Posted by: gdevi | September 4, 2013

Some interesting stories

I want to note here (for future research) something very interesting that a student said in my Core Texts class today. We were discussing Genesis 19 and the story of the two angels of god taken in by Lot as guests and the men of the city asking for the angels to be released to them etc–and Lot’s response — “don’t take my guests and violate them. I have two virgin daughters at home; take them instead.” (I am paraphrasing.) Different students had different readings and interpretations of the story and the passage–including the conservative “homosexuality is sin” etc etc — and then my student Adrian had this very interesting reading of the whole thing, which is really the first time I have heard the passage read this way. His point was that God had earlier asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac to test his faith. And here we have another father, Lot, who “offers” to “Sacrifice” his daughters so the angels of God can be spared. It is another form of test of faith. In other words, would a parent sacrifice a child for god? Thus Lots’s seemingly shocking offer–“here, take my daughters”, which can be read as a rather misogynist act–can also be read as another “sacrifice” story, like Abraham and Isaac. Interesting, don’t you think? I am not sure how I feel about it, but I like the ingenuity of the textual comparison. I think it is a thread worth pursuing.

Another student pointed out the heteronormativism of the offer–and that is certainly valid as well. Because while Sodom and Gomorrah are sinful cities destroyed by God, and only Lot and his daughters are spared–Lot’s wife is turned into a pillar of salt because she turned around to look at the cities–the same attribution of “sin” is not laid on the continuing part of the story of Lot and his daughters–Lot’s daughters can find no men to marry and continue their line, so they get their father drunk and have sex with him and bear his children. This story of “incest” appears to be casually mentioned in the Genesis, with no attribution of “sin” to it–God does not punish either Lot or his daughters–entire lines are descended from their unnatural union– while Sodom and Gomorrah are punished for their sin. The heteronormativism of the stories really struck out to the students.

I must note here how physically and mentally exhausting teaching five classes in a row is–I am dead by the time I get home at four in the evening. I really do have a mountain of work this semester. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Today, for instance, after K and D ate their lobster–lobster on sale at the local grocery store!!!– I ate some peaches–delicious!–and I fell asleep in the living room and slept from pretty much seven until ten. Thank you, my dears, for not waking me up; I really appreciate that. I love sleeping.

ps: I should also note here that I really like the Neil Young song Harvest Moon. I don’t know the music of Neil Young at all–I hear his music here and there and I like how his guitar sounds–reminds me of Veena–lots of microtones–but I hear K playing Neil Young from the basement fairly frequently and I have come to really love the song Harvest Moon, and only for this reason: I really love the lines “when we were strangers I watched you from afar/ when we were lovers I loved you with all my heart.” Because I think that is such a truthful way to represent how people love each other. You observe and watch someone from afar for a long time before you love them. I have never understood this “I just saw you and I fell in love with you” kind of songs. It makes no sense to me really. So I really like this song.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: