Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Boil 1.87 Haartz IV lives

"In Wales," he says, "mostly in the rural areas, there was a personage known as the Sin Eater. When someone was dying the Sin Eater would be sent for. The people of the house would prepare a meal and place it on the coffin. According to other versions the meal would be placed on the dead person's body, which must have made for some sloppy eating, one would have thought. In any case, the Sin Eater would devour this meal and would also be given a sum of money. It was believed thtat al the sins the dying person had accumulated during his lifetime would be removed from him and transmitted to the Sin Eater. The Sin Eater thus became absolutely bloated with other people's sins, a kind of syphilitic of the soul, you might say."
M. Atwood, "The Sin Eater", Dancing Girls, 213.


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