1973 - The Deathbird

The SPIDER Symposion: in-depth discussion of specific Ellison stories and works.

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Postby Subey2 » Sat Jun 04, 2005 10:20 am


A great story, and great discussion.

I believe the narrator is Harlan.

But I think the most important question of the story is what does the mad god get out of replacing Lilith? Everyone's motives are very clear except for his. In point of fact, Dira makes it quite clear that this act implies everthing that follows. "then I knew it would end like this".

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Postby FrankChurch » Thu Jul 14, 2005 1:27 pm

The Deathbird feathers its nest with the world. Death is the last worm we all choke on.

Sunny days anyone? hehe

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Some comments...

Postby zaiyac » Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:56 pm

Hey everybody

I just read my first Ellison story, "The Deathbird" last night, and I must say I was blown away. Im absolutely enthralled with Religion and False Gods and such (You have no idea how many times Ive played through Final Fantasy X for the story!). Ive got some questions and comments regarding the story Id like to share.

1. Is there a reason why there is no background information told about the Mad One? I wonder if that represents how it doesnt matter how Gods are created or where they come from, rather its the effects their existance has on people.

2. Who the hell was Tom Golden? Why did his mother kill him? Ellison mentions the name and thats all... why peak our curiosity?

3. I have a small theory regarding the "spark" and what really happened at the Garden of Eden. Dira tells Stack that very early on, in the beginning, he came to Adam and gave him the spark. However, according to Genesis the Snake came to Eve, not to Adam. I thought about that and reread the test questions after the abridged Eden tale is told, and Ive begun to believe that Eve never even met Dira. The questions that struck me most was

7. Was Adam being a gentleman when he placed blame on Eve? Who was Quisling? Discuss “narking” as a character flaw.

10. Using examples from two different media journals demonstrate the concept of “slanted news.”

I thought about it, and it seemed to me that Ellison was trying to say something here. Is it possible that by "narking" Ellison meant
"blaming"? In regards to the slanted news question, maybe Ellison wanted us to think about how not every source of information is reliable, and if God who is Wise is capable of lying, then Man with his newfound wisdom would have just discovered his capability of lying. Is it possible that Adam lied to God (Who we learned is very far from omniscient), and that God believed him and put the blame on Eve, writing the Bible to have her be the original Sinner? IF that is the case, then the spark would have been given to Adam when Dira caused him to eat the Apple (Diras one chance to interfere when it was realized that the Mad One had no intent to be a blessing to humanity, otherwise why would he keep them ignorant?). The main counter-argument I can think of to this theory is "Why wouldn't Eve have received the spark too, if she ate the apple?" Well its very possible that giving the spark required direct contact with Adam. Its very possible that Dira could have killed two birds with one stone, starting the chain reaction that was required to eventually bring balance back to the world.


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Postby Jan » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:40 am

I can't find evidence that anyone mentioned this, but either way, here it is.

"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good from evil." (Genesis 3:4)

I also wanted to point out Hugo van der Boes' famous representation of the scene: http://www.rz.uni-leipzig.de/ru/bilder/ ... goes01.jpg

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