[ilds] Bisexual Love

Kennedy Gammage gammage.kennedy at gmail.com
Mon Jul 21 18:50:58 PDT 2014


Well - thank God it wasn't bestiality or something really nasty!

Cheers - Ken


On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 2:41 PM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at gmail.com>
wrote:

> This analysis is similar to Haag's, as cited below, dated 4/8/07.  He
> explains it well.  One can approach the topic of bisexuality as Durrell's
> theory or interpretation of the "modern" condition, be it social or
> personal.  Or one can look at it autobiographically.  Pine quotes Durrell:
>  "My books are a sort of spiritual autobiography, not only of myself as an
> individual, but of my age.  What I want to inspect is the secret intuitions
> of my readers, male and female" *(Mindscape,* 2nd ed., p. 26).  (Pine's
> book, incidentally, is a real mine of information about LD.)  I see a lot
> of fleshiness in Durrell's notion of "spiritual" and would assign a
> behavioral meaning to "secret intuitions."  From the flesh to the spirit,
> as Augustine's *Confessions* shows and as Chaucer writes in his famous
> *Prologue* — both writers very familiar to Durrell.  As to the Greek
> myths, Freud used them as a paradigm for his theory of sexuality as seen in
> the Oedipus complex.  And Philip Slater in *The Glory of Hera* uses the
> myths to explain ancient Greek male psychology and the role of women in
> that society.  In short, it might be useful get below the surface meaning
> of Durrell's notion of "bisexuality."  Whichever approach, it's a matter of
> reader's choice.  "Sink or swim," as the author says.
>
> Bruce
>
>
>
>
> On Jul 21, 2014, at 11:09 AM, Lee Sternthal <lasternthal at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> 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.
>
> -L
>
> 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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