The Most Poetic Subject in the World

  • Valerie Su-Lin Wee


THE MOST POETIC SUBJECT IN THE WORLD: OBSERVATIONS ON DEATH, (BEAUTIFUL) WOMEN AND REPRESENTATION IN BLADE RUNNER WESTERN culture has a long tradition of associating death with femininity and sex. Whether it is Snow White or Bluebeard's wives, Clarissa or Madame Bovary, Carmen or Madame Butterfly, representations of dead and dying women fascinate and disturb. A Greek motto from Palladas states that "Every woman is as bitter as gall; but she has two good moments, one in bed, the other at her death" (quoted by Mérimée, 181). According to Edgar Allan Poe, "the death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetic subject in the world" (19). Thomas de Quincey acknowledges ". . . with the love that burns in depths of admiration . . . that you [sister woman] can do one thing as well as the best of us men -- a greater thing than even...