[ilds] Interesting adventures of Paddy Fermor and Larry Durrell

Lee Sternthal lasternthal at gmail.com
Tue Jun 10 12:20:49 PDT 2014

I agree with your analysis completely.

> On Jun 10, 2014, at 12:13 PM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com> wrote:
> The public school behaviour is pretty explicitly named in /Pied Piper of Lovers/: "sodomy" (171).  He's also quite explicit in not disparaging it (120, 219, 220) while at the same time saying it wasn't to his autobiographical protagonist's particular taste (120).  In essence, this is why I disagree over the issue of Durrell's being "repressed" about homosexuality -- I see him as being pretty comfortable with the range of sexualities any individual aligns with at one time or another (though a case study of repression appears in a very cheeky form in /The Black Book/).
> Does the "frolicking around" make us rethink Darley gazing on Keats's "newly god-like body" while he showers?  I'd be inclined to see Darley not as a repressing his homosexuality but rather as being quite comfortable with the homoerotic elements of his heterosexual identity.
> In essence, that's why "bisexual love" is so important to the Quartet in my reading -- it's everywhere in the book, including the stylistic level.
> All best,
> James
>> On 2014-06-10, 11:35 AM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
>> Now that you've brought it up.  I supposed everyone has his/her notions
>> of what amusing behavior is, especially in the context of boys
>> frolicking around after probably too much wine.  Artemis Cooper seems to
>> be describing some kind of public school frolic.  I do, however, find it
>> strange to have Durrell described as holding "the victim's [Paddy's]
>> penis," if accurate.  On the other hand, maybe this is what went on in
>> the public schools around this time — all in complete innocence.  Cooper
>> describes Leigh Fermor and Fielding as "brothers-in-arms," which they
>> were on Crete and "friends ever after."  This is a fine example of male
>> bonding in the military.  Had the U.S. soldiers of this period been
>> photographed engaging in such horseplay, however, a charge of
>> homosexuality could have been brought (possibly resulting in dismissal
>> from the service).  But we Americans are a bunch of prudes.
>> Bruce
>> On Jun 10, 2014, at 10:02 AM, Lee Sternthal <lalexsternthal at gmail.com
>> <mailto:lalexsternthal at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>> i think in order to find what you're looking for it sounds like you're
>>> making the case that you'd have to look for it in friends and
>>> associates' correspondence, journals and accounts.  and that does
>>> sound like the way to go.  but this episode recorded by Fermur sounds
>>> more amusing than erotic.  i think i'd probably also be a bit more
>>> intrigued if the owner of the "victim's penis" hadn't been
>>> married/with his wife Joan for nearly 60 years before she passed.
>>> On Jun 10, 2014, at 7:31 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at gmail.com
>>> <mailto:bredwine1968 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>> David, I'd like to see Joan's photograph of the tableau at the
>>>> sacrificial altar.  It's not in Cooper's book, although a photo of a
>>>> naked Xan atop a column is.  Aside from the work done by his editor,
>>>> Durrell himself edited a lot out of his island books.  Probably for
>>>> reasons of privacy and confidentiality.  He does, however, seem to
>>>> allude to private matters.  E.g., the beginning of /Bitter Lemons/
>>>> and the colors of Venice described as though "stricken by dementia."
>>>> Why dementia?  Well, prior to Venice he'd been visiting Eve in a
>>>> hospital in Germany where she was being treated for schizophrenia.
>>>> Michael Haag has a lot of say about this kind of thing.  Durrell
>>>> writes in code.
>>>> Bruce
>>>> On Jun 10, 2014, at 12:13 AM, Denise Tart & David Green
>>>> <dtart at bigpond.net.au <mailto:dtart at bigpond.net.au>> wrote:
>>>>> "After a few days on Santorini they went to Rhodes, where Lawrence
>>>>> Durrell was living with his second wife, Eve Cohen, in the Villa
>>>>> Cleobolus..'It was an amazing sojourn, spent in talk and music and
>>>>> feasting, ' wrote Paddy. 'Strange things always happened in his
>>>>> company and one afternoon, in the ruins of ancient Camirus, wine
>>>>> sprung curiosity set the four of us crawling on hands and knees
>>>>> through the bat-infested warren of underground conduits. We climbed
>>>>> out covered in droppings and dust and cobwebs...
>>>>> With their clothes so torn and filthy, it seemed like a good idea to
>>>>> take them off. They walked on naked and came across a stone that
>>>>> looked just like a sacrificial altar. A tableau was made,
>>>>> photographed by Joan: paddy lay across the stone and Larry held the
>>>>> sacrificial victim's penis, while beetle browed Xan wielded an
>>>>> enormous knife. Then, still naked, they walked along the top of a
>>>>> high wall (where Xan) struck an Eros pose, immortalised in another
>>>>> photo by Joan whom Durrell described as 'The Corn Goddess'. As for
>>>>> Paddy he was described as 'a wonderful mad Irishman... quite the
>>>>> most enchanting maniac I've ever met'."
>>>>> From Patrick Leigh Fermor: an Adventure by Artemis Cooper (2012)
>>>>> Thought this might amuse/delight/intrigue in the light of recent
>>>>> discussions. By the way, Durrell's own island book are remarkably
>>>>> devoid such such escapades and sexuality. Indeed apart from vague
>>>>> implications and polite descriptions Durrell's island books are
>>>>> quite sexless, unlike the biggies. Perhaps a carefully edited
>>>>> version of himself..
>>>>> David
>>>>> 16 William Street
>>>>> Marrickville NSW 2204
>>>>> Australia
>>>>> +61 2 9564 6165
>>>>> 0412 707 625
>>>>> www.denisetart.com.au <http://www.denisetart.com.au/>
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