At a nightclub in Istanbul once, Gillian had been shocked, without quite knowing why, to find one of those vacant, sweetly pink and blue church Virgins, life-sie, standing as part of the decorations, part hat-stand, part dumb-waitress, as you might find a many-handed Hindu deity or plaster Venus in an equivalent occidental club. Now suddenly, she saw a real bewildered old woman, a woman with a shrivelled womb and empty eyes, a woman whose son had been cruelly and very slowly slaughtered before her eyes, shuffling through the streets of Ephesus, waiting quietly for death until it came. And then, afterwards, this old woman, this real dead old woman had in part become the mother goddess the Syria Dea, the crowned Queen.
A. S. Byatt, The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye.
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