Laura Riding Jackson, “Eve’s Side of It”

“Lilith is no longer bodiless… yet she has not become Eve, nor have I become Lilith. She, too, has ceased to exist, yet still is. We have both become a new one, who is neither Lilith nor myself, yet no one else” (159).

“I have sometimes thought of Lilith as my mother. This, of course, is a foolish way of thinking about her. It is true that Lilith made me, but I had no father. I was entirely her own idea” (160).

“Where is it?” they asked. “What is it? Who is it?” Naturally Lilith was not the sort of person to answer: “It is here, it is this, it is I. Lilith was everything, but she was also nothing in particular…. she could not honestly have used the word ‘I’ about herself, or in any other way refer to herself” (161). …”and so it happened that she let herself by treated as nothing by what was actually nothing itself” (161). (don’t accept the I on male terms.)

“It must not be thought that I was tempted by the Serpent. The Serpent was Lilith’s way of encouraging me to do what I would have done in any case. I was fully aware that the fruit was unripe and therefore not good for the health. But things could not go on being lovely for ever when they were going to be very difficult… Things had to begin somewhere to be somewhat as they were going to be. …I have had a point of view of my own about things; my side of the story is not merely that I have been unlucky in love… I should not like it thought that I expected men to have my point of view about things. They are bound to feel that I led them on. Of course I led them on” (165).



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