[ilds] Bisexual Love

Lee Sternthal lasternthal at gmail.com
Mon Jul 21 11:09:54 PDT 2014

Dare I say this is a far more productive start to a conversation on sexuality in LDs work than the previous one.  

Sexuality can be literal, emotional, pyschological, political or some combination of all of these, as we know.  Bisexuality itself makes for a wonderful open metaphor for storytellers in all genres, numerous examples can be cited.  A writer so obviously concerned with freedom, the protean nature of the human personality and the ever changing (chaotic) world will find a lot to draw out from in the exploration of sexuality in fiction, whether they were engaging in bisexuality or not in their life.  Also, obviously Greek myth, literature and culture has been far more open about the paradigm of sexuality than most other western societies.  

So I'd still be very careful about what conclusions are drawn, but, again I think this is a far more productive way to begin to investigate the issue as it relates to the work and the author.   


> On Jul 21, 2014, at 10:56 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net> wrote:
> James,
> Thanks for the confirmation.  The change from "bisexual" to "modern" is very important in Durrellian studies and really needs to be formalized in a publication, one which can be easily cited.  The obvious place for that is Deus Loci.  I'm truly amazed your essay was rejected, which strikes me as a serious error in editorial responsibility.  Good luck on getting your essay published.  I assume it will include a full analysis of the topic in Durrell's works.  Please let me know when it does.
> Michael Haag's discussion of the topic, as cited below, is very good, although I'm not completely satisfied with his explanation.  He confines himself to a philosophical or literary analysis of Durrell's attitude to bisexuality.  Seems to me there's more than that.  Briefly, why the obsession with bisexuality?  Why make it a cornerstone of one's personal philosophy?
> Bruce
>> On Jul 21, 2014, at 10:21 AM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Bruce,
>> It's confirmed.  There's a ts. variant of the note in Victoria, and Charles Sligh has confirmed the "bisexual love" phrase for the note to Balthazar from the British Library holdings (I'll check this with him case it was actually Carbondale...  I could be mistaken).
>> I've tried to publish on this, but peer review brought out some squeamish readers.  That's not unusual in work on Durrell.
>> It's worth noting how pervasive the discussion of bisexuality is in Durrell's works. It's there in /Pied Piper of Lovers/, and the character Pamela is based on a bisexual friend of Durrell's, and it's there right through the Avignon Quintet.
>> As for the ILDS listserv, indeed the Google search function is handy!  I use it regularly, and tracking shows it gets a great deal of use generally as well!
>> All best,
>> James
>>> On 2014-07-21, 8:47 AM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
>>> According to Michael Haag on 4/8/07 (ILDS list), "[Durrell] originally
>>> wanted /Justine/ to be described as 'an investigation of bisexual love,'
>>> but Faber objected and so it became the anodyne and meaningless
>>> 'investigation of modern love.'"  Haag is referring to the Note at the
>>> beginning of the 1958 edition of /Balthazar./
>>> What is Haag's source for this claim (original MS? letter? interview?
>>> etc.) — indeed, has it been verified? — and has this claim been
>>> published anywhere?  If so, what is the citation?  Neither Bowker nor
>>> MacNiven mention the change from "bisexual" to "modern" in their
>>> biographies.
>>> By the way, the Google search function on the ILDS website is most
>>> helpful!  My thanks to the webmaster.
>>> Thanks,
>>> Bruce
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