[ilds] ugly women

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Fri Jul 6 07:38:42 PDT 2007


The hermaphrodites of Cyprus meet three out of four of those points.  I 
am excluding number one, ie beautiful, but then I do not know that; 
Durrell does not specifically say whether the hermaphrodites of Cyprus 
are beautiful or not.  I suppose it is a matter of taste, of which the 
Cypriots themselves are the best judges.

:Michael


On Friday, July 6, 2007, at 03:09  pm, Bruce Redwine wrote:

> Well, "in passing" doesn't count either.  M. M. Drake can't qualify as 
> a numinous woman.  A few guidelines should be laid down for the 
> "numinous woman."  I suggested that she be
>
> 1.  beautiful
> 2.  elusive
> 3.  ubiquitous
> 4.  a "real presence" (G. Steiner).
>
> Other qualities welcomed.
>
> Bruce
>
> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Michael Haag <michaelhaag at btinternet.com>
>> Sent: Jul 6, 2007 7:01 AM
>> To: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>, ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>> Subject: Re: [ilds] ugly women
>>
>> 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.
>>
>> :Michael
>>
>>
>> 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 author of at least 2 (unpublished) novels which are now in the LD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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