(urth) Dorcas as vampire

b sharp bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Thu May 25 21:18:15 PDT 2006

I don't think this topic, broached long ago by Roy, was fully explored.  
Hey, BotNS has ghouls and zombies, witches and ghosts, Frankenstein's 
monster, how can it leave out vampires? (and werewolfs (sic). there should 
be werewolfs in it).

Well, Jolenta does get some suspicious cuts on her wrist in an area a bit 
too temperate for bloodbats.  The cuts, as long as a thumb, do seem rather 
long for bat's teeth, though they do seep blood which doesn't clot.  Do 
human vampires secrete anti-clot saliva?

I think all Wolfe's refernces to vampirism are similarly vague.  It is 
Dorcas who talks about sucking blood and vampires. But in the play, it is 
Meschianne who accuses Jahi of having fangs which run with venom.  Moreover, 
Meschianne is worried that Jahi will mate with Meschia, as she did in the 
first creation, and her offspring will thus pollute humanity's purity as 
they did the first time around.

Jahi is a persian goddes of debauchery but that last bit sounds just like 
the Lilith myth (or maybe Wolfe learned that Lilith and Jahi are the same 
myth?  Anyways...On Lilith:

>God then formed Lilith, the first woman, just as He had formed Adam, except 
>that He used filth >and sediment instead of pure dust.

maybe a lump of filth?  Interesting. more...

>From Adam's union with this demoness, and with another like her named 
>Naamah, Tubal Cain's >sister, sprang Asmodeus and innumerable demons that 
>still plague mankind. Many generations >later, Lilith and Naamah came to 
>Solomon's judgement seat, disguised as harlots of Jerusalem'.

Seat of judgement, interesting. Continuing......

>Lilith's flight to the Red Sea recalls the ancient Hebrew view that water 
>attracts demons.

Not repels. okay, more.......

>To protect the newborn child against Lilith- and especially a male, until 
>he could be permanently >safeguarded by circumcision-a ring was drawn with 
>natron, or charcoal, on the wall of the >birthroom, and inside it were 
>written the words: 'Adam and Eve. Out, Lilith!'

This reminds me of the design Agia scratches for some reason.  and....

>fourth-century A.D. commentator Hieronymus identified Lilith with the Greek 
>Lamia, a Libyan >queen deserted by Zeus, whom his wife Hera robbed of her 
>children (by making her eat them). >She took revenge by robbing other women 
>of theirs.

Agia jokes with Severian about having a silver lamia on her neck. and 

>The Lamiae, who seduced sleeping men, sucked their blood and ate their 
>flesh, as Lilith and her >fellow-demonesses did, were also known as 
>Empusae, 'forcers-in'; or Mormolyceia, 'frightening >wolves'; and described 
>as 'Children of Hecate'

So the lamia myth spread north to Transylvania, got Vlad the Impaler mixed 
up in it and....vampires.

Does all this have any meaning to BotNS? Not a clear one that I can see 
other than maybe all women have a bit of Lilith in them?  It may help 
explain why Ushas had to be created by washing away all of the extant 
humanity.  There are so many vague connections to the storyline and 
vocabulary it seems like the Lilith myth, lamia and vampires have to be 


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