Monday, June 8, 2009

Silence of the Lambs analysis - part 55: A review of Augustine on creation


From previous parts of the analysis, we know that Hannibal Lecter's Baltimore prisoner number, 'B1329-0', is a reference to the writings of medieval philosopher and theologian Saint Augustine, specifically, to Book 13, chapter 29 of his Confessions. At this point it is convenient to review both chapters 28 and 29 of Book 13, and to look at chapter 30 as well; all three chapters have to do with creation of the world, and thus, they apply to what Gumb (Satan's pupil/evil Freemasons) is doing by assembling his 'suit' of skin, while being 'overseen' by Lecter (Satan/evil hermaphroditic Jews), insofar as this is a metaphor for (an attempt at) creation of some 'alternate' evil world (the 'evil kingdom' mentioned earlier in the analysis, which is precisely the utopia to be established in southern Indiana mentioned in the previous post). From the Confessions (Outler translation):

[13.28] "And you, god, saw everything that you had made and, 'behold, it was very good.'[Gen. 1:31] We also see the whole creation and, behold, it is all very good...I have counted seven times where it is written that you saw what you had made was good. And there is the eighth time when you saw all things what you had made and, behold, they were not only good but also very good; for they were now seen as a totality. Individually they were only good; but taken as a totality they were both good and very good. Beautiful bodies express this truth; for a body which consists of several parts, each of which is beautiful, is itself far more beautiful than any of its individual parts separately, by whose well-ordered union the whole is completed even though these parts are separately beautiful."

[13.29] "And I looked attentively to find whether it was seven or eight times that you saw your works were good, when they were pleasing to you, but I found that there was no 'time' in your seeing which would help me to understand in what sense you had looked so many times at what you had made. And I said: Lord, is not this your scripture true, since you are true, and your truth sets it forth? ...[And you, Lord, replied to me,] 'Man, what my scripture says, I say. But it speaks in terms of time, whereas time does not affect my word - my word which exists coeternally with myself. Thus the things you see through my spirit, I see; just as what you say through my spirit, I say. But while you see those things in time, I do not see them in time; and when you speak those things in time, I do not speak them in time.' "

[13.30] "And I heard this, lord my god, and drank up a drop of sweetness from your truth, and understood that there are some men to whom your works are displeasing, who say that many of them you made under the compulsion of necessity - such as the patterns of the heavens and the courses of the stars - and that you did not make them out of what was yours, but that they were already created elsewhere and from other sources. It was thus [they say] that you collected and fashioned and wove them together...[They say] a hostile mind and an alien nature - not created by you and in every way contrary to you - begot and framed all these things in the nether parts of the world. They who speak thus are out of their minds, since they do not see your works through your spirit, nor recognize them in you."

To review: 13.28 reminds us of how Gumb is assembling a whole suit of skin from parts, more specifically, pieces of skin from women's bodies. Also, chapters 28 and 29 together remind us of the seven days of creation, plus the idea of an eighth day. As discussed earlier, this latter idea is related to the '8' in Lecter's Memphis prisoner number ('B5160-8'). The addition to the 'suit' of the patch of skin Catherine Martin is to provide, is to be the metaphorical seventh day of creation, and, once Clarice shows up at Gumb's door, he is too think that he can use a patch from her to complete an eighth day.

Taking 13.30 within the context of our movie, Jame Gumb would be a hostile mind and alien nature, weaving together things in the nether parts of the world.

Starling introduces herself to Jame Gumb, at Gumb's house in Belvedere, Ohio.

The Confessions of Saint Augustine (Outler)


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