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From the Great Above She Opened Her Ear to the Great Below


Published by Brick Books, 1988

with visual artist Susan Shantz

In this collaboration, which can be viewed as two visions in dialogue, Shantz and Lilburn each focus on the story of the Sumerian goddess Inanna, who descends from her throne in heaven to the underworld. After being killed there by her sister, Inanna is reborn to return transformed, with her adornments no longer external but “formed by the scars of her healed wounds” (Shantz), a new Inanna who is also “a new physics” (Lilburn). By dramatizing the myth of the female dying-and-rising divinity in Lilburn’s poetic sequence and a series of colour photographs of Shantz’s room-sized constructions, the book offers us all access to the roots of feminine power in our lives.

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