[ilds] ugly women

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Fri Jul 6 10:42:11 PDT 2007


As I mentioned earlier, Justine was a hermaphrodite.  If she counts as 
numinous, what the hell.

:Michael



On Friday, July 6, 2007, at 06:14  pm, Bruce Redwine wrote:

> Interesting.  Not to get too technical, but is a hermaphrodite a 
> woman?  The job description require a "numinous woman," not half a 
> woman.
>
> Bruce
>
> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Michael Haag <michaelhaag at btinternet.com>
>> Sent: Jul 6, 2007 7:38 AM
>> To: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>, ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>> Subject: Re: [ilds] ugly women
>>
>> 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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