Sunday, April 3, 2016

Djinn V Theory (Djinn/Theory 5)

"CHORUS: Poor creature, she has discovered by her sufferings
What it means to one not to have lost one’s own country.
She has turned from the children and does not like to see them."

Medea, Euripedes

(I am not saying Djinn is an intentional act of reference to Medea.  The
parallel narrative components around the localized act of murder
[spoiler: Of one's children] do not track between them.  Salama has not
the anger, the righteous motivation to revenge of Medea.  The
comparison, thus, is one of difference and lack.  Salama is an inferior
Medea copy, a simpering cosmopolitan compared to Medea's warrior-
like pagan - thus more in line with Khalid, or the Um-Al Duwais
herself, who kills a child in order to preserve her bloodline.  The level
of critique thus breaks between the two works, Salama and Khalid less
partisan than either Medea or Jason, victor of the Golden Fleece.
The fundamentalist notions of national belonging have died out,
the potency of ancient myths diluted by Djinn's bold, kitchen-
sink breakages, the ancient djinn no longer hold such beliefs them-
selves and instead have appropriated mankind's purely materialist
ones.  Again, Djinn asks what our actions mean in an increasingly
alienating world, one in which even the djinn do not hold to one set of
values but simply reflect back our increasingly dissociated ones.
The directions of expatriation Salama and Medea both suffer are
also inverse, Salama attached to her displaced land and betrayed by
her native one, Medea returning to her native one after the more conven-
tional scenario of her betrayal by her foreign one.  Djinn is another
transcendent work of mockery by the au courant Hooper, who places a
mirror to the world by making - intentionally, unintentionally - his
new Medea a farce of meaninglessness, a saddened excoriation of
matrimonial neutrality, doomed by the spouses' inability to choose
sides.  This is, of course, negated by the released cut, which fates
the husband to a fundamentalist return via a fanatical mother.)

"MEDEA: But that by a trick I may kill the king’s daughter.
 For I will send the children with gifts in their hands
A finely woven dress and a golden diadem.
Such poison will I lay upon the gifts I send.
But there, however, I must leave that account paid.
I weep to think of what a deed I have to do
Next after that; for I shall kill my own children."

(Djinn's close attentiveness to the materialist trappings of its forbidden world is
provocatively close to that of classic tragedies, where it is gilded objects that are
often the means to kingship or the hosts of death.  The Golden Fleece with which
to rule, the golden diadem with which to poison.  That the event of gift-giving
 precedes the pivotal act of infanticide makes clear the inextricable tie between
material things and our great and irrevocable decisions.)

"MEDEA: O children, O my children, you have a city,
You have a home, and you can leave me behind you,

"You! Can I think that you would ever treat me well?
But I will do it, and these questions will make you
Appear the baser. Where am I to go? To my father’s?
Him I betrayed and his land when I came with you."

"CHORUS: O country and home,
Never, never may I be without you,
Living the hopeless life,
Hard to pass through and painful,
Most pitiable of all.
Let death first lay me low and death
Free me from this daylight.
There is no sorrow above
The loss of a native land."

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