[ilds] Interesting adventures of Paddy Fermor and Larry Durrell

Paul Hopwood paulhopwood at mac.com
Tue Jun 10 12:47:31 PDT 2014


So do I... to me this sounds very plausible (speaking as English ex public school - and silent reader of this thread).

Paul

> On 10 Jun 2014, at 20:20, Lee Sternthal <lasternthal at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> 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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