Adam and Eve
In a discussion of Geoffrey Chaucer ('the first great poet in English'), Harold Bloom mentions Milton (only to quickly dismiss him as 'a strong third' behind Chaucer and Shakespeare), and has the following to say about Milton's Adam and Eve:
Adam and Eve, before the Fall, are demigods; after it, they are first quarrelsome children, and then poignantly homeless ones. (p. 30).
Now, a bit of history
The knees of one of the figures bend up over the legs of the other. The pebble has been ingeniously carved so that, whichever way you look at it, the shape of the figurine is phallic but the genders of the couple are not revealed.
Whether we see the Ain Sakhri lovers as a piece of erotica, a tender expression of homosexual or heterosexual love, a symbol of fertility, masculinity or a metaphor for creation, depends on our own background and beliefs.
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January 28, 2010