architype v. diety i don't see the difference.
from what i'm getting from A.gods so far, gods push reality around so to speak...so does Anansi...with his ability to make people believe what he wants them to believe...this power over the Very Truth puts him in a league with dieties...
also the ability to create life....wth mud, blood,...etc. and giving the thing a NAME makes it real...
i'd agree that the mermaid symbolism is a bit clumsy...still...she's the only character not represented in Charlie's dreamscape w. all the other animals singing and dancing....
anyway...what's the name of the god of the sea...is he represented in A.GODS or is he dead and forgotten too.
i wouldn't be surprised if Neil's next book deals w. mermaids
Having read both A.Gods and Anasi Boys- i did nt feel like the two works were specifically connected. While similiar in material- both deal with gods existing in a modern world and both have a character modeled on the god Anasi- I didnt get the impression that the two works have any specific connection.
i.e. - the Anasi of American Gods is not the same Anasi of Anasi Boys- they just happen to both be built around the same folklore character- Anasi
and my apologies for all the missing n's ...
I will now go to the chalk board and write it 100 times...
Don't forget, friends and neighbors, that in the stories Anansi is sometimes a man and sometimes a spider. He doesn't change like a shapeshifter, it all depends on the way the story is told. Many of the deeper questions raised on this board about the specific meaning of events, themes and processes in the novel can be resolved by simply remembering that it depends on the way the story is being told. For example, that's why Anansi in American Gods is not the same as Anansi in Anansi Boys. It depends on the way the story is told. It depends too on which threads are woven into a particular story. The story is a web woven by the narrator and the characters he uses, aided by the reader who brings his own threads to the story. This means there is a slightly different story for each reader, as there is a slightly different universe for each observer. It's the Theory of Narrative Relativity, a handy term that I just invented (or more accurately plagiarized).
I hope this helps to clear up some of the confusion. If not, remember, it's only my opinion.
aka Adastra, the Wizzard of Jacksonville
ah but somewhere it is mentioned that the stories of more modern folk characters and children's favourites; like Peter/Brer Rabbit and other 'trickster' characters....anansi's power is in the stories and, from experience, his stories are still told on the Islands (carribbean) and by some West Africans elsewhere
|Poisoner of Chonae|
Here's the tuppence worth: in Season of Mists in the Sandman series, Odin approaches Morpheus to buy the key to hell and he offers the collected energies generated by those who read and 'venerated' the Thor etc characters in comic books - so, I reckon in Neil's head - which is his world, just like the rest of us - gods derive their power from numerous sources and can - as Death does - exist in many places at once. So, Mr Wednesday is a distinctly American Odin, which does not preclude the existance of the Norse Odin, for example - and I believe the same 'rule' would apply to Anansi - also, he's something of an almalgam of all the African trickster gods - and that's quite a few deities - he's almost a metaphor for himself, if that makes any kind of sense - bear in mind that I've 12 bottles of Bud down the neck by this stage in the proceedings - it's 4am where I am.
cause and effect:
the best often die by their own hand just to get away, and those left behind can never quite understand why anybody
would ever want to get away
Charles Bukowski Septuagenarian Stew
Here's my opinion on the matter--people can agree or disagree, but I'm putting it out there nonetheless. This will be rather long.
When you look at the Anansi stories in Anansi Boys, you see that originally all the stories were Tigers. These stories involved blood shed and war.
When Anansi tricked Tiger and stole the stories, the world changed. The world transitioned from a merciless place to one of diplomacy and trickery, to one of words. To this end, whenever we value words over war, we indirectly value Anansi over Tiger.
It's not simply a matter of how his folklore was integrated into American society. His contribution affected societies world wide. The fact that people rely on these contributions grants him a power base here in the Americas. The main distinction between the gods and folklore is that folklore characters do not have to do anything, they merely have to be (American Gods). Anansi did something. He changed the world by his tales.
I believe Anansi represents the unique blend between folklore and dietism, further revealing that subjects don't simply exist in blocks and straight lines. To that end, I believe there is an original Anansi in Africa.
The extent of his power, however, comes with the realization that words alone cannot induce every action or reality. This is why I find it interesting that Gaiman paired Anansi with Czernobog throughout the text. They serve to balance each other--in my opinion, a common theme through out the piece.
As for Anansi's sons Spider and Fat Charlie, their powers are both linked to Anansi's and separate from them. Odin's original son, Baldur, represents a god of peace. "What you have to remember is that life and death are different sides of the same coin" (American Gods 480). Shadow bears the same inclination, as seen by preventing the war of old and new gods and allowing a society to progress.
As demigods, Shadow, Spider, and Fat Charlie can exist without praise and worship. They reflect old ideals and principles, while still maintaining the ability to actively influence peers and future ideals.
In fact, I would actually go so far as to argue humans are demigods in Gaiman's framework. We too are born of the old ideals.
Sorry, I've been inclined to think about these matters and rhetorical visions a great deal for my paper in one of the classes I'm in.
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