Enkidu’s Woman: Carla Bruni and the Civilizing Sexfiend in the Epic of Gilgamesh

This past week, New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd, had a wonderful profile of Carla Bruni, the wife of French President Sarkozy. Money quote:

The French are different from you and me.

Yes, they have Sarkozy.

And they have Carla.

And they have “the Carla effect,” as it’s known in Paris.

If an American first lady, or would-be first lady, described herself as a “tamer of men” and had a “man-eating” past filled with naked pictures, Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton, sultry prone CD covers, breaking up marriages, bragging that she believes in polygamy and polyandry rather than monogamy, and having a son with a married philosopher whose father she had had an affair with, it would take more than an appearance on “The View” to sweeten her image.

It’s hard to imagine the decibel level on Fox News if Michelle Obama put out a CD this summer, as Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is, with songs featuring lyrics like “I am a child/despite my 40 years/despite my 30 lovers/a child”; and this song, “Ma came”: “You are my junk/more deadly than Afghan heroin/more dangerous than Colombian white. …/My guy, I roll him up and smoke him.”

Carla Bruni’s boast of exercising her ‘woman-power’ to tame men recalls wild Enkidu’s first encounter with a woman in the wilderness. She was a temple prostitute brought from the city to seduce Enkidu, and gradually bring him under the spell of the feminine, and civilization. The couple did it, says the Gilgamesh Epic, for a whole week straight:

For six days and seven nights they lay together.

Before long, his new girlfriend had Enkidu out of the wilderness, and in civilization, dressing properly and using a cup to drink from:

He rubbed down the matted hair of his body and annointed himself with oil. Enkidu had become a man.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s