[ilds] ugly women

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 5 21:01:50 PDT 2007

Well, Michael, my comments aren't welcomed, but that won't stop me.  But yes, I think you're identified a major trope in Durrellian studies:  the feminine role in political activism.  It's now plain that Durrell is an unmitigated sexist:  women who abandon their traditional roles also abandon their feminine allure.  Look what happened to Justine after she went off to that kibbutz in Palestine.  She became what?  Some ill-groomed, grubby chicken plucker.  She cut her hair, butch style.  She also probably stopped shaving her legs and painting her nails.  She became so disgusting that LD couldn't bear to describe her in his main narrative.  That's what activism does to women.  Because of EOKA, Aphrodite of Amathus has fled Cyprus, her birthplace, and left it to the herms, harpies, and maenads (they're lurking under the flowers).  A prize to anyone who finds the numinous woman on Cyprus, circa 1953.

-----Original Message-----
>From: Michael Haag <michaelhaag at btinternet.com>
>Sent: Jul 5, 2007 8:00 PM
>To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>Subject: [ilds] ugly women
>We are told in these opening pages of Bitter Lemons of 'the unfolding 
>of the Cyprus tragedy' (page 11) and, perhaps not unconnectedly, that 
>the women are 'Very ugly ... Very ugly indeed' (page 17).  Later we are 
>told (page 103) about 'Sir Harry meditating on the double-sexed 
>Aphrodite whose priests wore beards and whose worshippers inverted 
>their dress -- and wondering whether the extraordinary number of 
>hermaphrodites on Cyprus did not betoken some forgotten race, bred for 
>the service of the temple'.  Perhaps this explains much.  No numinous 
>women for a start, only bearded EOKA terrorists.  The ugliness of 
>Cypriot women, and the prevalence of hermaphroditism on the island, 
>seem to be key themes in the Cyprus tragedy and deserving our 
>discussion on this list.  Contributions by hermaphrodites and those of 
>forgotten race would be especially welcome.

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