Peter Gabriel and Angela Carter

Peter Gabriel and Angela Carter
Quotation from Angela Carter (abridged from p123-127 of “The Sadeian Woman”
Words to Peter Gabriel’s song at the very bottom.

Consider the womb, the extensible realm sired in the penetrable flesh; most potent matrix of all mysteries. The great, good place; domain of futurity in which the embryo forms itself from the flesh and blood of its mother; the unguessable reaches of the sea are a symbol of it, and so are caves, those dark, sequestered places where initiation and revelation take place. Men long for it and fear it; the womb, that comfortably elastic organ, is a fleshly link between past and future, the physical location of an everlasting present tense that can usefully serve as a symbol of eternity, a concept that has always presented some difficulties in visualization. The hypothetical dream-time of the fetus seems to be the best we can do.
For men, to fuck is to have some arcane commerce with this place of ultimate privilege, where, during his lengthy but unremembered stay, he was nourished, protected, lulled to sleep by the beating of his mother’s heart and not expected to do a stroke of work, a repose, of course, not unlike that of a corpse, except that a fetus’ future lies before it. And the curious resemblance between the womb and the grave lies at the roots of all human ambivalence towards both the womb and its bearer; we mediate our experience through imagination and dream but sometimes the dream gets in the way of the experience, and obscures it completely – the womb is the First and the Last Place, earth, the greatest mother of them all, from whom we come, to whom we go.
The womb is the earth and also the grave of being; it is the warm, moist, dark, inward, secret, forbidden, fleshly core of the unknowable labyrinth of our experience. Curiously, it is the same for both men and women, because the fetus is either male or female, though sometimes both; but only men are supposed to feel a holy dread before its hairy portals. Only men are privileged to return, even if only partially and intermittently, to this place of fleshly extinction; and that is why they have a better grasp of eternity and abstract concepts than we do.
They want it for themselves, of course. But not, of course, a real one, with all the mess and inconvenience that goes with it.The womb is an imaginative locale and has an imaginative location far away from my belly, beyond my flesh, beyond my house, beyond this city, this society, this economic structure – it lies in an area of psychic meta-physiology…This is the most sacred of all places. Women are sacred because they possess it.
The truth of the womb is that it is an organ like any other organ, more useful than the appendix, less useful than the colon..
To deny the bankrupt enchantments of the womb is to pare a good deal of the fraudulent magic from the idea of women, to reveal us as we are, simple creatures of flesh and blood whose expectations deviate from biological necessity to sufficiently to force us to abandon, perhaps regretfully, perhaps with relief, the deluded priestesshood of a holy reproductive function. This mystification extends to the biological iconography of women.
The goddess is dead.
And, with the imaginary construct of the goddess, dies the notion of eternity, whose place on this earth was her womb. If the goddess is dead, there is nowhere for eternity to hide. The last resort of homecoming is denied us. We are confronted with mortality, as if for the first time.
There is no way out of time. We must learn to live in this world, to take it with sufficient seriousness, because it is the only world that we will ever know.

– Angela Carter (abridged from p123-127 of “The Sadeian Woman”

天国は存在しない。死後の世界として人が想像するのは母の子宮にいた時の状態 (働かなく生きている状態)へのノスタルジーだろう。”永遠”というイメー ジも子宮にいた時の感覚を思い出す事から来ている。私たちが”私たち”として生きていられるのは、今現在いるこの世の中だけだと気が付いた時に初めて人は 本当に真面目にがんばって生きていく事が出来る。これしかないと分かると人はホッとする。
人はこの状態に戻りたいと思って、それにまつわる神話を作っていた。男性は子宮を自分で持っていない為に自分でも欲しいと思っている。男性はfuckとい う行動で一瞬だけ特別な場所に近くなった気になる。そして、人はその周りに宗教を作り、神秘思想を作ってしまう。秘密のされているものというのは、それだ けで大きなパワーを持つ。神聖で近寄れないものは、同時に汚れたものとして見られる。聖母マリアを讃える運動がカソリック協会で始まると、魔女狩りも同時 に始まる。人間の心理がそうさせてしまう。(ケガレが神聖なものとつながるのは西洋だけではないだろう。)

これは、しかし、物質主義を語っているのとは違う。アンジェラ・カーターはたくさんの世界のおとぎ話や神話を集めた素晴らしい本をいくつも編集して出版し ている人で、カーターほど世界神話に詳しい人は少ない。また、彼女が亡くなった時には、彼女の遺言にある詩人の書いた特定の祈りの言葉を唱えるように書い ていた。
人も他の生命と同じくゲノムから出来ている。新しい生命の遺伝情報には、最初の生命、そしてバクテリアから爬虫類、哺乳類への道を全てたどってから生まれ る。 これはそれぞれの人も”個人”ではなく、地球の歴史と完全に繋がっている事が見えてくる。”私”とか”僕”とよばれている存在も、いくつもの遺伝情 報から出来ているので、個人ではなく、総合された生き物として見れる。


次のPeter Gabriel の曲の後半(2:08から先)は上記のAngela Carterの文章とのつながりがあるように思ってしまう。
僕はAngela Carterの文章を読んだ時、この曲が聴こえてきた。

Out of woman come the man
Spend the rest of his life gettin back where he can
As a bow, so a dove
As below, so above

From the black hole
Come the tadpole
With the dark soul
In coal she burn, she burn

As I drove into the sun
Didn’t dare look where I had begun
Lost among echoes of things not there
Watching the sound forming shapes in the air

From the white star
Came the bright scar
Our amoeba
My little liebe schoen

– From Humdrum by Peter Gabriel


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