[ilds] Mention of the Alexandria Quartet in an Interesting and Controversial New Book

James Nichols jnichols at nctv.com
Mon Jun 2 10:28:30 PDT 2014


I agree with the nonsense bit, but am I the last person in the world to
look at the 37 min bit on NETFLICKS about Pope Joan?   I just discovered it
a few days ago and was amazed that it had been around so long.  Surely She
wasn't gay now, was she???????

  In any case, enjoy the discussion everyone.  The Netflicks piece never
mentions Larry, as I remember.

  Jim Nichols


On Sat, May 31, 2014 at 4:24 PM, PETER BALDWIN <delospeter at hotmail.com>
wrote:

> This is speculative nonsense and suggests that the Durrell list is best
> ignored
>
> Evidence please, not some fanciful idea along the lines of which led to
> the scurrilous suggestion that D's interest in incest was evidence of a
> sexual relationship with Sappho.
>
> Desist, please, if this list is to be taken seriously.
>
> Peter Baldwin
>
> ------------------------------
> From: bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
> Date: Sat, 31 May 2014 12:10:08 -0700
> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
> CC: bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
> Subject: Re: [ilds] Mention of the Alexandria Quartet in an Interesting
> and Controversial New Book
>
> Billy, thanks for the response.  Any evidence for Durrell's repressed
> homosexuality?  No, certainly none that would satisfy a court of law.  But
> to be argumentative, MacNiven bases his biography in part on what Durrell
> told him, and would you expect Lawrence Durrell to admit homosexual
> tendencies, especially given the opprobrium attached to such a confession?
>  (By the way, I don't mean to disparage MacNiven's tremendous work — I have
> the greatest respect for what he accomplished.)  My evidence is
> circumstantial and largely based on Durrell's writings and the prominence
> of homosexuality as a topic of treatment.  As D. H. Lawrence says, "Never
> trust the artist.  Trust the tale."  I'm much in line with what Boone
> writes.  Here, of course, the big objection is what literary critics are
> fond of making — namely, don't confuse the author with his or her writings!
>  There's some validity to this, but I don't always buy the objection and
> attribute it to the prejudices of New Criticism, whose ideas still linger
> and influence.  So, I'm saying, as Boone seems to suggest, let's look at
> Durrell's writings and his obsessions and see where all that leads us.
>  Finally, remember the lesson of Thomas Mann, author of *Death in Venice.*
>  For a long time, Mann's treatment of homosexuality was analyzed as a
> literary trope (much as Durrell's is).  After all, Mann was an upright
> German, married with a large family, and no inkling of homosexuality.  But
> as Anthony Heilbut shows in his biography, *Thomas Mann:  Eros and
> Literature* (1996), Mann had repressed homosexual tendencies.  *Death in
> Venice* and Gustav von Aschenbach's infatuation with the boy Tadzio is
> based on Mann's own personal experience.  I see something similar going on
> with Durrell.
>
> Bruce
>
>
>
> On May 31, 2014, at 11:26 AM, William Apt <billyapt at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Bruce:
>
> I seem to recall that, according to MacNiven's bio, when LD was confronted
> with the opportunity for homoerotic encounters while in prep school in
> England, he realized he was unstimulated by boys. That is typically the
> hallmark of a heterosexual mindset. Do you have any evidence other than
> LD's occasional bad behavior toward women that might otherwise support your
> theory?
>
> Billy
>
> WILLIAM APT
> Attorney at Law
> 812 San Antonio St, Ste 401
> Austin TX 78701
> 512/708-8300
> 512/708-8011 FAX
>
> On May 31, 2014, at 10:40 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> wrote:
>
> Merrianne,
>
> Thanks.  Some years ago Boone wrote a provocative article on homosexuality
> in the Quartet.  It begins by discussing Durrell's reference to Tropic of
> Cancer as a "man-size piece of work" in his famous introductory letter to
> Miller.  Boone took this as an example of Durrell's repressed
> homosexuality, if I recall correctly.  That is roughly equivalent to
> "you've shown me yours, now I'll show you mine."  Years ago I pursued this
> line of argument on the ILDS List and was roundly scoffed at.  "Durrell is
> gay!  Nonsense!"  Personally I think he was a repressed homosexual, which
> might account for some of his strange and violent behavior.  The guy was
> pretty screwed up.  Perhaps we can resume this discussion.
>
> Bruce
>
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On May 31, 2014, at 6:31 AM, "Merrianne" <timlot at comcast.net> wrote:
>
> Before attending the OMG conference in Vancouver, I purchased a recently
> published book – *The Homoerotics of Orientalism* by Joseph Allen Boone,
> published by Columbia University Press. The book is generating some
> controversy. Having spent many years researching 19th century orientalist
> art, I am finding this book very interesting, but not your usual summer
> read. It weaves together many diverse threads – art, literature, gender,
> sexuality, colonialism, mass marketing, etc., and introduces some unique
> analysis. Illustrations range from traditional Ingres nudes to Norman
> Mailer as a pharaoh on the cover of New York magazine.
>
> Included in the chapter “Epic Ambitions and Epicurean Appetites” is a
> subchapter titled “The Return of the Repressed in Durrell’s Alexandria
> Quartet” that focuses on the depiction of Darley. Footnote 70 for this
> chapter cites James Gifford’s “The Frontiers of Love: Sexual and
> Territorial Ambiguity in Lawrence Durrell’s Monsieur.”
>
> Bottom line – this is a book that some of you might want to peruse. For
> me, it provides new insight into the many “textbook” images of orientalism
> I have enjoyed over the years, and introduces me to many “new” contemporary
> photographs, paintings, and ideas.
>
> Best,
> Merrianne Timko
>
>
>
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