[ilds] ugly women

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Fri Jul 6 06:33:50 PDT 2007

But Marie Millington Drake was not a Cypriot.  All Cypriot women are 
ugly, we are told.  And the island is infested with hermaphrodites, 
which I do not think Marie was either.


On Friday, July 6, 2007, at 09:15  am, Richard Pine wrote:

> Marie Millington Drake was, apparently, very beautiful. She was also 
> the
> author of at least 2 (unpublished) novels which are now in the LD 
> collection
> at Carbondale - and she was the deceased muse who prompted his trip to
> Sicily - with disastrous literary results, as at least one member of 
> this
> group will agree. RP
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Bruce Redwine" <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> To: <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
> Sent: Friday, July 06, 2007 5:01 AM
> Subject: Re: [ilds] ugly women
>> 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.
>> Bruce
>> -----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.
>>> :Michael
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