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Serwe/Esmenet as Mary Magdalen? posted 27 May 2005, 03:05 by Linguist, Commoner

Just a query as to whether anyone else sees Serwe or Esmenet as representing Mary Magdalen. (For those of you who don't know, there's a theory that a prostitute of Jerusalem, a.k.a. Mary Magdalen, might have been married to Jesus.) I think there's a connection; Sumna & the Thousand Temples is comparable to Jerusalem; Esmenet is a prostitute, Serwe is a concubine. Also, couldn't Xerius or Conphas stand for Pontius Pilate? And Cnaiur could stand for Judas Iscariot....or so it seems to me. Does anyone else have any theories on the Kellhus/Esmenet/Serwe triangle? view post


posted 27 May 2005, 13:05 by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

I doubt that Scott was aiming for any parallel. I would agree that they do seem to fill that role if applied to the story, but I doubt its intentionality. view post


posted 27 May 2005, 16:05 by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

I think elements of the Jesus story are mixed in with parts of the history of the first Crusade. Kelhus's age, his relationship with Esmi (which especially jives with the Mary Magdalene of the Gnostic Gospels more than the gospels that made it into the New Testament) all point to the Jesus story, but a kind of second Jesus. But I think Shimeh is Jersusalem... and the Emporer is the ruler of what is suppose to be Byzantium. The stories are layered and edited and melded together so that the resemblance is loose. view post


posted 27 May 2005, 19:05 by The One Eyed Squid, Commoner

I don't think that Esmenet stands for Mary Magdalen. However, there are similarities between the two characaters. They even have a connection. It's just not direct. Scott has said that the lead characters in the Prince of Nothing are all inspired directly from common fantasy archetypes. Esmenet isn't Mary Magdalen and Mary Magdalen isn't Esmenet. Instead they both come from the same idea, the prostitute. The prostitute seeking salvation is an old idea. Mary Magdalen is one of its oldest examples. Esmenet is a much newer one. Semantically, I don't believe that "Esmenet stands for Mary Magdalen." Esmenet and Mary Magdalen share a common thought of origin. This common idea connects the both characters with each other as well as many other characters. -The One Eyed Squid view post


posted 27 May 2005, 20:05 by H, Auditor

[quote="Tattooed Hand":2w47e8a0]I think elements of the Jesus story are mixed in with parts of the history of the first Crusade. Kelhus's age, his relationship with Esmi (which especially jives with the Mary Magdalene of the Gnostic Gospels more than the gospels that made it into the New Testament) all point to the Jesus story, but a kind of second Jesus. But I think Shimeh is Jersusalem... and the Emporer is the ruler of what is suppose to be Byzantium. The stories are layered and edited and melded together so that the resemblance is loose.[/quote:2w47e8a0] I can see the parallel bewteen Esmenet and MM, but obviously the archetype is changed to fit the story and the plot more. That doesn't mean the comparision isn't valid, in fact i think that makes the comparision more valid is how the archetype is differs. Since Scott is a very competant writer, and presumable knows of MM, the parallel must be purposeful, and for a good reason. This could be to further paint Kellhus as a true Prophet, or for some reason we have yet to learn. And you are right, the Holy War is a direct parallel of the First Crusade. The mainpulation by an Emperor (Alexius I), the Vulgar Holy War (the people's Crusade lead by Peter the Hermit), the indenture (Alexius seeking to reclaim former Byzantine territory in Asia Minor), the lack of strong central leadership, and so on. Of cource it is all flavored with the culture and politics of Earwa, but the compasions are still very valid to me, and are in fact not really hidden much. Not that this is a bad thing at all, i'm not criticizing here, i find stories which rework real history is almost always far more compelling than 'pure' fantasy. view post


posted 27 May 2005, 20:05 by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

[quote:3q5i5vs3]Scott has said that the lead characters in the Prince of Nothing are all inspired directly from common fantasy archetypes. Esmenet isn't Mary Magdalen and Mary Magdalen isn't Esmenet. Instead they both come from the same idea, the prostitute. The prostitute seeking salvation is an old idea. Mary Magdalen is one of its oldest examples. Esmenet is a much newer one. Semantically, I don't believe that "Esmenet stands for Mary Magdalen." Esmenet and Mary Magdalen share a common thought of origin. This common idea connects the both characters with each other as well as many other characters. [/quote:3q5i5vs3] OK, so all the representations we have of Mary Magdalene draw from mythological archetypes. Fine. But the pairing of archetypes in Bakker's books, creates a particular resonance - a possibly prophetic Kelhus, a redeemed whore, the circumfix as punishment that then becomes the symbol of the creed of the prophet risen from it... this is no accident. Not every whore resonates with MM, but one framed in all these ways sure does. That's all I really mean. They are not the SAME person because we are not reading a rendition of the Jesus story. BTW, we don't know that Mary Magdalene was actually some one who sold sex for money. She was a fallen/unrespectable woman, which throughout most of history could mean any woman who lived alone, acted on stage, or who went out on the street with her hair uncovered or unescorted (this is not just a Muslim thing, it Greeks, Romans, Jews, Byzantines, etc practiced as well). She was also a little looney tunes/touched in the head/holy. That's what the Gospel of Mary says, at least. the Redeemed Whore archetype is another story, a nonprophetic version of this is the representation of Justinian's wife, Theodora, who was an actress/dancer in her youth. She returns to the religious fold, becomes reformed and meets the not yet emporer... Most historical accounts indicate that her relationship with Justininian was based on mutual respect and shared intellect, as well as emotions. view post


posted 30 May 2005, 14:05 by White Lord, Subdidact

[quote="Tattooed Hand":3r1y180n]OK, so all the representations we have of Mary Magdalene draw from mythological archetypes. Fine. But the pairing of archetypes in Bakker's books, creates a particular resonance - a possibly prophetic Kelhus, a redeemed whore, the circumfix as punishment that then becomes the symbol of the creed of the prophet risen from it... this is no accident. Not every whore resonates with MM, but one framed in all these ways sure does. That's all I really mean. They are not the SAME person because we are not reading a rendition of the Jesus story. The Redeemed Whore archetype is another story, a nonprophetic version of this is the representation of Justinian's wife, Theodora, who was an actress/dancer in her youth. She returns to the religious fold, becomes reformed and meets the not yet emporer... Most historical accounts indicate that her relationship with Justininian was based on mutual respect and shared intellect, as well as emotions.[/quote:3r1y180n] This is much my own thinking. There are many layers to the story, and to the characters. These symbols are here to give us a possible point of congruence with real-world historical/religious facts/beliefs, only to be reinterpreted by Scott as his story progresses. view post


posted 17 Oct 2005, 11:10 by Anonymous, Subdidact

DELETED view post


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