomp, and Atropos and Thanatos.  To be sure, when Thanatos was locked up in Siphysus's cellar, no one died.  A popular story warning that endlessly prolonged life is not all that it's cracked up to be.  One audience member thought that kindly death was new.  Also, the question of whether seductive, attractive death was new.  Some talk about sex (and the little death) and death were connected.  (Though no one pointed out that fertility is how humanity goes on in spite of death, and that fertility demonstrates that we are all replaceable, since here come our replacements.  Or how (as Bujold has Cordelia observe) by having sexual intercourse, we create beings that will die.)

Death as a post to be filled, possibly in succession.  None of the panelists or audience could guess more than to notice it was known in the nineteenth century.

Cocteau's film Orpheus was highly recommended.

Gunnerkrigg Court was brought up more than once (by me one time) for its masses of psychopomps, which inspired discussion of multiple beings of death.

Tam Lin was brought up as halfway to a rescue from the dead.  Though she succeeds.  Sir Orfeo, of course, is closer.  Indeed at one point the fairies are explicitly described as the dead -- but Orfeo succeeds anyway.

The Death and cats connection.  (Eskimo Deaths unsurprisingly have dogs instead.)  I was unable to bring up a writer who connected Persephone, death, and cats -- it was still fun.
Tags: arisia, death, world-building: deities, world-building: enchantment, world-building: metaphysics
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