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American Gods Somewhere In America - Bilquis, Queen of Sheba 
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Post American Gods Somewhere In America - Bilquis, Queen of Sheba
An interlude between Chapter One and Chapter Two.

The prostitute Bilquis consumes a customer. She asks the man to put money under a small stone statue with enormous hips, but their encounter is rather different from normal sex.

A website 'Only the gods are real' at http://frowl.org/gods/gods.html provides a mythological guide to American Gods. It is a very good reference for finding out the stories linked to the characters.

On Bilquis, it states

Quote:
Bilquis, also called Bilqis or Balkis, was the legendary Queen of Sheba. In the Bible and the Koran, she met with King Solomon of Israel. Tradition also says that she bore his son, Menelik I. She was also believed to be half-jinn, and was reknowned for her beauty and for her wise leadership. She was called Makeda by her own people. Legend also says that she had very hairy legs, which the Bilquis of American Gods notices.


A review on Amazon remarks on the Queen of Sheba. The pantheon of American Gods is very diverse, but she is the closest to the Bible, through the link with King Solomon.



Tue May 26, 2009 12:18 am
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Would that mean that King Solomon could be represented by the man in the interlude between Ch. 1 and 2? Also, Bilquis comes back in a later interlude, where she kills the man that was showing obsession for her.



Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:35 am
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xtremeskiier114 wrote:
Would that mean that King Solomon could be represented by the man in the interlude between Ch. 1 and 2? Also, Bilquis comes back in a later interlude, where she kills the man that was showing obsession for her.


That is a provocative suggestion! Gaiman presents a rather provocative sexual politics with this scene. I think you are right in comparing the prostitute’s client with King Solomon, as Gaiman expresses a subtle contempt for the mainstream religious images of Judeo-Christianity, and his derogatory depiction of this character, Bilquis’s sordid lover/victim, could well be a poke at old Sol. Bilquis swallows her client whole through her vagina in the act of sex, an extraordinary image which seems redolent of a primal female power exercising authority over a weak and false male representative. Of course, the mythic Bilquis was the Queen of Sheba, and her power vis-à-vis King Solomon of Jerusalem is a matter of some debate.

This mythic rebalancing of gender power also seems intended to illustrate other areas in which Gaiman suggests our society is unbalanced. Notably, the pagan Gods such as Thoth and Odin have an intuitive natural wisdom which has been forgotten by the arrogance of modern views. This is a completely post-modern world that Gaiman envisions, with the self-perception of identity of the USA subject to mockery and derision in the eyes of the forgotten gods who linger in the margins of the dominant culture.



Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:21 pm
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