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The Public Blogging of Pomosexuality, Homotextuality, Homophobiaphilia, and Drear Theory (aka Career Theory) [aka Gay4Pay]. We also read the Corner and OpJournal so the right buttock will be punished as well.
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I learned from an email that Paul Varnell sent to his list earlier in the week that Guy Davenport died on January 7th. Paul's email was a forward of a letter he'd sent to the New York Times objecting, in the friendliest way, to the Times inability to mention Davenport's homosexuality. The Times obit had receded behind the pay per view firewall by the time I went looking for it, but the Washington Post obit does the same thing Paul said the Times did, leaving the reader with no idea Davenport was gay, indeed implying just the opposite by closing with this sentence:
Survivors include Bonnie Jean Cox, his companion of 40 years.
Paul makes the further point that this seems doubly strange following so closely on the controversy over the media's blackout of any mention Susan Sontag's later-life lesbianism in the her obituary in the NYT's (and almost everywhere else--call it the obit closet). The silence over Sontag makes more sense to me as she was seldom forthcoming about her sex-life, and it didn't play out overtly in her writing. But Davenport's collected fiction is such a juicy farrago of high-brow boy- craziness that it's hard to read obituaries that make him sound like a genteel obscurantist and/or academic modernist without laughing at the prospect of someone discovering Davenport through these obits only to open the books themselves and find all those stories about fiendishly bright Dutch etudiants sucking each other off.
And then there are all those beautifully drawn pictures (by Davenport himself) of hot boys in their underpants that serve as the books' illustrations (though sometimes Davenport mixed things up with beautifully drawn still lifes, as well as the occasional life-study of a hot boys in speedos or running shorts). There is some small measure of heterosex in Davenport's utopian tales of cute-ass, northern european, teenaged polymaths, but it's pretty fucking scarce. And there are many stories that are sexless altogether, but any time there is sex on the page, chances are about twenty to one that two boys are on the page, too. Sometimes three.
I love Davenport's books, I've read them all and I hope there is something left to be published.
I was pleased to learn from the Post obit that Davenport had received a MacArthur fellowship, with all the cash that entails, in 1991. I don't know how I missed that news at the time, since I love to read the annual MacArthur list and cluck at its absurdities, but I was glad to hear of it now.
Guy Davenport's Fiction:
The Jules Verne Steam Balloon
A Table of Green Fields
The Cardiff Team
Geography of the Imagination
The Hunter Gracchus
Objects on a Table
His drawings and paintings:
A Balance of Quinces
Update: I was in a Davenport mood so I sat on the sofa and went surfing for some online Guy D. I found this in Davenport's New Criterionobituary of Hugh Kenner (it is not Davenport's best moment, there should be a Beware Falling Names sign posted at the entrance):
He was Canadian, the late-born child of a schoolmaster and a teacher, Welsh immigrants. “I don’t think I had a childhood,” he once said, though he let drop that he first heard the poetry of Baudelaire recited around a campfire by his scoutmaster, Pierre Trudeau.
UNITED NATIONS--"The Three Amigos" -- as the cartoon condoms named Shaft, Stretch and Dick are called -- are pictured in a variety of settings from a spaceship to a soccer field to a casino. Twenty different spots are available in each of the 41 languages varying from 20 to 60 seconds in length. Some spots are blatantly sexual, others more restrained.
The punch line in the spaceship spot says: "No condom, No blastoff. Stop the spread of AIDS." The soccer spot says: "You just can't score without a condom." And the spot focusing on a roulette wheel in a casino says: "Not all gamblers realize the odds stacked against them. Don't gamble with your life. Use a condom. Stop the spread of AIDS."
That's a post, in its entirety, from Katherine Jean Lopez (they call her K-Lo, I call her Kathlez). She is, as always, standing in the Corner with her nose against the wall God made for her. Which explains her expansive view of the situation.
In China, scientists have identified the fossilized remains of a tiny dinosaur in the stomach of a mammal. Scientists say the animal's last meal probably is the first proof that mammals hunted small dinosaurs some 130 million years ago.
...The dinosaur-eater belongs to a species called Repenomamus robustus, known previously from skull fragments. It has no modern relatives.
The squat, toothy specimen measures a little less than 2 feet long, and probably weighed about 15 pounds.
That last bit reads like the special comments section of my gay.com profile. And I'm not going to tell you what I'm describing. Me and R. Robustus have something else in common:
The remains still are recognizable, indicating that R. robustus ripped its prey like a crocodile, but probably had not developed the ability to chew food like more advanced mammals.
"It must have swallowed food in large hunks," Meng said.
Nick Gillespie at Hit and Run points to an amusing article on the voodoo edumetrics that the No Child Left Behind act has spawned (the school admins are crunching the data and then swallowing the results), and to this even more amusing illustrative image (it is in fact one of the funniest things I've ever seen) of the nation's "persistently dangerous" schools. This news deserved a frontpage headline, not just an inside pages info-graphic:
All Childs Well Behaved In Forty-Seven States!
With this map of America's schools at peace and everywhere the mug of Armstrong Williams on the take, NCLB has more than proven its worth in mirth, and I for one will defend it to the death. At cost. Plus expenses.
I've seen maps of the Mayo-Dixon line that divides the US into the regions allied behind the cause of Mayonnaise suffrage and those that pledge allegiance to the Salad Dressing confederacy. And then there's peaceful (so far) triparty politics of the hero, hoagie and sub factions.
But what about the I'm cumming and It's cumming armies? Where's their map? What flags do they rally round?
And where have they set up camp? I want to be the Matthew Brady/Walt Whitman/Clara Barton of that civil war. I'd like to make book on it too. I will cover ANY wager against the It's Cumming dudes. You really wanna bet against them?