[ilds] Modern Bisexual Love and Beyond

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 5 21:10:52 PDT 2014

If you ignore the "master-mistress" implications of "Sonnet 20" or bisexual references in other sonnets, then you can perhaps say most of Shakespeare's sonnets are about Love, in which case I guess it doesn't make any difference who's being addressed.  Love is love, right? no matter who the object.  But that's not the case.  The ambiguity or doubleness of "master-mistress" is crucial to the meaning of the poem and causes the complicated play as it unfolds on "acquainted" (cunt), "thing" (prick), and "pricked" (same).  Otherwise, you might just as well read the first quatrain and forget the rest.  My point — the sex of the addressee makes a big difference — that's the point (same).  And Durrell picked up on this.  By the way, James, what is your source for saying Durrell gave a bisexual reading to the Sonnets?


On Jun 5, 2014, at 7:36 PM, Odos <odos.fanourios at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Jun 5, 2014, at 6:51 PM, Lee Sternthal <lalexsternthal at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I think a reading that puts 18 in a closet is boring in comparison...
>> And what if someone thinks that Shakespeare being the sole author is boring in comparison to other theories?  Does that make it true, much less have anything at all to do with the actual work, it's purpose, it's effect, it's meaning?  
> Well, we can continue to toss out red herrings, but it smells fishy...  Sonnet 20 and 18 are in the actual work, and perhaps more importantly, Durrell discusses precisely this reading of the Sonnets (and enthusiastically backs it). What does that then tell us about his allusions to Shakespeare in this novels?  What does it encourage a reader to do when something "queer" appears in the text?  What does it do to our understanding of the juxtaposed 3-part relationships in /Monsieur/?
> And for what it's worth, the "master-mistress" of desire in Sonnet 18 is very much "it's [sic] purpose, it's [sic] effect, it's [sic] meaning."  Purpose, of course, is right back to the author function and intentional fallacy, so perhaps you'd take that part back.  As for "effect" and "meaning," I suppose the question is if meaning and effect are text-imminent traits or reader-imminent.  There's always a combination of the two, but I would think that the reader's understanding of meaning and effect is often tied to the "author function," that is, the construction of an author in our minds that goes on while reading.  We can become immersed in the text, but we usually realize it has a cover, and that cover bears a name...
> We might even dare to speak that name, but for Durrell the symptomatic text doesn't always need the mouth to move for the IT to speak.  Durrell presents texts with symptoms, and that invites a different kind of reading again.
> All best,
> James
> Sent from my iPad
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