[ilds] ugly women

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Fri Jul 6 06:55:43 PDT 2007

Is M. M. Drake in the story?  Numinous women outside the narrative don't count.


-----Original Message-----
>From: Michael Haag <michaelhaag at btinternet.com>
>Sent: Jul 6, 2007 6:33 AM
>To: Richard Pine <richardpin at eircom.net>, ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>Cc: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>Subject: Re: [ilds] ugly women
>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 author of at least 2 (unpublished) novels which are now in the LD 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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