[ilds] ugly women

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Fri Jul 6 07:01:52 PDT 2007

She gets mentioned in passing.  So does his 'daughter', but no mother 
is mentioned -- again, a man on an island with an unexplained little 
girl.  He is far more forthcoming about the hermaphrodites.


On Friday, July 6, 2007, at 02:55  pm, Bruce Redwine wrote:

> Is M. M. Drake in the story?  Numinous women outside the narrative 
> don't count.
> Bruce
> -----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.
>> :Michael
>> 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 author of at least 2 (unpublished) novels which are now in the LD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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