Saturday, July 22, 2006

Of Vice And Men

I'm working on a story about a heroine who leaves the idyllic, isolated, single-gender commune where she was raised, and sets out to explore modern world and all its previously unknown temptations. Over the course of the book, she experiments with a number of the so-called vices as she seeks to understand her strengths and weaknesses. I'm betting you can guess which one turns out to be Her Favorite Vice (working title).

We all know the list: Lust, Gluttony, Avarice, Envy, Sloth, Wrath and Pride. For my story, though, I did some research, and learned that lust (along with gluttony, another of my personal weaknesses) is generally considered one of the least objectionable vices. Plus, it's not, as some would have you believe, the simple feeling – the "I want him, and I want him now" urge – that qualifies as a vice; it's acting on that feeling to excess and to someone's harm.

The lore I particularly liked, but haven't (yet) found a way to include in my story, has to do with the demon associated with Lust: Asmodeus. He was hell-bent on keeping a particular woman virginal, and so he killed off her first several grooms before they had a chance to consummate the marriage. Eventually, though, a hero comes along and manages to survive the wedding night.

How, I want to know, is that a warning against lust? Asmodeus, the creature supposedly responsible for quashing or punishing lust, is a demon, folks, not an angel. And, sure, the first several grooms paid dearly for their lust, but in the end, the heroine finally gets to enjoy a little lust, and she – along with the final groom – lives happily ever after. The lesson I take from the story is that you just have to make sure you're lusting after the right man, and you might have to lust after a few of the wrong ones along the way.

Modern women don't need a demon to take care of the rejects, but it's always nice to have someone in our corner, watching our backs. Instead of a violent demon, we need a new, uninhibited and enlightened representative, one who reflects both the positive and negative aspects of lust.

If you were re-imagining Asmodeus in more modern terms, what would he (or she) be like?


Blogger LSB Author, Darragha Foster said...

one who reflects both the positive and negative aspects of lust.

That's the Devil king of the Sixth Heaven!


10:19 AM  
Blogger Roxy Harte said...

I'm kinof new to the idea of a negative side of to elaborate?

2:15 PM  
Blogger Roxy Harte said...

Quote taken from:

The apocryphal Book of Tobit describes an instance where Raguel's daughter, Sarah, was tormented by the demon. She was married to seven times, each time the Asmodeus killed off the husband before they could have intercourse. Sarah, was about to hang herself in grief, but decided against it after thinking about the shame it would cause her father. She then prayed to God for death.
God answered her prayer by sending the angel, Raphael, to her aid. He instructed Tobiah to place fish liver and heart on the embers for incense. Asmodeus was repelled by the odor:
"The demon, repelled by the odor of the fish, fled into Upper Egypt; Raphael pursued him there and bound him hand and foot." - Book of Tobit 8:3

Hmmm, if we're assuming your version of the demon Asmodeus is hot as hell, pardon the pun, binding him hand and foot seems like a really good time!

As far as modern day Asmdeus, I'm seeing tall, dark and delectable... long hair, dark brown eyes...yummy

2:22 PM  
Blogger Kayelle Allen said...

Imagine the demon as the co-heir of a will. Perhaps the will requires that only if the other heir remains a virgin will they inherit a fabulous treasure.

The virgin would rather have love and has been kept alone for many years.

The co-heir intends to keep her (or him) alone forever if needed; otherwise, neither will inherit.

Since the original story calls for the death of the demon, perhaps in this case, the other heir must be stopped from having power by means such as isolation.

This leaves the virgin free to fall in love. The treasure - perhaps it is cast aside as worth little - love is the true treasure.

2:44 PM  
Blogger April Martinez said...

Hm. He sounds a bit like an overprotective father or a jealous lover.

Love the title of the post, btw. :)

7:16 PM  
Blogger Jan Darby said...

Good suggestions, everyone. You might think there were a few writers around here or something.

Thanks for stopping by!


9:03 PM  

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