From: Tim Wohlforth ( tim@timwohlforth.com)
Date: 09 Apr 2006

Okay, so it's a rather old story. However, now we can understand it in a new light. Nothing like a new twist after 2,000 years. It is difficult to discuss noir writing without sooner or later touching on the theme of betrayal. That is, dealing with Judas. We now learn that it is possible that Judas was a good guy, Jesus' most loyal disciple, the betrayal orchestrated by Jesus himself. There are even hints of the tradition gospels that suggest this: that the crucifixion was part of some divine plan. Think about it for a moment. If we are to accept for the moment the Christian concept that Jesus was the son of God then when the Gospel of Judas says "For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me" Jesus is expressing a determination to free himself of his human characteristics. Now that is a rather noir comment on the human condition. He was relieved to be done with being like us. If, on the other hand, Jesus was a mortal, then this casts him in a rather dark light. That is he wished to be martyred in order to be remembered as such. Sort of like Moussaoui.

I am not testifying to the accuracy of the Gospel of Judas, nor trying to say anything about religious belief as such. I am trying to say something about story. To see Judas as a good guy does not put a period to the story of betrayal. One way or another betrayal is part of the broader human narrative along with salvation. We live now and always have in a manichaean world. The noir tale feeds on this and explores, so to speak, one side, the dark side, of this larger story. The Gospel of Spade.

Tim Wohlforth tim@timwohlforth.com www.timwohlforth.com

RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/
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