Tradução comentada de trechos de “PLATÓN. Obras Completas (trad. espanhola do grego por Patricio de Azcárate, 1875), Ed. Epicureum (digital)”
Além da tradução ao Português, providenciei notas de rodapé, numeradas, onde achei oportuno abordar pontos polêmicos ou obscuros. Quando a nota for de Azcárate (tradutor) ou de Ana Pérez Vega (editora), um (*) antecederá as aspas.
“MÊNON – Poderias dizer-me, Sócrates, se a virtude pode ser ensinada? E, podendo ou não, adquire-se só com a prática ou encontra-se no homem também naturalmente ou sob qualquer outra forma?
SÓCRATES – Até agora os tessálios desfrutaram de grande renome entre os gregos, e foram muitíssimo admirados por sua destreza em montar a cavalo, bem como por suas riquezas; mas hoje em dia sua fama reside, a meu ver, mais em sua sabedoria, principalmente na dos concidadãos de teu amigo Aristipo de Larissa.(*) A razão disso é que Górgias, havendo visitado esta cidade, atraiu a seu círculo, em vista de seu enorme talento, os aristocratas alêuadas, i.e., descendentes do rei Aleuas.¹ Aristipo se encontrava neste número. Apenas os mais distintos dos tessálios freqüentavam a residência de Górgias. Ele vos acostumou a responder com firmeza e imponência às perguntas, assim como os sábios respondem com naturalidade tudo aquilo que são perguntados (…)”
(*) “Que não deverá ser confundido com Aristipo de Cirene, discípulo do próprio Sócrates, que no entanto punha o Prazer no lugar do soberano Bem.” – P.A. (Mau discípulo, por sinal!)
¹ Rei mitológico, já que se diz que fôra neto do próprio Aquiles da Guerra de Tróia. Há discordância entre os escoliastas de língua portuguesa se se o chama Aleuas ou Alevas e, em conseqüência, seus descendentes poderiam tanto se chamar alêuadas como alêvadas. Aqui procedemos à opção de Azcárate.
“Mas aqui em Atenas, meu querido Mênon, as coisas tomaram a contra-mão. Não sei que espécie de aridez se apoderou da ciência; até o ponto em que parece se haver retirado por completo destes lugares, para ir animar apenas vossa Tessália. Imagino que se perambularas nas ruas questionando o que me questionas serias vítima de troça, e não haveria quem não to dissesse: Estrangeiro, estou tão distante de saber se a virtude, dada sua natureza, pode ser ensinada, que ignoro mesmo o que seja essa tal virtude! Mas Mênon, eu disse isso sobre todos os atenienses: eu também não sei a resposta. Prescindo da sabedoria, como meus concidadãos. Sinto muitíssimo não possuir qualquer tipo de ciência sobre a virtude! (…) Parece-te, aliás, possível que alguém que não conhece a pessoa de Mênon afirme que seja formoso, rico e nobre, ou, enfim, destituído destas características? Crês tu?
MÊNON – Não, mas será verdade, Sócrates, que não saibas mesmo o que é a virtude? É concebível que, voltando eu a minha terra, tenha de aviltar tua imagem de sábio, confessando tua ignorância no tema?
SÓCRATES – Não só não o sei, querido Mênon, como não encontrei jamais alma que o soubesse, tanto quanto me concerne.
MÊNON – Como é? Não visitaste Górgias quando ele freqüentou Atenas?
SÓCRATES – Sim.
MÊNON – E me dizes então que ele de nada sabia?
SÓCRATES – Ando meio caduco, Mênon. Não posso dar-te um juízo exato, agora, de como avaliei Górgias então. Bom, talvez ele realmente soubesse o quê é a virtude, e dessa forma tu também, pois que tu és discípulo de Górgias.”
“SÓCRATES – Deixemos Górgias em paz, uma vez que não se encontra para defender-se. Mas tu, Mênon, em nome dos deuses, o que opinas sobre a virtude? Diz-mo. Não me prives deste conhecimento! Se eu saio desta conversa convencido de que tu e Górgias sabeis quê é a virtude, terei de admitir minha derrota: incorrera em falsidade todo este tempo, uma vez que conhecia homens que sabiam o que é a virtude!
MÊNON – A coisa não é assim tão difícil, Sócrates. Queres que te diga, duma vez, em que consiste a virtude do homem? Nada mais simples: consiste em estar em posição de administrar os negócios da sua pátria; e, administrando, fazer o bem a seus amigos e o mal a seus inimigos, procurando, por sua parte, evitar todo o sofrimento. Queres conhecer em que consiste a virtude da mulher? É facílimo defini-la: o dever de uma mulher é governar bem sua casa, vigiar seu interior, ser submissa ao marido. Também há uma virtude própria para os jovens, de um e outro sexo, e para os anciãos; a que convém ao homem livre é outrossim distinta da do escravo; em suma, há uma infinidade de virtudes. Nenhum inconveniente há em responder o que é a virtude, porque cada profissão, cada idade, cada ação, tem sua virtude particular. (…)
SÓCRATES – Imensa é minha fortuna, Mênon! Estava à procura de uma virtude, e me deparo com um verdadeiro enxame delas! Mas, recorrendo a esta imagem, i.e., do enxame, se eu te houvesse questionado da natureza das abelhas, e tu me respondesses que há muitas abelhas e de muitas espécies diferentes; o que me haveria de responder se eu te contestasse: É em virtude de sua qualidade de abelhas que dizes haver grande número? Ou não diferem em nada enquanto abelhas, mas sim em razão de outros conceitos, p.ex., a beleza, a magnitude ou qualquer qualidade assim, separável do que uma abelha é? (…)
MÊNON – Ora, diria que as abelhas, enquanto abelhas, não diferem umas das outras!”
“SÓCRATES – Saiba então que o mesmo sucede com as virtudes. Ainda que haja muitas e de muitos matizes e variedades, todas compartilham uma essência comum, o que possibilita que sejam chamadas virtudes.”
“Te parece, Mênon, que a saúde de um homem seja distinta da saúde de uma mulher?”
“Mênon, a verdade é que não buscamos mais que uma virtude. O que fizemos foi percorrer caminhos estranhos e achar várias virtudes, máscaras da virtude una.”
“SÓCRATES – Agora vê se concordas: a figura é, dentre todas as coisas que existem, a única que está unida à cor. Estás satisfeito ou desejas reformular tal definição? Eu me daria por satisfeito, caso desses-me uma definição de virtude no mesmo tom.
MÊNON – Mas esta definição é impertinente, Sócrates!
SÓCRATES – Por quê?!
MÊNON – Segundo tu, a figura está sempre unida à cor.
SÓCRATES – Sim, e…?
MÊNON – Se se dissesse que não se sabe quê é a cor, e que neste ponto está-se no mesmo embaraço que quanto à definição de figura, que pensarias a respeito?
SÓCRATES – (…) minha resposta já está dada; se não é justa, a ti toca pedir a palavra e refutá-la. Mas se fossem dois amigos, como tu e eu, que quiséssemos conversar juntos, seria preciso então responder-te, não é mesmo? Desta vez, de maneira mais suave e conforme com as leis da dialética. E o que é mais conforme com as leis da dialética? Não se limitar somente a dar uma resposta verdadeira, mas fazer com que esta resposta consista em palavras que o mesmo sujeito que nos dirigiu a pergunta confesse que entendeu a todas, uma a uma. Desta maneira inicio minha tentativa de responder-te melhor que antes. Pergunto: há uma coisa que chamas de fim, i.e., limite, extremidade? Estas 3 palavras expressam uma mesma idéia. Talvez Pródico não concordasse. Mas enfim, tu não assumes que uma coisa é finita e limitada? Eis meu entendimento.
E bem, não chamas algumas coisas de superfícies, planos, e outras sólidos? P.ex., o que se chama com estes nomes na geometria.
Agora sim podes conceber o que entendo eu por figura. Porque digo em geral de toda figura que é: aquilo que limita o sólido. Para resumir esta definição em apenas dois substantivos, chamo de figura o limite do sólido.
MÊNON – Excelente, Sócrates. E qual sua definição de cor?
SÓCRATES – Ah, Mênon! Tua juventude gosta de tripudiar de um velho como eu, não?! Sufoca-me com pergunta atrás de pergunta! Enquanto isso, não queres nem te lembrar nem dizer-me como Górgias entendia a virtude!
MÊNON – To direi, Sócrates—depois de terdes respondido minha pergunta!
SÓCRATES – Ainda que tivera meus olhos vendados, somente ao ouvir-te diria: és belo e tens amantes!
MÊNON – Por que dizes isto?!
SÓCRATES – Porque em teus discursos não fazes mais que mandar; coisa muito comum entre os jovens que, orgulhosos de sua beleza, exercem uma espécie de tirania enquanto se encontram na flor dos anos. Além disso, talvez tenhas descoberto minha fraqueza, amigo, o amor pela beleza! Mas farei tua vontade, respondo-te a seguir.
MÊNON – Sim, por favor, Sócrates!
SÓCRATES – Queres que te responda como responderia Górgias, a fim de que me sigas com mais facilidade?
MÊNON – Ó, é uma ótima idéia!
SÓCRATES – Não dizeis vós, segundo o sistema de Empédocles, que os corpos produzem emanações?
MÊNON – Correto, prossegue.
SÓCRATES – E que têm poros, através dos quais passam tais emanações?
MÊNON – Decerto.
SÓCRATES – E que certas emanações são proporcionais a certos poros; enquanto que outros deles são ou demasiado largos ou demasiado estreitos para que sirvam de condutores?
MÊNON – Não mentes.
SÓCRATES – Reconheces a vista?”
MÊNON – Vejo que sim.
SÓCRATES – Estabelecidas todas estas coisas, atenta agora ao que digo, tal qual o disse outrora Píndaro: <A cor não é outra coisa que uma emanação das figuras, proporcional à vista e sensível>.”¹
¹ O mais impressionante dessa definição é sua atualidade, como se Sócrates já falasse da freqüência da luz e nossa percepção dos tons pela decodificação instantânea dos neurônios que desemboca na retina. Ainda mais curioso diante do fato de que em outros diálogos Platão apresenta definições assaz mequetrefes, para nosso tempo pós-goethiano, em teoria das cores! É só ler seus diálogos mais avançados, incluindo mesmo A República.
“sobre a base desta resposta, ser-te-ia fácil agora explicar o que são a voz, o olfato e as coisas análogas.”
“SÓCRATES – Ela (a resposta sobre a cor) tem não sei quê de trágico, querido Mênon; e por esta razão mais te agradou que a resposta sobre a figura!
Mas esta segunda definição não é tão boa quanto a primeira, ó filho de Alexidemo. O mesmo opinarias, se acaso não fosses obrigado a voltar a tua terra antes de testemunhares os mistérios, e se pudesses permanecer e ser iniciado.
MÊNON – E com muito gosto permaneceria eu, Sócrates, se consentisses em me comunicar tais coisas.
SÓCRATES – (…) Cessa de multiplicar o que é único, Mênon, pilhéria esta comum aos oradores que querem ridicularizar seu oponente. Tomando então a virtude em si, integral e inviolada, explica-ma agora no que consiste! Te dei dois modelos para servirem-te de guia.
MÊNON – A virtude consiste, Sócrates, como refere o poeta, em comprazer-se com as coisas belas e poder adquiri-las.”
“SÓCRATES – Desejar as coisas belas, é a teu ver desejar as coisas boas?
MÊNON – Ora, sim.”
“SÓCRATES – Mas Mênon, crês que um homem, conhecendo tanto o mal quanto o bem, pode se ver premido a desejar o mal?
MÊNON – É claro.
Sócrates, parece que tens razão; ninguém deseja o mal.”
“SÓCRATES – E não é certo que a parte desta definição que expressa o querer é comum a todos os homens? E que neste conceito ninguém é melhor do que ninguém?
MÊNON – Convenho.
SÓCRATES – Está patente, portanto, que, se uns são melhores que os outros, não pode ser senão em razão do poder.
MÊNON – Isso sem dúvida.”
“MÊNON – Tinha ouvido dizer, Sócrates, antes de conversar contigo, que tu não sabias outra coisa senão duvidar e encher os outros de dúvidas. Vejo agora que fascinas meu espírito com teus feitiços, tuas maldições e teus encantamentos! De maneira que me encontro repleto de dúvidas… (…) Fazes bem em não saíres de Atenas, nem visitar outros países. Porque se fazes alhures o que aqui fazes, creio que te exterminariam!
SÓCRATES – És muito astuto, Mênon, e tentaste pregar-me uma peça!”
“Sei que todos os homens belos gostam de ser comparados, porque comparações são-lhes sempre vantajosas! (…) Não te devolverei outra comparação por esta! (…) se conduzo ao espírito dos outros a dúvida, não é porque saiba mais que ninguém, mas exatamente ao contrário; sou o ser que mais questiona, só isso! (…) Já com relação à virtude, meu caro, não sei o quê é; e creio que tu o sabias antes de vir ter comigo; mas depois de conversarmos um pouco, creio que agora já não saibas mais!”
“SÓCRATES – Compreendo o que queres dizer, Mênon. Percebe quão pouco fecundo não é o tema que acabas de estabelecer?! Parece que não é possível ao homem indagar aquilo que sabe, nem o que não sabe, afinal se já o sabe não tem necessidade de indagação alguma. Não indagará tampouco o que não sabe, pela simples razão de que não sabe o quê deveria indagar!
MÊNON – Não te parece que falo a verdade, Sócrates?
SÓCRATES – Não.
MÊNON – Quisera dizer-me o motivo!”
“Os poetas dizem¹ que a alma humana é imortal. Que logo que desaparece, ou pelo menos quando acontece o que denominam ‘morrer’, volta a aparecer; perecer, nunca. Por isso, é preciso viver da forma mais santa concebível. Porque Perséfone, após 9 anos, devolve a vida à alma do morto, de acordo com os méritos e as faltas da vida passada. Assim nascem e renascem os reis e os homens mais ilustres e sábios; nos séculos seguintes, eles são considerados pelos mortais como santos e heróis. A alma, partícipe desse ciclo infinito, tendo se deparado com as mesmas coisas tantas vezes, é por isso mesmo a coisa mais sábia que há. Seria coisa de se admirar, portanto, que ela pudesse recobrar aquilo que já abrigava, i.e., a resposta de quê é a virtude?”
“Tudo que se chama buscar e aprender nada mais é do que recordar.”
“SÓCRATES – Chama algum dos muitos escravos que estão a teu serviço, quem quiseres. (…)
MÊNON – Com prazer. Vem tu, jovem.
SÓCRATES – É grego? Ou sabe o grego?
MÊNON – Excepcionalmente. Ele é como que de nossa família, sempre foi de nossa casa.
SÓCRATES – Aguarda e só observa se o escravo recorda ou aprende de mim.
MÊNON – Pois não, sou todo ouvidos.
SÓCRATES – Jovem, diz-me: sabes que isto é um quadrado?
[Sócrates desenha com um graveto na areia para que o jovem visualize.]
ESCRAVO – Sim.
SÓCRATES – O espaço quadrado não é aquele que tem as quatro linhas que vês iguais?
ESCRAVO – Certamente.
SÓCRATES – Não tem também estas outras linhas, que dividem-no ao meio, iguais entre si? [Desenha uma cruz dentro do quadrado.]
¹ Supondo que o segmento BC = 2, tanto BF quanto FC = 1, nas palavras de Sócrates ao escravo logo abaixo. Cada um dos 4 quadrados que nasceram “dentro” do primeiro quadrado desenhado na areia conservam suas propriedades, só que em miniatura. E Sócrates fez tudo isso apenas riscando uma “cruz” na areia – ângulos retos, o que chamaríamos hoje, pós-Descartes, de eixos x (horizontal) e y (vertical), que não passam de lados de novos quadrados, conforme a perspectiva –, observando a proporção das medidas (a cruz, i.e., os segmentos perpendiculares entre si FH e EG, interseccionando-se no ponto zero do plano cartesiano, representado na imagem pela letra “I”).
ESCRAVO – Sim.
SÓCRATES – Não é verossímil que haja um espaço semelhante, embora maior ou menor?¹
ESCRAVO – Sem dúvida.
SÓCRATES – Se este lado fosse de 2 pés e este outro também de 2 pés, quantos pés teria o todo? Considera-o antes desta maneira, aliás: se este lado fosse de 2 pés e este de um pé só, não é certo que o espaço teria 1 vez 2 pés?²
ESCRAVO – Sim, sim, Sócrates.
SÓCRATES – Mas como na verdade este outro lado é também de 2 pés, não terá o espaço 2 vezes 2?
ESCRAVO – Sim.
SÓCRATES – Reiterando: logo, o espaço é 2×2?
ESCRAVO – Sim.
SÓCRATES – Quanto são 2×2? Conta para mim.
ESCRAVO – São 4, Sócrates.
SÓCRATES – E não poder-se-ia formar um espaço que fosse o dobro deste, ainda conservando suas mesmas propriedades, tendo lados iguais?³
ESCRAVO – Sim.
SÓCRATES – Quantos pés teria esse espaço?
ESCRAVO – 8.4
SÓCRATES – Agora diz-me: qual seria o comprimento de cada linha desse novo quadrado maior que concebemos… Veja: este quadrado traçado na areia¹ tem 2 pés de cada lado. Quantos pés teria o lado do <quadrado que é o dobro deste>?
ESCRAVO – É evidente: os lados teriam o dobro de pés!
SÓCRATES – Bem vê, Mênon, que eu não ensino nada ao jovem, tudo o que faço é interrogá-lo. E ele já imagina qual é a linha que deve traçar para formar o espaço trigonométrico de 8 pés, não te parece assim?
MÊNON – Sim, Sócrates.”
² Neste caso, seria como se a figura total fosse, p.ex., a ligação dos pontos BEGC, equivalente a um retângulo.
³ Um quadrado que fosse para o quadrado ABCD o mesmo que o quadrado BFIE é para o quadrado ABCD.
4 O sumo óbvio, que Sócrates tentava demonstrar: o não-iniciado em matemática tomará por operação aritmética (e a operação equivocada) o que era uma operação trigonométrica. Falando em linguagem mais acessível, o jovem não sabia ainda que a obtenção da área do quadrado era obtida por meio de uma MULTIPLICAÇÃO de 2, e não de uma SOMA de 2, uma vez que, no caso do número 2, a multiplicação (o quadrado) e a soma coincidem. (2+2=2×2) Daí o jovem ter dito que o quadrado com o dobro das medidas, i.e., lado = 4, teria 8 pés de área, pois ele fez mentalmente 4 + 4 e não 4².Este raciocínio todo, bem simples, serve para lembrar, também: não é todo matemático que é bom em ensinar matemática. É preciso saber o método para não fazer o aluno “descobrir a natureza” da forma indesejada (pelo ensino oficial, pelos livros, pelo próprio educador, etc.). Mostrar que o jovem se equivocava ao imaginar o quadrado e que se daria conta do erro ao contar os quadrados após desenhar o quadrado na areia favorecia Sócrates na discussão que tinha com Mênon (sobre a teoria da reminiscência).
“SÓCRATES – Teu escravo não sabia a princípio qual era a linha com que se forma o espaço de 8 pés, e na verdade ainda não o sabe, porque não o fiz ir adiante.¹ Mas ele pensava que sabia. E a prova disso é que respondia sem hesitar, muito confiante de si. Ele não se imaginava ignorante em nada. Mas, por fim, quando lhe objetei que incorria em erro, reconheceu seu embaraço, e admitiu que não sabe. Houve um progresso: agora ele sabe que não sabe.
¹ Número irracional, que os gregos não se preocupavam em denotar. Muito embora, neste exemplo Sócrates tenha apresentado apenas um quadrado bidimensional. No caso do CUBO, seria possível encontrar 8 como volume da figura cujo lado é 2 pés (2³).
“MÊNON – O que dizes é a suma verdade, Sócrates.
SÓCRATES – Admites que teu escravo avançou em conhecimentos?
MÊNON – Não posso negá-lo!
SÓCRATES – Pois ensinando-o a duvidar das coisas, e até de si mesmo, e fazendo-o arrefecer sua natureza antes mais arrogante, como se arrefece um tornado, crês que fizemos um bem ou que fizemos um mal a ele?
MÊNON – Um bem sem dúvida.
PLATÃO – O que fizemos foi situá-lo em uma posição privilegiada para enfim caçar a verdade. Porque agora, ainda que não saiba o que é, buscará esta coisa com prazer e ponderação. Antes chegaria a conclusões apressadas e desfiguradoras, não importa se na praça pública, crendo-se senhor da razão, ou apenas diante de si mesmo. Não veria o ridículo de sua resposta, de que o dobro da área aparecia com o dobro da longitude das linhas (acrescentando outro tanto de pés aos lados do quadrado).”
“SÓCRATES – Escravo, volta. Responde, agora: este espaço, não é de 4 pés? [Sócrates volta a apontá-lo a figura 1, desenhada na areia.]
ESCRAVO – Sim.
SÓCRATES – Não se pode acrescentar a este espaço outro idêntico?¹
ESCRAVO – Sim.
SÓCRATES – E ainda outro (um terceiro quadrado)?
ESCRAVO – Sim.
SÓCRATES – E agora o quarto?
ESCRAVO – Sem dúvida.
SÓCRATES – Não temos então quatro espaços iguais entre si?
ESCRAVO – Sim, sim.
SÓCRATES – Mas que é todo este espaço (o quadrado maior) diante do menor?²
ESCRAVO – É o quádruplo.
SÓCRATES – Mas o que queríamos não era achar o dobro?
ESCRAVO – Evidente.
SÓCRATES – Estas duas linhas,(*) inscritas dentro do quadrado grande, não cortam em dois cada um destes espaços (os dois retângulos, que assim se tornam 4 quadrados menores)? [(*)A cruz na areia, cf. legenda da figura]
ESCRAVO – Sim, exato.
SÓCRATES – Não vês aqui, pois, 4 linhas iguais que cortam este espaço? [Decompondo a cruz: duas linhas perpendiculares são também 4 linhas ou segmentos de reta, com referência ao ponto I, o centro.]
ESCRAVO – Vejo.
SÓCRATES – Responde agora, qual a magnitude deste espaço?
ESCRAVO – Como?!
SÓCRATES – A cruz que desenhei na areia não divide este quadrado original em 4 quadrados?
ESCRAVO – Sim.
SÓCRATES – Então me diga: quantos espaços semelhantes há <dentro> desta figura?
ESCRAVO – 4.
SÓCRATES – E naquela? [Sócrates aponta para o polígono CBGE.]
ESCRAVO – 2.
SÓCRATES – Qual a proporção de 4 para 2?
ESCRAVO – 4 é o dobro de 2.
SÓCRATES – Quantos pés tem este espaço? [CBGE]
ESCRAVO – 8 pés. [4×2]
SÓCRATES – Quais as linhas que o formam?
ESCRAVO – Estas. [O escravo assinala o polígono CBGE.]
SÓCRATES – Com esta linha aqui em um dos lados? [Sócrates aponta para o segmento BC.]
ESCRAVO – Isso.
SÓCRATES – Os sofistas chamam esta linha de diâmetro. Assim, supondo que seja este o nome mais adequado, o espaço que chamamos dobro, ó escravo de Mênon, será formado de acordo com o diâmetro. Mas lembra-te que o outro lado [segmento BE] permanece do mesmo tamanho.
ESCRAVO – Perfeitamente, Sócrates!
SÓCRATES – E agora, Mênon? Crês que teu jovem escravo deu alguma resposta que lhe fôra ordenada, ou que ele chegou à resposta por seu próprio mérito?
MÊNON – Vejo o que querias demonstrar, Sócrates: ele chegou à descoberta por conta própria, sem a ajuda de ninguém.”
¹ Como vimos, aí teríamos um retângulo, pois para DOBRAR O QUADRADO seria necessário não multiplicar por 2, mas por 4 (aumentar o quadrado 4x).
² Basta visualizar sempre a figura 1 para entender o problema. Comparar o menor quadrado com o maior quadrado, não importando as dimensões numéricas do caso particular (o número de pés do quadrado, o que foi deixado de fora da imagem que inseri acima justamente para facilitar a abstração).
“Daí concluímos que aquele que não sabe ou ignora tem, apesar disso, em si mesmo, faltando apenas recordar, opiniões verdadeiras relativas àquele assunto que, por enquanto, pensa ignorar totalmente.”
“SÓCRATES – Não concordas que a ciência que tem hoje teu escravo, não seria preciso que ele a tivesse recebido noutro tempo, imemorável, ou que sempre a tivera consigo, embora adormecida?
MÊNON – Sou obrigado a concordar.
SÓCRATES – Mas ora: se fosse a segunda hipótese, teu escravo teria sido um sábio desde sempre! E se a recebeu, ao contrário, noutro tempo, não foi, decerto, nessa vida presente! A não ser que alguém o tenha secretamente introduzido na arte da geometria, vês? Sabes se alguém o ensinou?
MÊNON – Sócrates, este é um servo doméstico. Asseguro-te que nunca foi educado em semelhantes coisas.
SÓCRATES – Se não o foi, é claro que recebeu este ensinamento antes, e que em algum momento aprendeu o que sabe, posto que não se pode aprender aquilo de que a alma não é capaz desde sempre!
MÊNON – Mataste a charada.
SÓCRATES – Será então quando ainda não era homem: foi neste momento em que foram-lhe impressos na alma estes conhecimentos que ora manifestou.
MÊNON – Creio que sim, Sócrates.
SÓCRATES – Mênon, não é correto afirmar que embora em seu corpo atual teu escravo nada soubesse de trigonometria até o momento em sua alma ele sempre fôra um sábio?
MÊNON – Sem dúvida alguma, Sócrates.
SÓCRATES – Logo, se a verdade dos objetos está sempre em nossa alma, ela é imortal. Por isso nunca devemos depreciar este método: perguntar com confiança e persistência, indagar nossas próprias almas sobre os objetos, tentar trazer à memória aquilo de que já não mais lembrávamos!
MÊNON – Não sei exatamente como fazer o que dizes, mas concordo que falas a verdade.
SÓCRATES – E tua crítica me é tão familiar que acho que a encontro dentro de mim mesmo, Mênon. Às vezes procedemos a um método que nem bem entendemos. Porém, creio ser minha missão nesta vida defender este método com palavras e com os fatos que puder encontrar. Estou persuadido apenas disso: que é preciso indagarmo-nos a respeito daquilo que não sabemos, pois isto no mínimo nos fará melhores, ou pelo menos não nos corromperá se nada advir disso!Pois ficaremos mais resolutos, menos preguiçosos – de que adiantaria repousarmos crendo ser impossível descobrir aquilo que ignoramos agora e que seria vão empreender qualquer coisa?
MÊNON – Mas isto está excepcionalmente bem-dito, Sócrates!”
“permita-me indagar, como que por hipótese, se a virtude pode ser ensinada, ou se se a adquire por qualquer outro meio. Quando digo <como que por hipótese>, entendo por hipótese o método ordinário dos geômetras.”
“Se a virtude for uma ciência, é óbvio que se pode ensiná-la.” “Mas se apresenta agora outra questão igualmente problemática: será a virtude uma ciência ou não?”
“SÓCRATES – Se há alguma espécie de bem que seja distinta da ciência, pode então suceder que a virtude não seja uma ciência. Mas se não há nenhum gênero de bem que a ciência não abranja, teremos razões para conjeturar que a virtude é uma modalidade de conhecimento.
MÊNON – Perfeitamente.”
“SÓCRATES – (…) Ora, se uma coisa qualquer, e não precisa ser a virtude, é por natureza suscetível de ser ensinada, não é sumamente necessário que nela e dela haja mestres e discípulos?
MÊNON – Creio que sim, Sócrates.
SÓCRATES – E podemos concluir que quando alguma coisa prescinde por completo de mestres é sinal de que ela não pode ser objeto de ensino?
MÊNON – Nada mais exato.”
“Justamente, Mênon! Temos a felicidade de contar neste recinto, em hora muito apropriada, com Anito,¹ que estava desde o começo de nossa conversação tão perto de nós! (…) Anito é filho de um pai rico e sábio, Antemião, que não deve sua fortuna ao mero acaso, nem à liberalidade alheia, como seria o caso de Ismênias o Tebano, que não faz muito recebeu em herança todos os bens de Polícrates. Pelo contrário: tudo o que tem decorre de sabedoria e indústria. E Antemião, em que pese sua posição econômica, nada tem de arrogante, faustoso, nem desdenha os outros cidadãos; é modesto e prudente em sociedade. Um homem assim não deixaria de haver educado muitíssimo bem seu filho, pelo menos de acordo com a grande maioria dos atenienses. Tanto que ele quase sempre é eleito para os cargos mais importantes!”
SÓCRATES – Tu sabes, como eu, sem dúvida, Anito, que são os que se chamam de sofistas.
ANITO – Por Hércules! Não mo digas, Sócrates. Eu não desejaria que nenhum parente meu, nem aliado, nem amigo íntimo, concidadão ou estrangeiro sequer, fôra tão insensato a ponto de pagar para perder-se com tais gentes. São os sofistas, manifestamente, uma peste e um encosto para todos os que com eles tratam.
SÓCRATES – Como, Anito?! Entre aqueles que se arrogam o ser úteis aos homens, só os sofistas logram diferenciar-se dos demais. Queres dizer que não só eles não melhoram seus alunos como até os pioram?!? E se atrevem a exigir dinheiro por esta obra? Mal sei no que acreditar, Anito, pois estaria tudo a desmoronar se desse plena fé a teu discurso! Eu conheci um homem, chamadoProtágoras, que acumulara com a profissão de sofista mais dinheiro que Fídias, quem possui reputação tão ilibada! Não deixa de ser fenômeno singular: se aquele que remenda trajes e calçados devolve-os piores ainda a seus donos, ao cabo de 30 dias estará sem clientela e na sarjeta! Mas então este Protágoras, que corrompera desta forma os cidadãos, não é suspeito de nada vil em toda a Grécia! E não digo que pese-lhe alguma suspeita desde ontem, e que ela pode demorar a se alastrar e se verificar: faz 40 anos que este homem é célebre! Que era, melhor dizendo, pois, morto aos 70, dizem que exerceu a Sofística desde pelo menos os 30 anos de idade… Em todo este tempo jamais foi injuriado, nem caluniado. Mas Protágoras não foi o primeiro de sua classe, nem será o último. Supondo que digas a verdade, que há de se pensar dos sofistas que estão em exercício?! Que enganam a juventude de pleno conhecimento, dolosamente, ou que não conhecem o dano que provocam? Consideraremos estes homens insensatos a tal ponto – homens, repito, tidos como sábios personagens de nossa polis?
ANITO – Bem longe se encontram de ser uns insensatos, ó Sócrates! Os insensatos de fato são os jovens que lhes dão ouvidos e dinheiro! Mais insensatos ainda os pais destes mesmos jovens, que confiam a eles a educação de seus rebentos. Mas mais insensatas de todos são as cidades que permitem a entrada destes homens nefandos, em vez de fechar os portões a estrangeiros tão mal-intencionados como eles!
SÓCRATES – Algum sofista corrompeu-te, Anito? Que razão tens para pensar tão mal deles?
ANITO – Por Zeus! Jamais cultivei o trato com semelhantes figuras… E não consentiria que nenhum conhecido se aproximasse destes sofistas!
SÓCRATES – Então conheces estes homens só pelo ouvir falar?
ANITO – E oxalá nunca por experiência própria!
SÓCRATES – E, sem contato direto com as coisas, meu querido, como podes saber se são boas ou más?
ANITO – Muito bem, Sócrates, me pegaste em teu discurso. Em todo caso, tendo eu as experimentado ou não, conheço os sofistas como a palma de minha mão, e sei o que são.”
“SÓCRATES – Os homens virtuosos, fizeram-se por si mesmos, sem receber lições? Outra questão: podem eles ensinar aos demais aquilo que nem eles mesmos não aprenderam com ninguém?
ANITO – Creio que receberam sua instrução dos que os precederam, homens igualmente virtuosos. Crês que esta cidade não produziu grande número de cidadãos estimáveis por sua virtude?
SÓCRATES – Eu creio, Anito, que nesta cidade há grandes nomes de Estado, e que sempre houve alguns, a cada geração. Mas foram eles os professores de sua própria virtude, ou da de seus sucedâneos? Porque isto é o que desejamos saber, e não se há ou não homens virtuosos, nem se sempre houve ou sempre haverá! A questão é se os grandes homens de agora e de outrora dispõem e dispuseram do talento para comunicar aos outros sua virtude, em que tanto sobressaíam; senão, teríamos de admitir que a virtude é intransmissível, impassível de ensino, de um homem a outro.”
“SÓCRATES – (…) Convéns em que Temístocles era um homem de bem?
ANITO – Sim.
SÓCRATES – (…) Não ouviste dizer que Temístocles ensinou seu filho Cleofanto a cavalgar? Cavalgava tão bem seu filho que podia se equilibrar de pé sobre o cavalo enquanto disparava dardos, sem falar doutros movimentos e posturas maravilhosos. O pai sabia tudo isso e comunicou cada coisa ao filho, que as aprendeu. Em todas estas coisas técnicas Cleofanto aprendeu com seu pai e os melhores mestres, naquilo em que porventura Temístocles não excelia. Os antigos referiam essa estória, te recordas?
ANITO – Sim, dizes verdade.
SÓCRATES – Deve ser correto dizer que seu filho contava com predisposições naturais…
ANITO – Provavelmente.
SÓCRATES – Mas já ouviste falar de cidadão, velho ou novo, que Cleofanto fosse homem de bem tal qual seu pai (virtuoso)?
ANITO – Neste particular, estou no escuro.
SÓCRATES – Pode ser que isto se devesse a um capricho paterno? Considerando que a virtude pudera ser ensinada, não seria a mais importante de todas as ciências a legar à própria prole?
ANITO – Por Zeus, Sócrates, todo pai desejaria o melhor para seu filho!
SÓCRATES – Vês então como Temístocles, homem de bem, fôra um péssimo professor. Mas cacemos mais exemplos: e Lisímaco, filho de Aristides? Aristides acaso foi homem virtuoso?
ANITO – Sim, e muito.
SÓCRATES – Aristides com certeza deu a seu filho Lisímaco a melhor educação com que poderíamos sonhar nós próprios. E crês que isto surtiu efeito? Conheces muito bem Lisímaco e seus dotes.(*) Por fim, analisemos, se queres, ainda, Péricles, homem de méritos extraordinários. Dizem que educou pessoalmente seus filhos Paralos e Xantipo.
ANITO – Sim, sei-o.
SÓCRATES – Não deves ignorar que estes se tornaram dois dos melhores cavaleiros vistos em Atenas; além disso, eram versados na música, em ginástica e em tudo que envolve esta arte. Mas não quis Péricles torná-los virtuosos? Seria o mesmo caso de Tucídides com Melesias e Estefanos: infelizmente os filhos destes hábeis cidadãos e políticos não tiveram vidas destacadas quanto ao mérito de governar seus conterrâneos!
(*) Para esses pormenores (Lisímaco e Melésias filho de Tucídides, citado logo a seguir), ver o diálogo Laques. Este de que se fala não é Tucídides o Historiador. – P.A.”
“ANITO – Pelo que ouço, Sócrates, falas mal dos homens com demasiada liberdade! Se me queres ouvir, te aconselharia a ser um bocado mais reservado. Se é fácil noutras cidades fazer o mal a qualquer um que se queira e sair incólume, em Atenas, Sócrates, é mais fácil ainda! Creio que saibas a que me refiro…
SÓCRATES – Mênon, vem cá! Parece que Anito está muito incomodado, o que não me assusta! É um mal-entendido, Anito. Crês que desprezo estes grandes homens; e como te imaginas neste número, pegas a ofensa para ti! Mas se um dia aprendes o que é verdadeiramente <falar mal>, deixar-te-á de enfadares com bagatelas… No momento, Mênon, Anito não sabe o que diz! Mas diz-me tu, Mênon: não tendes entre vós de Larissa homens de virtude?
MÊNON – Com certeza.
SÓCRATES – E quem são os professores dessa gente?
MÊNON – Ó, Sócrates! Não conheço professores desta matéria, pelo menos não sei dizer se são realmente o que dizem ser… O fato é que os cidadãos se dividem como que por igual entre os que dizem que a virtude pode ser ensinada e os que dizem que a virtude não pode ser ensinada.
SÓCRATES – Dizes então, se a divisão está meio a meio, que entre os professores de virtude há desses que ainda não estão certos de que a virtude possa ser ensinada?!
MÊNON – Ora, mas isso não faria sentido!
SÓCRATES – Mas me diz quê pensas dos sofistas, então.
MÊNON – Sócrates, o que muito me agrada em Górgias é que nunca ouvirás dele uma promessa de tamanho quilate. Ele não afiança nem dá garantias. Ao contrário, já o vi troçando seus colegas que se jactavam de ensinar a virtude. Ele se gaba apenas daquilo que é inegável em si: de sua alta capacidade para formar belos oradores.
SÓCRATES – Não disseste, ao fim: crês que os sofistas são professores de virtude?
MÊNON – Não sei, sinceramente, caro Sócrates! Há dias em que me parece que são e dias em que não o creio minimamente.
SÓCRATES – Sabes que não sois os únicos? Muitos políticos compartilham vossa opinião, e até o poeta Teógnis!
MÊNON – Referes-me os versos a que te referes.
SÓCRATES – Em suas elegias, diz: Bebe e come com aqueles que gozam de grande crédito; mantém-te sempre próximo deles e faz o possível para agradá-los. Aprenderás coisas boas, ao conviver com os bons; mas se trava contato com os maus, até a razão que já possuis escoará ladeira abaixo!(*) Estás de acordo que subentende-se nesta passagem que a virtude pode ser ensinada?
MÊNON – Claro.
SÓCRATES – Mas eis outros fragmentos um pouco distintos: Se se pudesse dar ao homem a inteligência, indubitavelmente estes talentosos educadores se veriam ricos da noite para o dia. Nunca o filho de um pai virtuoso seria mau, só de ouvir sábios conselhos. Mas tudo isso é quimera, ser bom ou mau independe de lições! Agora não nos parece que se contradiz em absoluto?
MÊNON – Ó Sócrates, nada mais certo!
(*) Teógnis, Sentenças, 5:33:432. – P.A.”
“SÓCRATES – Mas se não há mestres, tampouco haverá discípulos.
MÊNON – Penso o mesmo que tu.
SÓCRATES – E estamos conformes em que aquilo para o que não há nem mestre nem discípulo não se pode ensinar!
MÊNON – Correto, Sócrates.”
“MÊNON – A meu ver, a nosso ver… não há nem sequer indícios de homens peritos e qualificados para ensinar a virtude. Porém, isso não é dizer que eu não enxergue homens virtuosos. Havendo-os realmente, não posso atinar com quê se fizeram virtuosos!
SÓCRATES – Mênon, creio que isso seja um indício de que tu e eu somos pouco habilidosos! Creio que nenhum de nós foi bem instruído; tu por Górgias, e eu por Pródico. Portanto, é preciso que nos consagremos com todo esmero a nós mesmos antes de tudo, a fim de buscarmos alguém que nos faça melhores do que somos, qualquer que seja o meio! É até ridículo não havermos notado até aqui que a ciência não é único método disponível para dotar os homens de conhecimento e torná-los hábeis a conduzir seus negócios! Ou, talvez, ainda fazendo esta concessão, havendo outro método, poderia ser que ainda assim a forma como alguém se torna virtuoso continuasse obscura para nós!
MÊNON – Que queres dizer agora, Sócrates?!”
“SÓCRATES – (…) Escuta: se alguém que soubesse o caminho até Larissa estivesse no meio da estrada e servisse de guia a outros, não te parece que conduziria muito bem essas pessoas?!?
MÊNON – Não tenho dúvida.
SÓCRATES – E se um outro conjeturasse com precisão qual seria o caminho, ainda que nunca o houvesse percorrido, nem tivesse ouvido falar ou lido ou aprendido de outrem sobre isso; não daria no mesmo, i.e., não ensinaria adequadamente quem lho perguntasse?
MÊNON – Sim, Sócrates.
SÓCRATES – Tendo, um, uma mera opinião e, o outro, um conhecimento completo do objeto, não será pior condutor aquele que este? Ainda que, por puro azar, soubesse a resposta, não concordas que o guia experimentado o superaria no papel de educador?
MÊNON – Tens razão.
SÓCRATES – Então, eis outro método de ensinar as coisas: a opinião que se mostra verdadeira. A ciência é o método clássico e seguro. Parece que ignoramos essa dupla faceta durante toda nossa discussão acerca da natureza da virtude. Havíamos concluído que só a ciência ensina a bem agir, ao passo que, agora vemos, a conjetura acertada produz o mesmo efeito!
MÊNON – Dou-te razão.
SÓCRATES – Portanto, a opinião verdadeira não é menos útil do que a ciência.
MÊNON – Mas Sócrates… O possuidor do conhecimento saberá sempre alcançar seu objetivo. Já o conjeturador se extraviará um bom número de vezes!
SÓCRATES – Que dizes? Mas se alguém se aferra a uma opinião correta e ensina-a, não é correto que ensina-a corretamente?
MÊNON – Esta conclusão eu não contesto, Sócrates. Mas se fosse um dilema tão simplório, me surpreenderia que não se falasse mais sobre a arte de bem opinar do que acerca de obter o conhecimento. Mais ainda me surpreende que tratemos estas coisas como duas completamente diferentes uma da outra, se é que tens razão!
SÓCRATES – Sabes donde procede esse teu assombro? Queres que to diga?
MÊNON – Ora, já estás perdendo tempo ao não pronunciá-lo logo de uma vez!
SÓCRATES – Nunca admiraste as estátuas consagradas a Dédalo? Há dessas em tua cidade?
MÊNON – Não entendo…
SÓCRATES – Estas esculturas, ó Mênon, quando seguras por molas, são facilmente detidas e fixadas; mas sem este artifício, escapam e fogem.
MÊNON – E…?
SÓCRATES – …E daí que não significa muito ter uma dessas estátuas que escapam fácil. Mas uma estátua fixa é de muito valor. Estas sim são consideradas obras-primas! Mas que tem isso a ver?, perguntarás… É que esta imagem vem a calhar para falar sobre opiniões e conjeturas… As opiniões acertadas são como estátuas com molas, e trazem toda uma sorte de benesses… Mas vê tu que a alma do homem não as capta por muito tempo… Tampouco são caras estas obras… Só mesmo a obra derivada de um conhecimento superior, erigido pela razão, possui um preço mais elevado. Isso, essa ciência, é o que chamo de reminiscência. Uma opinião coligada com outra, logo forma reminiscências, porque cadeias de opiniões nos evocam antigos conhecimentos adormecidos… O que no começo é frouxo e resvaladiço adquire fixidez e estabilidade com o tempo. Daí vem a superioridade da ciência sobre a opinião, Mênon.
MÊNON – Por Zeus, Sócrates! Não capto todos os detalhes de teu discurso, mas do que pude compreender vejo que faz todo o sentido!…
SÓCRATES – (…) E quando afirmo que a opinião verdadeira difere em qualidade da ciência, não creio, positivamente, estar emitindo uma opinião. De quase nada sei, mas se hei de exaltar algum conhecimento meu, ei-lo: o que sei, eu sei.
MÊNON – Tens toda razão!”
“SÓCRATES – A ciência não pode servir de guia nos negócios políticos.
MÊNON – Tudo indica que não.
SÓCRATES – Então não foi devido a sua sabedoria que homens como Temístocles e os demais que citei quando conversava com Anito bem governaram o Estado. Porém, devido a essa característica, eles não puderam comunicar adiante esse dom.
MÊNON – Sim, sim, continua!
SÓCRATES – Não sendo uma ciência, só a opinião verdadeira pode conduzir os políticos na boa administração das coisas públicas; quanto à sabedoria, os políticos não são em nada diferentes dos profetas e dos adivinhos em transe. Estes últimos anunciam muitas coisas verdadeiras, mas não sabem do que falam.
MÊNON – Com bastante probabilidade…
SÓCRATES – Mas que tem que o adivinho não seja dotado de inteligência? Se ao final ele adivinha mesmo assim?
MÊNON – Não há mal algum, efetivamente.
SÓCRATES – Temos razões de sobra, portanto, para chamar os profetas de homens divinos; nada diferente no que se refere aos poetas. E, como vimos, nada mais óbvio e evidente que atribuir o mesmo epíteto aos bons políticos, homens realmente entusiasmados, inspirados e animados pela divindade ao triunfarem sobre grandes empresas, sem ter nenhuma ciência exata daquilo que fazem!
MÊNON – Ó, certo!
SÓCRATES – As mulheres, com razão, chamam os homens virtuosos de divinos. Os espartanos, quando querem elogiar o homem de bem, dizem a mesma coisa.
MÊNON – Não vejo como contestá-lo, Sócrates, mas creio que Anito não ficará satisfeito!
SÓCRATES – Isso não me importa! Conversarei com ele em outra ocasião. Mas no que toca a ti e a mim, Mênon, concluíramos que a virtude não é natural ao homem, nem passível de aprender-se; ela como que aterrissa por influência divina entre os eleitos. A menos que nos apareça algum político que seja capaz de ensinar sua arte, não mudaremos de opinião! Se aparece tal figura, diremos que é, entre os vivos, o que Tirésias é entre os mortos, se havemos de dar crédito a Homero, que versa: O único sábio dos ínferos, onde todos os demais nada mais são que sombras que erram ao acaso.(*)Analogamente, um homem assim seria, comparado com os outros, em matéria de virtude, feito de carne e osso, ou a própria luz, ao passo que nós não passaríamos de sombras e de escuridão.
MÊNON – Sócrates, teu discurso foi perfeito!
SÓCRATES – Nada mais resta a dizer, Mênon: a virtude é um presente dos deuses!
(*) Odisséia X”
Para todos e para ninguém cabe a tarefa de evadir a caverna. E ninguém que a evada pode sequer convencer os outros ou forçá-los a evadi-la também, dadas as circunstâncias…
* * *
PREFÁCIO DAS OBRAS COMPLETAS DE PLATÃO POR VIRGINIA WOOLF – Trechos da tradução espanhola do inglês, reconvertidos para a Língua Portuguesa
(*) “Não conheço uma definição mais eloqüente e simultaneamente lacônica da obra platônica que a de Virginia Woolf. Assim, pois, com ela a palavra.” – A.P.V., 2012.
SOBRE NÃO SABER O GREGO
(*) “Esta tradução foi feita por mim; ela foi posteriormente polida e melhorada por Daniel Nisa em O leitor comum.” A.P.V.
“É um processo extenuante. Concentrar-se arduamente no significado exato das palavras; julgar o que implica cada admissão; seguir concentrada porém criticamente as oscilações dos discursos e as mudanças de opinião à medida que se endurece e se intensifica o diálogo rumo à verdade. São o mesmo o prazer e o bom? A virtude pode acaso ser ensinada? É a virtude uma espécie de ciência? Uma mente cansada ou distraída pode facilmente equivocar-se nesses meandros, enquanto tenta avançar, impiedosamente, por tais interrogatórios abrasivos e intermináveis. Mas ninguém, por mais despreparado para os ensinamentos de Platão, pode deixar de começar a amar, ainda que saia <sem nada aprender de concreto>, ou a amar cada vez mais, o próprio processo do conhecimento, como exposto por ele. À medida que o argumento ascende às nuvens, de grão em grão, de degrau em degrau, Protágoras (e Protágoras pode ser qualquer outro) vai cedendo um pouco, logo um pouco mais, Sócrates avança no mesmo ritmo, devagar mas firme. E o importante não é tanto o desfecho, mas a maneira como vai-se abrindo esse desfecho.”
“É uma noite de inverno; as mesas estão prontas e bem-servidas na ampla sala de Agaton. Uma escrava toca a flauta. Sócrates fez as abluções e veste sandálias. Pára à entrada. Recusa dar mais um passo, ainda quando mandam expressamente alguém vir recepcioná-lo. . . . Agora Sócrates acabou seu discurso. Escolheu Alcibíades para ser vítima de sua ironianeste epílogo de banquete. Alcibíades não pode responder com palavras, pois só consegue admirar este homem fora de série…”
“Descartaremos agora as diversões, ternuras, frivolidades da amizade, só porque aprendemos a amar a busca pela Verdade? A Verdade será encontrada mais depressa pelo fato de taparmos os ouvidos à bela música, de fecharmos a boca ao vinho, pelo fato de escolhermos dormir ao invés de virar a noite conversando? Não é o estudante enclausurado, o asceta, que se mortifica na solidão, que tem a palavra final. Então quem? A natureza ensolarada, o homem que pratica o auto-aperfeiçoamento cotidianamente, sem se deixar atrofiar pela repetição da vida, que saiba que algumas coisas possuem, de forma permanente, em meio a tudo, mais valor que outras.”
“Um povo que julgava tanto, como o ateniense, através dos sentidos básicos, como a audição, acostumados ao teatro de arena, ao ar livre, ou ao escutar discussões na praça e no mercado, era muito menos hábil do que nós para fatiar frases e apreciá-las fora do contexto original em que foram produzidas. Para eles não existiam as Belas Frases de Hardy e de Meredith, nem as Sentenças de George Eliot. Somos muito mais delicados e sutis, bon-vivants, dissecadores. O escritor antigo (e a platéia antiga) se atinha muito mais ao conjunto e muito menos ao detalhe.”
“ao citarmos e destacarmos passagens, trechos, distorcemos muito mais os gregos do que os ingleses. Há um aspecto de natural, de nudez, nesta literatura tão crua e límpida que pode ter um gosto azedo ou amargo para paladares contemporâneos, paladares refinados e seletos demais, acostumados a avaliar cada vírgula de obras impressas, reprovando sabores, regurgitando e detectando matizes. É-nos benquisto um esforço inaudito de alargar e distender a mente, a fim de captar esse conjunto onde não há parnasianismo nem nada de inútil, sem a ênfase moderna prestada à eloqüência. Olhamos sem pestanejar figuras em close, absorvemos palavras soltas, hipervalorizando-as, ou meditando demais sobre um nada. O grego tinha uma visão panorâmica, não se punha a caçar pulgas e lêndeas. Poderia soar até mesmo grosseiro. De fato parece que nosso olhar e nosso coração são estreitos demais para apreciar de um trago só emoções tão densas, capazes de cegar o espírito se contempladas e experimentadas diretamente, à grega.”
“Os gregos podiam dizer, acerca de seus antepassados conhecidos, como que pela primeira vez na História, que ainda que mortos, não morreram. E podiam complementar: Se morrer de forma nobre é parte indispensável da excelência, a Fortuna decidiu nossa sorte; a Grécia foi coroada pelos deuses, e aqui há liberdade, fez-se o Homem, de forma que, não importa quantas gerações transcorram, não envelheceremos.(*)”
“Ao lermos estas frases sucintas registradas em lápides, estrofes de um coro trágico, o final ou o começo dum diálogo de Platão, um fragmento de Safo, talvez, quando passamos o dia a remoer uma metáfora grandiloqüente do Agamêmnonde Ésquilo, ao invés de <cheirar todo o jardim>, como talvez fizessemos com uma obra dita <completa> como Rei Lear, não estaríamos lendo erroneamente, estrabicamente, num nevoeiro de associações absurdas, inserindo nos versos gregos coisas que não faziam falta aos próprios gregos, mas somente a nós? Detrás de cada linha já não se é auto-suficiente naquele mundo, já não se lê a Grécia em cada estrofe de Ésquilo ou de Sófocles?”
“Cada palavra tem o vigor da oliveira e do templo consagrado a algum deus e dos corpos dos jovens.”
“Não, paremos de tentar esgotar a sentença grega como o fazemos com o Inglês! Não há esse polimorfismo semântico paradoxalmente tão acessível porque vizinho nosso, nossa cultura mesma encarnada, digo, letrada. A linguagem é aquilo que mais escraviza, quando o assunto são os antigos. O desejo de desvendar o que está irremediavelmente perdido nos deixa eternamente hipnotizados pelas sereias e petrificados pela medusa.”
“Digo que Shelley necessita de 20 palavras em seu vernáculo para expressar 13 palavras do grego.”
“…toda pessoa, inclusive se antes houvera sido totalmente alheia às humanidades ensinadas na escola, se torna um poeta tão logo seja tocada pelo amor.” O Banquete
“Tudo isso para dizer que as traduções são mera equivalência um pouco vaga. Não é culpa dos tradutores. Fazemos ecos e associações demais, involuntariamente. […] Nem o erudito mais competente pode conservar a sutileza do acento, o vôo, a ascensão e a queda <icárea> das palavras:
…A ti, que eternamente choras em tua tumba de pedra.” Electra
Tradução comentada de trechos de “PLATÓN. Obras Completas (trad. espanhola do grego por Patricio de Azcárate, 1875), Ed. Epicureum (digital)”
Além da tradução ao Português, providenciei notas de rodapé, numeradas, onde achei oportuno abordar pontos polêmicos ou obscuros. Quando a nota for de Azcárate (tradutor) ou de Ana Pérez Vega (editora), um (*) antecederá as aspas.
(*) “Os comentaristas ressaltam que o estilo literário e a composição dramática do diálogo foram deixados em segundo plano na comparação com a obra platônica precoce, dando lugar a definições, classificações e uma linguagem técnica mais áspera, própria de uma exposição didática” – A.P.V.
“SÓCRATES – Filebo diz que o Bem para todos os seres animados consiste na alegria, no prazer, no recreio e em todas as demais coisas deste gênero. Eu sustento, por outro lado, que não é isto, senão que consiste o Bem na sabedoria, na inteligência, na memória e em tudo o que for da mesma natureza. Todas essas coisas, a justa opinião e os raciocínios verdadeiros são, para todos os que os possuem, melhores e mais apreciáveis que o prazer; e são, ao mesmo tempo, mais vantajosos também, seja para seres presentes ou para seres futuros, capazes de praticá-los.”
“SÓCRATES – Que é que resultaria se descobríssemos algum outro meio preferível a estes dois extremos? Não é certo que se descobrirmos nesse terceiro meio mais afinidade com o prazer estaremos, tu e eu, em situação de viver o prazer e a sabedoria simultaneamente, muito embora a vida dirigida aos prazeres exerça, dentro desse terceiro meio, mais influência sobre nós do que aquela voltada exclusivamente à sabedoria?
PROTARCO – Mas é claro que sim, Sócrates.
SÓCRATES – Porém, não seria mentira, também, que esse terceiro meio se aproximaria muito mais da sabedoria que a vida dedicada exclusivamente ao culto dos prazeres… Logo, que tal se tratássemos de descobrir, nesta espécie de união, qual fator, se os prazeres ou a sabedoria, prevalece de maneira mais decisiva? Estais de acordo, meus dois bons jovens, que é possível promover este concurso, a fim de saber quem leva a melhor?
PROTARCO – A mim me parece uma proposta justa e exeqüível.
SÓCRATES – E quanto a ti, Filebo?
FILEBO – Creio e crerei sempre que a vitória se encontra sem dúvida do lado do prazer. Não obstante, já que é assim, numa contenda entre mim e tu Protarco poderá servir de juiz.
PROTARCO – Se tu nos delega esse poder (pois não o farei sem o auxílio de Sócrates), fica atento e só escuta. Não terás o direito de negar nem conceder nada a Sócrates. Eu me encarrego de tudo.
FILEBO – Assim está ótimo, fico nesta disputa, em verdade, como mero expectador; e tomo por testemunha a própria deusa do prazer!”
“SÓCRATES – Comecemos, pois, por esta mesma deusa a que se refere Filebo, ninguém menos que Afrodite, que na verdade é apenas um disfarce para seu verdadeiro nome, Prazer.
PROTARCO – Muito bem.
SÓCRATES – Sempre que pronuncio o nome dos deuses, Protarco, sinto um temor, mas não um temor humano, um temor sobre-humano que a tudo ultrapassa, de pronunciar seus nomes em vão: por isso evoco aqui o nome secreto de Afrodite, pois sei que deve ser de seu pleno agrado esse gesto de franqueza. Quanto ao prazer em si mesmo, creio que ele tenha mais de uma forma, sendo necessário apurar suas naturezas. Mas ao falarmos simplesmente em prazer e prazeres, como se o prazer fosse apenas uma palavra e nada mais, como fazem os homens, tomaríamos nosso problema pela coisa mais simples do mundo; mas incorreríamos assim em profundo erro. É preciso aqui pensar em gêneros diferentes de coisas. Sê bastante flexível a fim de que nosso exercício não seja abortado pela impossibilidade de estabelecermos um entendimento em comum. Podemos afirmar que o homem corrompido encontra prazer na libertinagem, e o homem moderado na temperança; que o insensato, cheio de crenças, caprichos, loucuras e esperanças, sente prazer, mas que o sábio também é capaz de senti-lo. (…)
PROTARCO – Concedo, Sócrates, que estes dois tipos de prazeres decorram de origens opostas, mas nem por isto se opõem um ao outro. De resto, como poderia o prazer ser diferente de si mesmo?
SÓCRATES – Então a cor, meu querido, enquanto cor, não difere em nada da cor! Sem embargo, todos sabemos que o preto, além de ser diferente do branco, é-lhe de fato o exato contrário.”
“Tu dizes que todas as coisas agradáveis são boas, e ninguém em seu juízo perfeito deixará de saber distinguir o que é agradável do que não o é; mas sendo a maior parte dos prazeres má, e a minoria boa, como estabelecemos, tu dás, não obstante, a todos os tipos de prazeres, não importando sua origem, o nome de <bons>, por mais que reconheças agora que são dissemelhantes entre si, quando se te interroga com mais apuro. Que qualidade comum vês nos prazeres bons e nos prazeres maus, qualidade comum esta suficiente para reconhecer todos os prazeres sob a alcunha de Bem?”
“Um prazer não difere de outro prazer: são todos semelhantes. E joguem-se fora os exemplos que antes citei! Voltemos a afirmar as coisas que afirmam aqueles homens que são incapazes de discutir qualquer assunto.”
“Não devemos dissimular, caro Protarco, a diferença que há entre meu bem e o teu bem!”
“SÓCRATES – (…) Não há nem pode haver um meio mais precioso para as indagações que este que adoto já há longo tempo; mas confesso que ele vem falhando bastante ultimamente, deixando-me sozinho e perplexo.
PROTARCO – Que meio é este?
SÓCRATES – Não é difícil descrevê-lo ou saber sobre ele; o difícil é segui-lo. Todas as descobertas obtidas até agora, que exigem algum conhecimento técnico, derivam deste mesmo método que vou-te apresentar.
Enquanto permaneço capaz de avaliar, é-me um presente divino. Creio que nos caiu do céu devido ao ato de algum Prometeu, pois emana do fogo sagrado. Os antigos, muito mais valorosos que nós, nos transmitiram a tradição de que todas as coisas às quais se atribui uma existência eterna se compõem de unidades, isto é, de um ou de muitos, e reúnem em sua natureza o finito e o infinito. Já que as coisas são assim, é preciso, na indagação de cada objeto, aspirar sempre à descoberta de uma idéia singular. Efetivamente só pode existir uma idéia para cada existência verdadeira; e uma vez descoberta esta idéia, é preciso examinar se não podemos ainda depurá-la mais, por estarmos diante de um coletivo de coisas existentes, i.e., se não se trata, investigando melhor, de mais de uma idéia, com certas afinidades entre si. Podem ser duas, três, quatro… não importa o número. Das idéias que descobrirmos, vale a pena apurar, de novo e de novo, se estas idéias não abrigam outras idéias em si, ou seja, se elas não passam apenas de imagens de idéias, tendo apenas aparências de unidade. É preciso chegar até o final da depuração, a fim de se descobrir, por fim, se a Idéia mais primitiva seria una, múltipla ou uma infinidade. Veja que não se deve aplicar a uma pluralidade a idéia do infinito, pelo menos não até havermos fixado o número preciso que descreve a quantidade de idéias, maior que 1 e menor que o infinito, necessariamente! Só então é que se pode deixar a cada qual que se encaixe na categoria de <infinito>.¹ Os deuses, como eu disse, nos presentearam com o dom de avaliar, de aprender e nos instruirmos entre nós; mas os sábios de hoje em dia fazem essas coisas como que a esmo, sem método consciente; digamos que eles erram mais do que seria conveniente para uma investigação digna. Ou se demoram demais sobre algo supérfluo ou se demoram de menos em algo fundamental, sem darem por isso. Depois da unidade, estes falsos sábios já passam de repente, sem transição clara, ao infinito, e os números intermediários fogem-lhes de vista. Contudo, estes números intermediários são a chave de nossa discussão, pois encerram a ordem e as leis da dialética, e diferenciam-na das artes que não passam de jogo e disputa não-verdadeira, seja oratória ou retórica ou outro nome qualquer que lhas dêem.”
¹ Podemos estar diante, basicamente, dos parágrafos que iniciam, verdadeiramente, a tradição do Idealismo alemão. Eis o que Azcárate tem a dizer sobre esta passagem: “A unidade é o gênero; o infinito é a coleção dos indivíduos; o número intermediário é o das espécies”. Não sei se mais ajuda ou atrapalha àquele não-familiarizado com o platonismo e a teoria das Idéias! Mas vejamos como poderei “mediar este debate” e traduzir com minhas próprias palavras o teor da longa passagem do discurso de Sócrates: essas considerações, embora não se deva ignorar a repercussão filosófica (metafísica) invisível destas palavras, para um começo de compreensão, não distam muito da estruturação do conhecimento do método científico do Ocidente moderno. Para que algo seja empírico e teorizável, é preciso que se organize num quadro de referências lógicas, enfim, de categorias. Assim o Homem pós-platônico estuda as coisas. Pouco importa, por exemplo, remetendo-nos à Biologia, que haja 7 bilhões de seres humanos na Terra e que não conhecemos todos. Estudamos o Homem pela unidade (gênero Homo sapiens). Não devemos ignorar que o número, por mais quantificável que seja, está sempre sujeito a alterações imediatas, seja pelas mortes ou pelos nascimentos ininterruptos, seja porque no momento somos incapazes de dizer se fora de nosso alcance (planeta Terra, atualmente) não haveria de haver outros homens. Nesse sentido, pode-se chamar a quantidade de homens de infinita, mas isso tampouco prejudica nossa faculdade investigativa. Como usei o homem como exemplo, não posso dividi-lo em sub-espécies, i.e., raças, mas isso (números intermediários) utilizamos sem problemas para os mamíferos, p.ex. Lembrar que poderíamos considerar os homens, mas de uma perspectiva outra que não a biológica, que acabei de eleger: as espécies poderiam ser cada nacionalidade. Continua a haver uma Idéia dentro da outra (homens nascidos em uma nação), mas esta Idéia de nação é concisa o suficiente para se opor à mais abrangente de Humanidade. Cientistas podem debater entre si sobre vários de seus descobrimentos, inúmeros detalhes suscetíveis de controvérsia dentro de seu campo do conhecimento, mas sempre se estabelecem verdades reconhecidas como universais que se tornam o legado das próximas gerações.
“SÓCRATES – A voz, que sai da boca, é uma e ao mesmo tempo infinita em número para todos e para cada um.
PROTARCO – Estou conforme.
SÓCRATES – Não somos sábios por havê-lo afirmado; nem porque reconheçamos as naturezas infinita e una da voz. Mas saber quantos são os elementos distintos de cada uma e quais são estes não seria o objeto da Gramática?¹
PROTARCO – De pleno acordo.
SÓCRATES – O mesmo para a Música.
PROTARCO – Hein?
SÓCRATES – A voz considerada em relação a esta arte é una.
PROTARCO – Ó, sem dúvida.
SÓCRATES – Podemos considerá-la de duas maneiras: uma voz grave e uma voz aguda; e um terceiro tom uniforme. Não é assim?
PROTARCO – Sim.
SÓCRATES – Se não sabes mais que isto, porém, jamais serás hábil em música; e se o ignoras, tanto pior, pois nem mesmo atendes ao pré-requisito mais fundamental para entender esta arte.
PROTARCO – Isso é certo!
SÓCRATES – Mas, querido amigo, só quando tiveres aprendido a conhecer o número dos intervalos da voz – tanto para o som agudo quanto para o grave –, a qualidade e os limites destes intervalos, e os sistemas que deles resultam, é que, tal como os antigos fizeram, irás descobrir e ser capaz de transmitir aos vivos as idéias sobre harmonia; através dos ensinamentos dos antigos compreendemos tanto isso como as propriedades análogas que emanam do movimento dos corpos, que, medidos por números, devem se chamar ritmo e medida. Quando perceberes que deves portar-te desta maneira em todo saber (em tudo que é uno e múltiplo), aí então poderás enfim chamar-te a ti mesmo sábio.”
¹ Atual Lingüística.
“FILEBO – Eu penso da mesma maneira. Mas que significa tudo isto, e aonde quer nos levar Sócrates?”
“Descobrir que a voz é infinita foi a obra de um deus ou de algum homem divino, como se refere no Egito de um certo Tot que foi o primeiro que se apercebeu de que este infinito continha unidades chamadas vogais, distinguindo, então, que era não uma, mas muitas; depois, descobriu outras letras, cuja natureza era distinta das vogais, mas que mesmo assim participavam dos sons, vindo a reconhecer, conforme estudava e refletia, o número destas vozes não-vocálicas, que chamou de consoantes. Distinguiu até uma terceira ordem ou espécie de letras, que são o grupo que hoje chamamos de mudas.¹ Depois, ainda, aperfeiçoou seus conhecimentos e separou uma a uma as letras mudas ou privadas de som; e em seguida fez o mesmo com as vogais e as intermediárias [consoantes], até que, havendo descoberto o número das existentes, deu a todas e a cada uma o nome de elemento. Tot, notando que nenhum homem poderia aprender nenhum desses sons ou letras isoladamente, i.e., que reconhecer que uma implicava ao mesmo tempo em reconhecer todas as outras, imaginou o enlace de uma nova unidade, e ao representar-se isto, deu-lhe o nome Gramática, que então nasceu.”
¹ O lingüista sabe que aqui estamos falando de sílabas ou fonemas, não mais de letras em si, embora esta distinção não importasse no tempo de Sócrates (Gramática antiga). Se refere Sócrates, nesse discurso, a semi-vogais ou semi-consoantes, que há em todos os sistemas lingüísticos.
“PROTARCO – (…) Sócrates, depois de mil rodeios, metestes-nos numa questão que não é nada fácil resolver. (…) Está-me parecendo que Sócrates nos pergunta se o prazer tem espécies ou não, quantas e quais são; e espera de nós a mesma resposta também com relação à sabedoria.
SÓCRATES – Mataste a charada, filho de Cálias!”
“PROTARCO – (…) Havendo-se a discussão empenhado tanto dum lado como do outro, chegamos a ameaçar-te, em tom desafiador e confiante, de não deixar-te arredar o pé e voltar a tua casa antes de que sanasses esta questão! Tu consentiste finalmente, e estás-te dedicando a nós há vários minutos. Agora dizemos como as crianças que não se pode abandonar a meias aquilo que já está bem-desenvolvido, mais perto de terminar do que de haver começado. Portanto, cessa de enrolar-nos, Sócrates, da forma como estás fazendo, e volta a cumprir o combinado!
SÓCRATES – Mas que é que estou a fazer?
PROTARCO – Pões-nos obstáculos atrás de obstáculos e nos suscitas questões e questiúnculas, às quais não podemos dar uma resposta satisfatória sem muita meditação. Porque não imaginamos que o objeto desta conversação seja o reduzir-nos simplesmente a não saber o que dizer! (…) Já que a situação é esta, fala tu! Delibera tu mesmo e fornece-nos a divisão completa dos prazeres e das sabedorias; a menos que possas deixar isto sem exame e ainda assim possas e queiras tomar outro rumo e explicar-nos as coisas de outro modo até chegarmos a uma solução.
SÓCRATES – Depois do que acabo de ouvir, nada de mal posso temer de vossa parte! Esta frase: <a menos que… …queiras> é o que me tranqüiliza, em verdade. E, de resto, me parece que um deus acaba de visitar-me e iluminar-me a memória com certas luzes!”
“SÓCRATES – Examinemos e avaliemos, pois, a vida do prazer e a vida da sabedoria, considerando cada uma à parte.
PROTARCO – Como é?!
SÓCRATES – Façamos de forma que a sabedoria não invada nunca a vida do prazer, e nem o prazer invada jamais a vida da sabedoria. Porque se um dos dois for o Bem, é preciso que não haja absolutamente nada que se mescle, e se um ou outro nos parece carente dalguma coisa, não seria já o verdadeiro Bem que buscamos.”
“SÓCRATES – Consentirias tu, Protarco, em passar o resto de teus dias no gozo dos maiores prazeres?
PROTARCO – Ora, se não!
SÓCRATES – Se nada a ti faltasse, crerias então que tens ainda necessidade dalguma coisa?
PROTARCO – Evidente que não.
SÓCRATES – Examina bem se não terias necessidade de pensar, nem de conceber, nem de raciocinar quando se mostrasse necessário, nem de nada do tipo. Será que nem mesmo precisarias ver?
PROTARCO – Pra quê? Se fruísse para sempre do prazer, já tudo teria!
SÓCRATES – Não é necessário que, vivendo desta maneira, passarias os dias em meio aos maiores prazeres?
PROTARCO – Indubitavelmente.
SÓCRATES – Mas como faltar-te-ia a inteligência, a memória, a ciência, a opinião, estarias privado de toda reflexão, e é uma conseqüência que ignorarias então se sentias prazer ou não.
PROTARCO – Ora, é verdade.
SÓCRATES – Assim como assim, desprovido de memória, decorre daí obrigatoriamente que não poder-te-ias lembrar se já houveras sentido prazer ou não outrora, e que não saberias, portanto, aquilo que sentes no presente imediato. E, ao não possuir qualquer opinião verdadeira, é certo que não crerias em absoluto sentir gozo no instante em que de fato está-lo-ias sentindo! Por estar destituído da razão, serias incapaz, outrossim, de concluir que te regozijarias no futuro. Ou seja: viverias tal qual uma esponja, e não como um homem! Se não como uma esponja, pelo menos como uma espécie de animal marinho que vive encerrado em concha, fechado ao mundo, vá lá. Concordas até este ponto, ou tens algo a dizer sobre em que estado te encontrarias?
PROTARCO – Sócrates, não haveria como formar uma outra idéia melhor.
SÓCRATES – E bem: tal vida é apetecível?
PROTARCO – Sócrates, esta pergunta não faz o menor sentido.”
“SÓCRATES – Será que qualquer um de nós três seria capaz de viver possuindo sabedoria, inteligência, ciência, memória, em que pese não fosse apto para sentir o mínimo prazer, nem dor, nem para experimentar qualquer sentimento correlato?
PROTARCO – Tal vida em nada me invejaria, Sócrates. Nem creio mesmo que fosse possível uma única vida assim entre todos os mortais.
SÓCRATES – E se se juntassem estas duas vidas, Protarco? E se não formassem mais que uma só, amalgamando-se prazer e sabedoria na mesma unha e carne?
PROTARCO – Não haveria ninguém que deixasse de preferir este gênero de vida aos dois extremos que elencaste, Sócrates. Insisto que não seja coisa de preferência de uns ou outros: é um juízo universal, sem exceções.
SÓCRATES – Já podemos, portanto, extrair as conclusões do que acaba de ser dito?
PROTARCO – Sim, meu caro Sócrates. Que dos três gêneros de vida apresentados, dois são insuficientes em si mesmos, e mesmo que o fossem são inapetecíveis para qualquer homem ou ser.”
“SÓCRATES – Já demonstramos suficientemente que a deusa de Filebo não deve ser vista como o Bem em si.
FILEBO – Mas tua inteligência, Sócrates, tampouco poderia ser este Bem, porquanto está sujeita às mesmas objeções…
SÓCRATES – A minha sim, Filebo, talvez tenhas razão… Mas quanto à verdadeira e divina Inteligência julgo eu que seja outra coisa completamente diferente. Na vida mista não se contesta a vitória da inteligência, mas é necessário ainda avaliar que opinião adotaremos com relação ao segundo posto hierárquico. Talvez devamos dizer, cada qual: <a inteligência>, eu; <o prazer>, tu; no caso de se nos perguntar qual é a principal causa da felicidade presente na condição mista. Procedendo assim, ainda que esta causa predileta não seja o Bem em si mesmo, pelo menos vemos cada qual nosso fator favorito como causa primeira. E acerca disso estou mais excitado do que nunca para a pugna contra meu rival Filebo! Sou capaz de jurar que qualquer que seja a coisa que faz dessa vida algo apetecível, a inteligência tem, de qualquer modo, mais afinidade e semelhança com tal coisa que o prazer.Vou ainda mais longe, ousado que estou: o prazer não tem sequer o direito de aspirar ao posto de <vice> nesta eleição, e com bastante probabilidade não ocupará nem sequer o pódio ou o bronze! Mas para que eu o demonstre necessito de vossa complacência e paciência, ainda que temporárias. Ou seja, confiai em minha inteligência, por Zeus!”
“Ó, Protarco! Creio que ainda temos muita estrada pela frente nesta discussão! Neste momento sinto como nossa empreitada é árdua. Porque se aspiramos ao segundo posto, e minha opinião é de que a inteligência o ocupará, é preferível, a essa altura, dadas as circunstâncias, volvermo-nos a outros métodos. Abandonemos por ora a linha de raciocínio precedente.”
“SÓCRATES – Dividamos em duas ou mais partes, p.ex., 3, todos os seres deste universo.
PROTARCO – Como?
SÓCRATES – Repitamos algo do que já tínhamos estabelecido.
PROTARCO – Que coisa?
SÓCRATES – Disséramos, não faz muito, que deus foi quem nos fez conhecer os seres, uns como infinitos, outros como finitos.”
“SÓCRATES – (…) Mas vejo que em breve serei visto como ridículo se continuar empregando estas divisões.
PROTARCO – Ora, Sócrates, não entendo-te tão bem.
SÓCRATES – Parece-me que tenho necessidade de um quarto gênero!
PROTARCO – Qual seria esse?
SÓCRATES – Apura com o pensamento a causa da mescla das duas primeiras espécies: põe-na ao lado das três; eis a quarta.
PROTARCO – Não seria possível, procedendo assim, também um quinto gênero, com o que poderias separar os seres mais a gosto?
SÓCRATES – Ó, sim! Mas neste momento da argumentação não acho conveniente. Em todo caso, se no decorrer de nossa exposição se fizer necessário um quinto, por que não?!
PROTARCO – De acordo.
SÓCRATES – Bem, destas quatro espécies ponhamos 3 à parte; procuremos, em seguida, examinar as duas primeiras, que têm muitas ramificações e divisões; depois compreendamos cada uma sob uma só idéia; e tratemos, finalmente, de descobrir como numa e noutra se dão o Um e o Muito.
PROTARCO – Se te explicas com mais clareza, talvez eu te possa seguir, Sócrates, mas isto no momento é impossível!
SÓCRATES – As duas espécies a que me refiro são a infinita e a finita. Esforçar-me-ei por provar que a infinita é, de certa maneira, múltipla. Quanto à finita, peço que aguarde um juízo, por ora.
PROTARCO – Creio que a espécie finita não fugirá, Sócrates. Temos tempo.”
“SÓCRATES – O mais e o menos, dizíamos, encontram-se sempre no mais quente e no mais frio.
PROTARCO – Com certeza.
SÓCRATES – Por conseguinte, a razão sempre nos faz entender que estas duas coisas não têm fim; e, ao não terem fim, são, por isso, infinitas.
PROTARCO – Agora definiste a coisa com exuberância!
SÓCRATES – Creio que agora fui mais didático, não, Protarco?! Por falar em exuberância e exuberante, eis aí um termo que possui seu oposto em pobre ou escasso, não di-lo-ias? E não dirias que este binômio exuberante-escasso funciona sobre as mesmas bases que o mais e o menos? Em qualquer ponto em que se encontrem, não consentem jamais que a coisa tenha uma quantidade determinada, senão que, passando sempre do mais exuberante ao mais escasso, e reciprocamente, fazem com que nasça o mais e o menos, obrigando o quantum a desaparecer. Com efeito, como já dissemos, caso essas classificações de extremo a extremo acerca de uma coisa não fizessem desaparecer o <quanto?>, deixando-o ocupar o lugar do mais e do menos, do exuberante e do pobre, sendo um intermediário polimórfico, estas coisas mesmas correriam o risco de desaparecer, pois já não faria sentido falar em exuberância, em escassez, em quente, em frio ou em algo que fosse mais e em algo que fosse menos. Ficaria tudo embaralhado, afinal um número nada é, ou pelo menos não pode ser tudo em simultâneo! Porque se se admite o quantum tem-se que a coisa não é mais quente ou mais fria, porque o mais quente cresce indefinidamente, não havendo fenômeno que o desminta; coisa igual acontece com o mais frio. Essas escalas ou retas são infinitas e inserem as coisas em transições sem começo nem final. Mas um ponto fixo será sempre um ponto fixo, não concordas? Desde que cesse o movimento, aí tens alguma propriedade bem-definida no lugar de um quantum. Convimos, portanto, que o mais quente e o mais frio são infinitos.”
“Parece que faremos melhor se abrangermos na categoria do finito o que não admite essas qualidades mas sim suas contrárias, ou seja, em primeiro lugar o igual e a igualdade; em seguida o dobro; repara que sempre que tivermos um número, poderemos equivalê-lo à metade de outro número, por exemplo.”
“SÓCRATES – Como é que representaremos a terceira espécie que resulta das duas anteriores?
PROTARCO – Aguardo tua lição, Sócrates, pois estou no escuro quanto a isso.
SÓCRATES – Não, não serei eu, Protarco, será um deus, se algum se digna a ouvir minhas súplicas!
PROTARCO – Suplica, então; e medita no problema.
SÓCRATES – Medito, medito… E me parece, caro Protarco… que alguma divindade nos foi favorável em nossos rogos!”
“Entendo a espécie do igual, do dobro, como aquilo que faz cessar a inimizade entre contrários, produzindo entre eles a proporção e o acordo, numericamente representáveis.”
“SÓCRATES – Tu opinas que limitar o prazer é destruí-lo, e eu sustento, pelo contrário, que limitar o prazer é conservá-lo!
PROTARCO – Nisso não mentes, Sócrates.
SÓCRATES – Expliquei as 3 primeiras espécies. Até agora, compreendeste minhas palavras.
PROTARCO – Sim, creio que compreendi, a maior parte. Distingues, na natureza das coisas, uma espécie que é o infinito; uma segunda espécie, que é o finito; porém, Sócrates, com respeito a essa terceira, não concebo muito bem como a defines em tua cabeça.”
“SÓCRATES – (…) Compreendo numa terceira espécie tudo aquilo que é produzido pela mescla das duas primeiras, e que a medida que acompanha o finito produz as condições para a geração da essência da coisa.(*)
PROTARCO – Positivo.
SÓCRATES – Mas para além destes 3 gêneros, é preciso ver qual é aquele que eu disse ser o 4o. Façamos juntos esta apuração!”
(*) “Pela geração da essência, Platão entende neste caso a transição rumo a existência física do objeto.” – P.A. – Modo análogo de dizer: o mundo observável está contido entre as fronteiras inexpugnáveis e apenas inferíveis do finito e do infinito.
“O que produz não precede sempre, por sua natureza; e o que é produzido não vem sempre depois, sendo considerado efeito?
Disso advém que são duas coisas e não uma só; causa-e-efeito (o que causa e o que obedece à causa em seu trânsito rumo à existência).
Porém, as coisas produzidas e as coisas que produzem geram, por assim dizer, 3 espécies de ser.
Digamos, então, que a causa produtora de todos esses seres constitui uma 4ª espécie, e que está suficientemente demonstrado que ela difere das outras 3.”
“Portanto, vai esta suma: a primeira espécie é o infinito; a segunda, o finito; a terceira, a essência,¹ que é produzida pela mescla das duas primeiras; a quarta é a causa mesma dessa mescla e produção.²”
¹ O “fenômeno” ou “aparência” na linguagem técnica de hoje. A existência em si, poder-se-ia da mesma forma dizer, já que a <essência> do texto é um conceito bastante ardiloso, quase antagônico ao que Platão quer de fato expressar.
² O protótipo ideal ou Deus.
“SÓCRATES – E tua pura vida de prazer, Filebo, em qual espécie está situada?
O prazer e a dor têm limites, ou são das coisas suscetíveis do mais e do menos?
FILEBO – São da segunda espécie, são infinitas, Sócrates. Porque o prazer não seria o soberano bem se por sua própria natureza não fosse infinito em número e em magnitude.
SÓCRATES – E portanto a dor não seria o soberano mal. Por isso é preciso contemplar as coisas de um outro ângulo, saindo da espécie do infinito, a fim de descobrirmos quê é que comunica ao prazer uma parte do bem. Conviríamos acaso que esta coisa emanasse da própria espécie do infinito? Ora, que o prazer nela esteja, se fazeis tanta questão! Mas ainda persistiria o seguinte problema: em que classe estão a sabedoria, a ciência, a inteligência, meus queridos Protarco e Filebo? Não sejamos ímpios! Parece-me que corremos grandes riscos ao ensaiar uma resposta para esta última pergunta.
FILEBO – Ó Sócrates! Será que não superestimas tua deusa?”
“Diremos, Protarco, que um poder, desprovido de razão, temerário e que obra ao acaso, governa todas as coisas que formam o que chamamos universo? Ou, ao contrário, há, como disseram os antigos, uma inteligência, uma sabedoria admirável, que preside o governo do mundo?”
“Com relação à natureza dos corpos de todos os animais, vemos que o fogo, a água, o ar e a terra, como dizem os velhos marinheiros, entram em sua composição.”
“SÓCRATES – Não temos mais que uma pequena e desprezível parte de cada um, que não é pura de nenhuma maneira, de modo que a força que esta parte desemboca em nós não responde satisfatoriamente a sua natureza original. Tomemos um elemento em particular, com seus atributos derivados, e apliquemo-lo a todos os demais. Por exemplo, há fogo em nós, e o há, por igual, no universo.
PROTARCO – Sem dúvida assim o é.
SÓCRATES – O fogo que nós temos, não seria diminuto em quantidade, ao grau da debilidade e do desprezível, ao passo que o fogo do universo não é admirável em quantidade, beleza e força?
PROTARCO – Incontestavelmente.”
“SÓCRATES – (…) Não é à reunião de todos os elementos que acabo de elencar que demos o nome de corpos?
PROTARCO – Exato.
SÓCRATES – Vê, pois, que o mesmo sucede com aquilo que chamamos de universo, porque, compondo-se este dos mesmos elementos, é o universo, por analogia, também um corpo.
PROTARCO – Disseste muito bem.”
“SÓCRATES – Mas como? Não diremos que nosso corpo tem uma alma?
PROTARCO – É claro que diremos!
SÓCRATES – De onde a tiraste, querido Protarco, se o próprio corpo do universo não é animado, sendo que ele tem tudo que nossos corpos têm, e em ainda maior abundância?
E tudo isso, meu caro Protarco, porque não reparáramos até aqui que desses quatro gêneros, o finito, o infinito, o misto e a causa, este quarto e último, existindo em tudo, é que nos concede uma alma, que sustenta os corpos, que, quando enfermo, adoece a saúde, e que se combina de mil maneiras a fim de criar milhares de milhares de objetos, recebendo o nome de sabedoria absoluta e universal! Este quarto gênero está sempre presente sob uma infinda variedade de formas; o gênero mais belo e excelente se encontra na extensa região dos céus, onde sem dúvida tudo o que há são os mesmos elementos que nos constituem, conquanto em muito maior proporção, dispondo de beleza incomparável e de uma pureza sem igual.”
“SÓCRATES – (…) neste universo há muito de infinito e uma quantidade suficiente de finito, mas todos são governados por uma causa, que nada tem de desprezível ou avara, pois que ajusta e ordena os anos, as estações, os meses, e merece com razão o nome de sabedoria ou inteligência.
PROTARCO – Ó Sócrates, tens toda a razão do mundo!
SÓCRATES – Mas não pode haver sabedoria e inteligência ali onde não há alma!
PROTARCO – Isso é verdade.
SÓCRATES – (…) Na natureza de Zeus, enquanto causa, há uma alma real, uma inteligência real, e na natureza dos outros deuses há muitas belas qualidades, pelo menos uma das quais cada deus gosta que se lhe atribua em especial.”
“Algumas vezes o estilo festivo é uma forma de levar adiante as indagações mais sérias.”
“SÓCRATES – A fome, p.ex., é uma dissolução e uma dor.
PROTARCO – Sim.
SÓCRATES – Comer, ao contrário, é uma repleção e um prazer.
PROTARCO – De acordo.
SÓCRATES – A sede é, de novo, dor e dissolução. Mas a qualidade do úmido, que preenche o que seca, origina um prazer. O mesmo pode ser dito da sensação de um calor excessivo e que seja anti-natural, causando segregação, dor, enfim; o restabelecimento do estado normal e o refrigério do corpo, neste caso, é encarado como um prazer.
O frio, que enregela o úmido presente no animal até o ponto de ser contra a natureza, quando excessivo, é considerado dolorido; os humores, cada um seguindo seu curso, quando em conformidade com a natureza, equivalem à sensação do prazer. (…) quando o animal se corrompe, a corrupção é uma dor; já o retrocesso de cada coisa a sua constituição primeva é um prazer.”
“Eis um terceiro estado, diferente do prazer e da dor. Neste ponto é necessário um esforço intelectivo para me acompanhar. Sem compreender este estado, não resolveremos esta nossa questão. Mas continuo apenas com tua bênção.
Sabes que nada impede que viva desta maneira aquele que assumiu para si o estilo de vida do sábio?”
“PROTARCO – Mas Sócrates, se estás correto isso seria indício de que os deuses não estariam sujeitos quer à alegria quer à tristeza.”
“SÓCRATES – Parece-me que é preciso explicar antes o que é a memória, e antes da memória o que é a sensação, se é que pretendemos levar isso às últimas conseqüências.
PROTARCO – Não te entendo.
SÓCRATES – Dá por estabelecido, amigo, que entre as afeições que nosso corpo experimenta de ordinário algumas se estendem ao corpo sem tocar a alma, não impingindo-lhe nenhum sentimento; outras afeições são transmitidas do corpo à alma, e produzem uma espécie de comoção, que pode ser caracterizada como singular, pois que o corpo a interpreta duma maneira, a alma doutra, ainda que reste algo que seja comum às duas instâncias.”
“SÓCRATES – (…) o esquecimento é a perda da memória, e no caso presente nem há que se falar propriamente de memória; seria um absurdo dizer que se pode perder aquilo que sequer existe, nem existiu jamais, não pões-te de acordo?
PROTARCO – E como não, Sócrates?
SÓCRATES – Modifica, pois, os termos um pouquinho.
PROTARCO – Ã?
SÓCRATES – Em vez de dizer que quando a alma não sente as comoções de que padece o corpo e estas comoções lhe escapam por completo há esquecimento, melhor seria dizer que há insensibilidade.
PROTARCO – Ah, agora está claro.
SÓCRATES – Mas nota que quando a afecção ou afeição é comum à alma e ao corpo, e ambos sentem-se comovidos, não te enganarás se chamares a este movimento de sensação.
PROTARCO – Continua, Sócrates, pois sigo de acordo.
SÓCRATES – Mas se se diz que a memória é a conservação da sensação, tem-se aqui uma boa definição, a meu ver.
PROTARCO – A meu ver também é uma boa definição.
SÓCRATES – Não dizíamos que a reminiscência é diferente da memória?
PROTARCO – Quem sabe…
SÓCRATES – Não consiste essa diferença no seguinte–
PROTARCO – No quê??
SÓCRATES – –que quando a alma, em condições de isolamento e julgamento equilibrado, afastada do corpo, entregue, por assim dizer, somente a si mesma, recorda o que experimentara noutro tempo, a isto chamamos reminiscência. Alguma objeção?¹
PROTARCO – De modo algum.
SÓCRATES – E quando, tendo perdido a recordação, seja de uma sensação, seja de um conhecimento, reprodu-lo em si própria, chamamos este processo reminiscência e memória, isto é, toda memória é uma reminiscência, mas jamais o contrário.”
¹ A memória diz respeito principalmente à vida fenomênica do sujeito, diria um filósofo contemporâneo. A reminiscência ajuda a explicar e fundamentar lembranças atávicas da alma, i.e., coisas vivenciadas pelo Ser antes de ser o eu atual, única explicação possível, no platonismo, para a capacidade que se tem, na vida fenomênica, de se chegar à Verdade e à Idéia das coisas. Há um quê de misticismo, por um lado, que associa Platão à Pitágoras, mas, no fundo, esta é a base da fenomenologia ocidental mais aplicada, lógica e abstrata, que não dá lugar ao inconsiderado (sobrenatural). Nossa essência, nosso Ser, diria um Heidegger, dependem desta discriminação aparentemente tão inocente entre uma simples memória e uma autêntica reminiscência.
“PROTARCO – Examinemos então o desejo, como tu pedes, pois nisto nada perderemos, tendo em vista o fim que temos.
SÓCRATES – Sim, Protarco: ao encontrarmos o que tanto buscamos, desaparecerão imediatamente nossas dúvidas acerca de todos estes objetos, e parecerá que ganhamos tempo, ao invés de perdê-lo!
PROTARCO – Tua réplica é a mais justa de todas, mas de pouco adianta nos determos aqui com belas palavras, Sócrates.”
“SÓCRATES – Que há de comum entre afecções tão diferentes, a ponto de denominá-las por uma mesma palavra?
PROTARCO – Por Zeus! Se eu soubesse, talvez não estivéssemos enredados em todo este imbróglio, Sócrates… É preciso, não obstante, achar algo que dizer.
SÓCRATES – Nada melhor que o ponto de partida ser o aqui e o agora.
PROTARCO – Explica isso melhor.
SÓCRATES – Não se diz, de ordinário, que tem-se sede?
PROTARCO – Ora, sim.
SÓCRATES – Ter sede, não é dar-se conta de um vazio em si?
PROTARCO – Decerto.
SÓCRATES – A sede não é um desejo?
PROTARCO – Sim, um desejo de bebida.
SÓCRATES – De bebida, ou de ver-se saciado pela bebida?
PROTARCO – Mais exatamente isto; ver-se saciado.
SÓCRATES – Então posso concluir que deseja-se o contrário daquilo que é? De maneira que quem sente-se vazio quer-se saciar.
PROTARCO – Permito-te esta conclusão.
SÓCRATES – E é possível que um homem que se encontra afetado por este vazio, pela primeira vez em sua vida chegue – seja através da sensação, seja através da memória – a preencher este vazio com algo imaginário e inaudito?
PROTARCO – Mas como poderia suceder tal loucura, Sócrates?
SÓCRATES – Todo homem que deseja, não deseja alguma coisa? É o que se diz.
PROTARCO – Conforme…
SÓCRATES – Não deseja o que ele experimenta, porque ele tem sede; a sede é um vazio e deseja suprimi-lo. Com efeito, seria contraditório dizer que ele experimenta algo e tem desejo desse algo ao mesmo tempo.
PROTARCO – Agora que o disseste…
SÓCRATES – É preciso que aquele que sente sede chegue a uma repleção exterior ou então a satisfaça com seu próprio ser.
PROTARCO – Entendo-te a meias, Sócrates.
SÓCRATES – Bem, posso-te adiantar que é impossível que com o corpo o corpo livre-se da sede, posto que é o corpo que se encontra de algum modo esvaziado.
PROTARCO – Claro…
SÓCRATES – Resta, portanto, que a alma chegue à repleção, e isto só se poderia dar mediante a memória!
PROTARCO – Isto é claro como a luz.
SÓCRATES – Por qual outro método este homem haveria de consegui-lo?
PROTARCO – Sou incapaz de conceber qualquer outro.
SÓCRATES – Esta reflexão nos faz ver, Protarco, que não há desejo do corpo.
PROTARCO – ???
SÓCRATES – O esforço de todo organismo animal se dirige sempre no sentido de atingir o estado contrário ao que experimenta no presente.
Este apetite, que arrasta dum extremo a outro através da experiência (sensações), prova que há nele uma memória congênita das coisas opostas às paixões do corpo, não vês?
Só pode ser a memória aquilo que leva o animal à realização de seu desejo e, portanto, todo desejo tem sua sede na alma, com o perdão do trocadilho.¹ A alma comanda o animal.²”
¹ Esta parte da tradução foi inovação minha: ambos conversavam sobre a <sêde> (vazio, dor ou sintomas da desidratação), e agora Sócrates fala da fonte, residência ou causa deste desejo de matar a sede (<séde>). A grafia das palavras, diferente da pronúncia, em nada difere.
² O animal deve ser entendido aqui como o homem, sob pena de comprometer-se todo o raciocínio caso estendamos esta compreensão às bestas ou criaturas irracionais, o <animal> no sentido da Biologia.
“SÓCRATES – (…) Parece-me que chegamos ao ponto em que descobrimos uma espécie particular de vida.
PROTARCO – Que vida?!
SÓCRATES – Descobrimos esta vida que consiste no esvaziamento e na repleção; ou seja, tudo aquilo que se relaciona à conservação e à alteração do estado atual. É fácil notar que podemos sentir dor ou prazer independentemente do estado em que nos encontramos, não sendo o <vazio> ou o <cheio> o incômodo em si.
PROTARCO – Começo a entender onde queres chegar…
SÓCRATES – Que sucede quando nos achamos a meio caminho entre estas duas situações extremas de carência e de consumação?
PROTARCO – Agora explica isso de <meio caminho>.
SÓCRATES – Meio caminho ou ponto médio. Quando se sente dor em virtude da forma como o corpo está sendo afetado por algo, recordando-se sensações agradáveis, parece que a dor já cessa um pouco. Podes conceber que um homem sedento console-se de achar água, mesmo não achando, e consiga enganar a sede? Quem tem esperança de preencher o vazio, já não está num ponto médio entre a mais terrível sede e a realização plena do desejo de não ter mais sede?
E pensa que há algum ponto em que o homem é pura alegria? Ou pura dor?
PROTARCO – Refletindo bastante, penso que não. (…)
SÓCRATES – (…) Compreendes então que há um <duplo> invisível deste vazio ou falta de vazio, certo? Tanto quanto podemos conceber um homem esperançoso em preencher-se, há também o homem desesperado que não vê como poderia escapar de um agravamento desta sede.
PROTARCO – Consinto.”
“SÓCRATES – Não seria estranho dizer que o homem e os demais animais experimentam simultaneamente dor e alegria.”
“Devemos renunciar absolutamente a todos os rodeios e discussões que ainda nos separam de nosso objetivo final.”
“Não é certo que aquele que forma uma opinião, seja fundada ou infundada, nem pela chance de estar errado deixa por isso de formar uma opinião?
Igualmente, não é evidente que aquele que goza uma alegria, haja ou não motivo para regozijar-se, nem por isso deixa de regozijar-se realmente?
Como seria possível que estejamos sujeitos a ter opiniões, tanto verdadeiras quanto falsas, e que nossos prazeres sejam sempre verdadeiros, como alegas, enquanto que os atos de formar uma opinião e regozijar-se existem de forma análoga e espelhada?”
“SÓCRATES – Neste caso, nossa alma é parecida com um livro.
PROTARCO – Em que particularidade?
SÓCRATES – A memória e os sentidos, concorrendo ao mesmo objeto com as afecções que deles dependem, inscrevem, já que usei esta metáfora, em nossas almas, certos silogismos ou raciocínios, e quando aparece ali escrita esta verdade, nasce em todos nós uma opinião verdadeira derivada de raciocínios verdadeiros, bem como opiniões falsificadas, quando nosso secretário interior escreveu com base em opiniões fajutas, i.e., silogismos.”
“SÓCRATES – As grandes e súbitas mudanças excitam-nos sentimentos de dor e prazer; já as mudanças mais matizadas ou insignificantes são incapazes de nos propiciar dor ou prazer.
Mas eis aí que o gênero de vida de que tratávamos faz sua reaparição!
Estou falando daquele gênero de vida normalmente isento da dor e do prazer.
admitamos 3 classes de vida: uma de prazer, outra de dor, e uma terceira que não é de um nem do outro. Que opinas sobre isso?
PROTARCO – Penso, como tu, que é preciso admitir estas 3 classes de vida.
SÓCRATES – Portanto, estar isento de dor nunca pode ser o mesmo que sentir prazer.
PROTARCO – Como?”
“SÓCRATES – Vejo, ó Protarco, que tu não conheces os inimigos de Filebo!
PROTARCO – E quem seriam?
SÓCRATES – Homens que passam por mui sábios sobre as coisas da natureza, capazes de sustentar, p.ex., que não há absolutamente prazer.(*)
PROTARCO – Hein?!
SÓCRATES – É isso mesmo que ouviste! Dizem que aquilo que os partidários de Filebo denominam prazer nada é senão a carência da dor.
PROTARCO – Mas e quanto a ti, Sócrates? Aconselhas-nos a seguir seu ditame?
SÓCRATES – De maneira alguma! Mas quero que os ouçamos como se fossem adivinhos ou oniscientes. Mortais assim, se existissem, ao dar-se-lhes crédito, seríamos obrigados a reconhecer que odiariam ou desprezariam o que chamamos nós de prazer. Aquilo que lhes agrada, tomam por ilusão, não algo existente. É dessa perspectiva que desejo que mireis o problema, a fim de ganharmos em conhecimento, ainda que eles não estejam certos.
(*) “Referência a Antístenes e os Cínicos.” – P.A.
“Se desejássemos conhecer a natureza do que quer que seja, p.ex., da rigidez, não seria viável conhecê-la melhor fixando-nos no que há de mais rígido ao invés de entretermo-nos nas coisas mais ou menos rígidas? Anda Protarco, é necessário dar satisfação a estes homens cavilosos, como também a mim.”
“Quem se encontra atormentado pela febre e outras enfermidades que-tais não sente mais sede, frio e outras afecções que o comum? Não se encontram com mais necessidades, e quando as satisfazem não experimentam certo grau de prazer? Deixaremos de confessar estas verdades?”
“Não percebes na vida corrompida, senão um maior número, prazeres maiores e mais consideráveis, havendo sempre a necessidade de veemência e vivacidade por parte dessas pessoas, pelo menos muito mais do que na vida de uma pessoa moderada?”
“SÓCRATES – Acaso ignoras que na comédia nossa alma se vê afetada por uma mescla de dor e prazer?
PROTARCO – Ainda não percebo muito bem esta característica.
SÓCRATES – Confesso, Protarco, que não estás de todo fora do tom: é um tipo de sentimento difícil de distinguir a princípio.
PROTARCO – Sinto que é.
SÓCRATES – Encaras como dor da alma isso que chamam de inveja?
PROTARCO – Sim.
SÓCRATES – E no entanto, vemos que o invejoso se regozija com o mal do próximo.
PROTARCO – E não é pouco!”
“PROTARCO – Quais são os prazeres, Sócrates, que com mais razão podemos tomar por verdadeiros?
SÓCRATES – São aqueles que têm por objeto as cores belas e as belas figuras, a maior parte dos que nascem dos odores e sons, e todos aqueles, em suma, cuja privação não é sensível, nem dolorosa, e cujo gozo vai acompanhado de uma sensação agradável, sem mescla alguma de dor.¹”
¹ Platão acaba de resumir os fundamentos da ciência da Estética.
“Por <beleza das figuras> não entendo o que muitos poderão imaginar: corpos formosos, pinturas de qualidade; entendo aquilo que é reto e circular, plano, sólido, obras desse gênero, trabalhadas em suas singularidades. Falo dessas figuras que poderíamos reproduzir com régua e esquadro. Será que penetras meu pensamento? A meu ver essas figuras não são como as outras, belas por comparação (relativamente belas), mas sempre e absolutamente belas, em si mesmas, naturalmente belas. (…) Outro tanto digo eu das belas cores que possuem uma beleza correlata à anterior, e de todos os prazeres que guardam relação com o que eu descrevi.
Quanto aos sons, digo que os fluidos e nítidos, componentes de uma melodia pura, são mais do que relativamente belos, são belos por si mesmos.
Já a espécie de prazer que resulta dos odores tem algo de menos divino, reconheço-o; mas os prazeres em que não se mescla nenhuma dor por necessidade devem ser classificados no gênero oposto ao dos prazeres de que falamos antes, por isso não posso me contradizer. Em suma, amigo Protarco, chegamos à definição de dois tipos diferentes de prazeres.
Não nos esqueçamos também dos prazeres que acompanham a ciência, se é que pressupomos que há qualquer coisa de gratuito no ato de conhecer, nada ligado ao desejo ou compulsão de aprender visando a outro fim, e que essa sede de ciência espontânea e como fim em si não causa qualquer tipo de dor.
Doeria na alma se, plena de conhecimento, chegasse a perder alguns por esquecimento?
Como bem concluíste, enquanto o conhecedor não refletir sobre isso, abandonando a naturalidade da questão, ele jamais sentirá qualquer dor ou pesar, enquanto não lembrar que esqueceu.
Resulta de tudo isso que os prazeres da ciência são puros e despidos de dor, e que não estão destinados a todo mundo.
Agora que já separamos com segurança os prazeres puros daqueles que não o são, acrescentemos que os prazeres violentos são desmedidos, e que os demais são comedidos. Afirmemos também que aqueles, maiores e mais fortes, fazendo-se sentir, não importa, uma ou múltiplas vezes, fato é que pertencem à classe do infinito, que atua com mais ou menos vivacidade sobre corpo e alma; estes (os comedidos) são da espécie finita.”
“SÓCRATES – Como e em que consiste a pureza da brancura? Na magnitude e na quantidade? Ou no aparecer sem mescla, sem vestígio algum de outras cores?
PROTARCO – É evidente que na última característica, Sócrates.
SÓCRATES – Muito bem! Não diremos, pois, que esta brancura é a mais verdadeira e ao mesmo tempo a mais bela de todas as brancuras, e não a que é maior em quantidade nem em tamanho?”
“Todo prazer que não carrega consigo uma dor, ainda que pequena e desprezível, é mais agradável, mais autêntico e mais belo que aqueles que a carregam, ainda que alguns prazeres que carreguem dores apareçam como mais vivos, numerosos e majestosos.”
“SÓCRATES – Não ouvimos dizerem com contumácia que o prazer está sempre no caminho da gestação e nunca exatamente no estado da existência? Muitos oradores dos mais hábeis já tentaram demonstrá-lo. Nada mais poderíamos fazer senão agradecê-los!
PROTARCO – Por quê, Sócrates?
SÓCRATES – Não há duas classes de coisas, uma das que existem por si mesmas e outra das que aspiram sem cessar a ser outra coisa?” “Uma é naturalmente nobre, e a outra inferior àquela em dignidade.”
“jovens formosos que tinham por amantes a homens cheios de valor.”
“PROTARCO – Falaste algumas coisas que me soaram obscuras, Sócrates.
SÓCRATES – Não é bom que façamos mil recapitulações e digressões, assim não acabamos nunca. Mas, Protarco, eu não consigo evitar: a própria discussão parece ter gosto em me entorpecer! Ela quer nos fazer entender que, duas coisas consideradas, uma é sempre meio e a outra fim.
PROTARCO – Mesmo que repitas uma e duas vezes, isso não me entra na cabeça.”
“SÓCRATES – Partamos de outro ponto então. Consideremos duas coisas novas…
PROTARCO – Quais?
SÓCRATES – Uma, o fenômeno; a outra, o ser.
PROTARCO – Pois bem, isto está conforme: o ser e o fenômeno.
SÓCRATES – Muito bem. Qual das duas diremos que foi feita para a outra? O fenômeno existe para a existência, ou a existência é que é causa do fenômeno?
PROTARCO – Me perguntas realmente isso: se a existência existe porque existe a aparência?
SÓCRATES – Exato!
PROTARCO – Que diabo de pergunta é essa?
SÓCRATES – Protarco, a construção dos navios se faz em nome dos navios, ou os navios em nome da construção? (…)
PROTARCO – Por que não te respondes a ti mesmo, Sócrates?
SÓCRATES – Não haveria inconveniente nisso, mas não quero falar só!
PROTARCO – Então com prazer…
SÓCRATES – Digo, então, que os ingredientes, os instrumentos, os materiais de todas as coisas servem a fenômenos; e que todo fenômeno serve a tipos de existências; e a totalidade dos fenômenos serve à totalidade da existência, que é o fim último.
PROTARCO – Perfeito.
SÓCRATES – E que, portanto, se o prazer é um fenômeno, é indispensável que seja o meio para alguma existência.
PROTARCO – Convenho totalmente.
SÓCRATES – Mas a coisa que é sempre fim para outra coisa que é sempre o meio, não deve ser esta coisa chamada de Bem? Logo, vemos que as coisas estão em classes diferentes.
PROTARCO – É óbvio.
SÓCRATES – Logo, se o prazer é um fenômeno, não diríamos que está subordinado ao Bem?
PROTARCO – Tens razão.
SÓCRATES – Desta forma, como disse no começo, precisamos ser gratos àqueles que nos fizeram conhecer que o prazer é um fenômeno e que não tem absolutamente existência em si mesmo¹”
¹ Platão volta a falar dos céticos.
“SÓCRATES – Estes homens mesmos se rirão, sem dúvida, daqueles que fazem consistir sua felicidade no fenômeno.
PROTARCO – Mas de que maneira exatamente, e de quem falas?
SÓCRATES – Falo daqueles que, matando a fome e a sede e outras necessidades análogas, satisfazem-se no fenômeno. Está claro que se regozijam do prazer que lhes causa a repleção. Alegam que não gostariam de viver se não estivessem sujeitos à sede, à fome e outras tantas faltas, verificadas mediante sensações.
PROTARCO – Sim, de acordo.
SÓCRATES – Não conviremos todos em que a alteração dum fenômeno é o contrário de sua geração?
PROTARCO – Sim, conviremos.
SÓCRATES – O que elege a vida dos prazeres, elege a geração e a alteração, mas não um terceiro estado no qual não teriam lugar os prazeres, nem a dor, tão-somente a mais pura sabedoria.
PROTARCO – Agora entendo, Sócrates, que é o mais rematado absurdo eleger o prazer como o sumo Bem!”
“SÓCRATES – (…) Não seria igualmente absurdo dizer que quem não experimenta o prazer e a dor é mau durante todo o tempo que sofre, ainda que estejamos falando do homem mais virtuoso do mundo? E não seria disparatado afirmar que quem experimenta o prazer é por esta mesma razão virtuoso, mais virtuoso quão maior for o prazer que experimenta?
PROTARCO – Sócrates, nada mais absurdo e disparatado que isso tudo!”
“SÓCRATES – Não se dividem as ciências em dois ramos, um as artes mecânicas, o outro a educação, seja da alma ou do corpo?
PROTARCO – De acordo.”
“SÓCRATES – Separemos, então, as artes que estão acima das outras.
PROTARCO – Quais seriam, e qual critério utilizaremos?
SÓCRATES – P.ex., se excluirmos dentre as diversas artes as de contar, medir e pesar, restará bem pouca coisa, não crês?
Depois, nada nos resta senão pedir socorro às probabilidades, exercitar os sentidos mediante a experiência e nos submeter a uma certa rotina, valendo-nos do talento para conjeturar, ao que muitos dão o nome de arte, pelo menos quando já se desenvolveu a um grau sublime pela reflexão e pelo trabalho nela desempenhado (aperfeiçoando o talento para conjeturas).
PROTARCO – Dizes algo irrefutável.
SÓCRATES – Não está neste último caso a música, pois que não se calcula sua harmonia, mas avança-se por conjeturas e ao azar, que depois são tornados familiares pelo hábito do tocador? Assim como a parte instrumental desta arte tampouco se submete a uma justa medida ao pôr-se em movimento cada corda, de maneira que na música há muitas coisas desconhecidas e algumas poucas seguras e certas?
PROTARCO – Nada mais verdadeiro.
SÓCRATES – Aplicando o raciocínio, veremos que é também o caso da medicina, da agricultura, da navegação e até da arte militar.
PROTARCO – Ó, sem dúvida!
SÓCRATES – E que, ao contrário, a arquitetura faz uso, a meu entender, de muitas medidas e cálculos, e instrumentos, que lhe dão grande firmeza e rigidez, fazendo-a exata, ou pelo menos mais exata que grande parte das ciências.¹”
¹ Está claro que hoje não pensamos mais assim.
“Sigamos: separaremos as artes em duas ordens. Umas, dependentes da música, são mais imprecisas; outras, dependentes dos princípios arquitetônicos, são mais precisas.
PROTARCO – Assim seja.
SÓCRATES – Coloquemos entre as artes mais exatas aquelas de que primeiro faláramos.
PROTARCO – Se não me engano, falas da aritmética e das suas mais aparentadas.”
“Veja a aritmética: não estamos conformes que há uma vulgar e outra própria dos filósofos?”
“o vulgo faz entrar na mesma conta unidades desiguais, como dois exércitos, dois bois, duas unidades muita pequenas ou muito grandes. Os filósofos, ao contrário, jamais darão ouvidos a quem se nega a admitir que, entre todas as unidades, não há uma unidade que não difira absolutamente em nada de qualquer outra unidade.”
“A arte de calcular e de medir – que empregam os arquitetos e os mercadores –, não difere ela da geometria e dos cálculos racionais dos filósofos? Diremos que é a mesma arte, ou a dividiremos em duas?”
“SÓCRATES – Protarco, compreendes por que entramos neste mérito?
PROTARCO – Talvez…”
“SÓCRATES – Há duas aritméticas e duas geometrias, e dependendo de quais outras múltiplas artes consideremos, por mais que vulgarmente se as compreenda sob um mesmo nome, pode muito bem haver várias artes ou ciências duplas.”
“SÓCRATES – A dialética nos acusará, Protarco, de termos dado a preferência a outra ciência em detrimento dela.
PROTARCO – Que entendes por dialética, Sócrates?
SÓCRATES – É a ciência das ciências, que conhece todas as outras ciências. É o conhecimento mais verdadeiro e sem comparação, pois tem por objeto o ser mesmo, aquilo que realmente existe, e cuja natureza é inalterável. Que pensas da dialética, Protarco?
PROTARCO – Não nego, Sócrates, que ouvi muitas vezes Górgias dizer que a arte da persuasão leva vantagem sobre todas as demais. Fica tudo submetido à persuasão do orador, não pela força, mas pela vontade. Em suma, não haveria nada mais excelente. Me sinto desconfortável, portanto: não quero contradizer meu mestre Górgias, nem tampouco a ti, querido.
SÓCRATES – Me parece que no momento de alvejar tua flecha contra mim, vacilaste.
PROTARCO – Se assim o queres, digo que tu podes tratar como bem entender, nesta conversação, o estatuto destas duas ciências.
SÓCRATES – Mas é culpa minha se não entendes o que digo exatamente?
PROTARCO – Como?
SÓCRATES – Não te perguntei, meu querido, qual é a arte ou a ciência que se encontra no topo das outras em termos de importância, excelência e vantagens que possa conceder ao usuário, mas qual é a ciência cujo objeto é o mais claro, exato e verdadeiro, seja ou não de grande utilidade. Eis o que agora buscamos. Se ages com prudência, não cais em desgraça com Górgias, nem tampouco me afrentas.”
“SÓCRATES – (…) quando alguém diz estudar a natureza, já sabes que se ocupa a vida inteira em averiguar as causas, ou seja, como veio a se produzir o universo; pois todo efeito, que se apura agora, provém de determinadas causas. Ou não?
PROTARCO – Mas é claro que sim, Sócrates.
SÓCRATES – O objeto do naturalista não é necessariamente aquilo que existe sempre? O que é, o que foi e o que será?
PROTARCO – Em última instância, é isto mesmo.
SÓCRATES – Podemos dizer que é auto-demonstrável o objeto que procuramos, que nunca existiu, nem existe, nem existirá de forma dessemelhante? Ou bem a única coisa que podemos afirmar, com base na investigação dos fenômenos, seria: nada há que permanece idêntico e estável?!
PROTARCO – O segundo, Sócrates, porque o fenômeno é o meio, mas–
SÓCRATES – …Já sei o que irás dizer! Está claro que se trata de fenômenos, mas como chegar à misteriosa causa, já que este fim é invisível e só vemos o meio?
PROTARCO – Pois creio que ficaremos eternamente no escuro quanto a isso.
SÓCRATES – Portanto, a verdade pura não se encontra na inteligência nem no conhecimento possível sobre os objetos.
PROTARCO – Com efeito.
SÓCRATES – E então é preciso que deixemos de lado tudo isso, tu, eu, Górgias e Filebo: seguindo tão-só a razão, devemos afirmar o que segue…–
PROTARCO – O quê, Sócrates?
SÓCRATES – …que a estabilidade, a pureza, a verdade e o que nós chamamos de sinceridade, não se encontram senão no que subsiste eternamente, no mesmo estado, da mesma maneira, sem mescla; e onde mais se encontra de forma menos mesclada, isto é, em segundo lugar? Podemos chegar lá? Creio que todo o demais deve ser rebaixado em nossa hierarquia de valores.
PROTARCO – Concordo plenamente.”
“SÓCRATES – Não são os nomes mais preciosos os da inteligência e sabedoria?
PROTARCO – Parece que sim.”
“SÓCRATES – Sigo uma velha máxima, que nunca é má: Nunca é demais indagar duas, três ou mais vezes, se preciso, sobre o quê é o Bem.
PROTARCO – Convenho, convenho.
SÓCRATES – Em nome de Zeus, muita atenção agora! Vamos recordar como começamos todo este debate, a fim de podermos rematá-lo!
Filebo sustentava que o prazer é o fim legítimo de todos os seres animados e o objeto a que se devem consagrar sem exceção; que o prazer é o supremo Bem e que estas duas palavras, bom e agradável, pertencem, no fim de contas, a uma mesma natureza. Sócrates, ao contrário, sustentava que, como bom e agradável são duas palavras distintas, expressavam igualmente duas coisas de natureza distinta, e que a sabedoria participava mais da condição do Bem que o prazer. Não começamos assim, Protarco?
PROTARCO – Sim, Sócrates, foste verdadeiro.
SÓCRATES – E, dando continuidade: convimos que o ser animado que esteja em possessão plena e integral, ininterrupta, durante toda sua vida, do Bem, não tem ele necessidade de nada mais, porque aquilo já lhe basta. Que dizes?
PROTARCO – Mais uma vez, foste impecável ao rememorar nossos passos.”
“SÓCRATES – Nem o prazer nem a sabedoria são esse Bem perfeito, o bem que apetece a todos, o soberano Bem!
PROTARCO – Agora vejo que não!
SÓCRATES – Destarte, é preciso descobrir o Bem ou em si mesmo ou nalguma imagem, para ver, como já dissemos, a quem devemos adjudicar o segundo posto.”
“Não cabe buscar o bem numa vida sem mescla, pois que ele reside na vida mesclada ou intermediária.”
“SÓCRATES – Seja: Conseguiríamos atingir nosso objeto mesclando toda sorte de prazeres com toda sorte de sabedorias?
PROTARCO – Hm, talvez…
SÓCRATES – Não, este meio não é confiável. Vou te propor um novo método de mesclar as coisas sem tantos riscos.
Há, segundo entendo, alguns prazeres muito mais meritórios que outros; e artes mais exatas que outras.”
“Segue daí que devemos mesclar só as porções mais autênticas de uma e outra parte, e cabe-nos examinar se há uma mescla verossímil o suficiente para que a classifiquemos de vida mais apetecível.”
“SÓCRATES – Será preciso incluir a música, que, conforme vimos, está repleta de conjeturas e de imitação, e carente, por isso mesmo, de pureza?
PROTARCO – Isso me parece necessário, a fim de tornar a vida suportável.
SÓCRATES – Em outras palavras, queres que eu seja um porteiro relaxado e deixe que um tropel de arraias-miúdas arrombe o portão e invada, com todas as ciências e mesclas possíveis e imagináveis?
PROTARCO – Sócrates, não vejo como pode ser um mal que um homem possua em si todas as ciências, contanto que possua as principais.
SÓCRATES – Sigo, então, tua prescrição, e deixo com que todas passem pelo meu portão, para invadirem o jardim poético de Homero.”
“Porém, quanto aos prazeres, ainda resta por decidir: quais classes de prazeres deixaremos entrar impunemente? Só caberão neste jardim os verdadeiros, ou aceitaremos todos sem distinção?”
“A essência do Bem nos escapa novamente! Foi-se refugiar dentro da essência do Belo, porque em todo lugar e por todas as partes a justa medida e a proporção são uma beleza e uma virtude.
Mas não esqueçamos que a verdade tem de entrar com as outras coisas neste mescla.
Portanto, se não podemos abarcar o Bem sob uma só idéia, fá-lo-emos sob 3, a saber: a da Beleza, a da Proporção e a da Verdade. Digamos que, se essas 3 coisas pudessem ser 1 só, formariam assim a causa verdadeira da excelência desta mescla do tipo de vida perfeita e alcançável pelo homem. Se a causa é boa, a mescla só pode ser boa.”
“PROTARCO – (…) o prazer é a coisa mais mentirosa do mundo. Assim se diz por aí. E também que os deuses perdoam todo perjúrio cometido em meio aos prazeres do amor, ou da carne, que passam por ser os mais elevados de todos; isso me faz pensar que os prazeres, tal como as crianças, não têm a menor faísca de sabedoria!”
“o primeiro Bem é a medida, o justo meio, a oportunidade e todas as qualidades semelhantes, que devem ser tomadas como condições imprescindíveis de uma natureza imutável.” “o segundo Bem é a proporção, o belo, o perfeito, o que se basta a si mesmo, e tudo o mais que for deste gênero.” “E aí tens o posto da sabedoria e da inteligência: fazem parte da verdade, como terceiro Bem.”
“Não situaremos em quarto lugar as ciências, as artes, as opiniões justas, que afirmamos pertencer a uma alma só, se está certo dizer que estas coisas têm um laço mais íntimo com o bem e com o prazer?”
“Em quinto lugar colocaremos os prazeres, mas apenas aqueles isentos de dor, chamando-os conhecimentos puros da alma.”
“SÓCRATES – À sexta geração, diz Orfeu, ponde fim a vossos cantos. Me parece que poremos fim também a este discurso com este sexto lugar. Já nada nos resta senão condensar e arredondar tudo o que descobrimos.
PROTARCO – Sem dúvida, Sócrates, não há mais remédio senão pararmos por aqui e finalizarmos com dignidade.
SÓCRATES – Voltemos, então, pela terceira vez, salvo engano, ao mesmo discurso, e demos as graças a Zeus o Conservador.
PROTARCO – Como o efetuarás, Sócrates?
SÓCRATES – Filebo qualificava o prazer perfeito e pleno como o Bem (…)”
“Bem, vimos que nem um nem o outro desses bens inicialmente inferidos por nós dois é suficiente por si mesmo!” “Tendo-se apresentado diate de nós uma terceira forma de bem, superior aos outros dois, nos pareceu, também, que a inteligência tinha com a essência dessa terceira forma mais afinidade (mil vezes mais afinidade!) que o prazer mais gozoso. Mas vimos que o prazer mais puro não ocupa lugar melhor que o quinto em nossa escala de valores. Mas os bois, cavalos e demais bestas, sem exceção, não seriam a refutação do que dissemos? A maior parte dos homens, referindo-se a elas, como dizem os intérpretes do canto dos pássaros, julga que os prazeres são a principal fonte da felicidade da vida, e crê que o instinto das bestas é uma garantia mais segura e verdadeira que os discursos inspirados pela Musa.”
“PROTARCO – Convimos, sem qualquer restrição, Sócrates, que tudo o que disseste é perfeitamente verdadeiro.
Todo órgão, toda coordenação, todo setor e toda salinha do funcionalismo, ou toda instituição, de qualquer natureza jurídica que ela seja, possui uma história e como que adquire uma espécie de “espírito”, como se fosse um ente vivo. Isso não é novo, todos conhecem, é chover no molhado de março. Mas proponho reconhecermos de forma um pouco mais aplicada esse – querido por uns, temido ou repudiado por outros – fenômeno social. Se Pitágoras estivesse vivo, diria que a transmigração das almas tem validade também no serviço público, e funciona não à morte do indivíduo, mas à morte do burocrata (sua aposentadoria ou qualquer outro tipo de evento que o afastou das atividades laborais). É, portanto, o reconhecimento de que a alma está compartimentada ou, pelo menos, que ao entrar no serviço público o indivíduo, de carne pele e osso, vai criando, até que esteja completa e crie autonomia, uma alma de burocrata. Todo burocrata tem uma alma de burocrata, é simples o silogismo. E quando este burocrata parte, na verdade foi-se apenas seu corpo material, ou a força de trabalho – permanece no ambiente, no recinto, no espírito de corpo dos colegas que sucederam suas funções (ainda que o lugar em que o burocrata trabalhasse tenha mudado e nem exista mais – digamos que a alma se desloca até a nova sede, ela tem essa capacidade cigana), sua alma, exercendo influência sobre as novas almas burocráticas ativas – i.e., se formos levar o raciocínio mais a fundo, em última instância a alma de um burocrata novato nada mais é que uma alma de um burocrata aposentado reciclada, ou uma mistura de várias delas condensada numa alma só. Nada se perde, tudo se transforma – órgãos se criam, órgãos se destroem por decreto, MPs, ECs, seja lá o quê for, mas o que eu queria dizer é que: uma coisa permanece estável, desde que o Estado é Estado: vivemos num ciclo infinito de transmigração de almas. O temperamento dos novos tempos adquire dos antigos, com que talvez nem tivesse contato (um entrou depois que o outro saiu), suas principais características. A cadeira em que se senta, e o jeito de sentar, de olhar para o nada e se espreguiçar, o documento que se assina, o humor com que se recebe o público, a piada que rola no horário de expediente, o montante de café consumido – nada é original, tudo já foi assim um dia, mais ou menos parecido, não exatamente igual, com outra turma de pessoas. Nenhum antropólogo pode viver 3 gerações de servidores (nenhum Lévi-Strauss o desejaria) para diagnosticar essas repetições sistematicamente, isto não é um artigo científico, longe disso! É apenas uma intuição, despertada em mim por uma anciã alma do bureau, não sei se tola ou sábia, mas pelo menos com seus momentos de insight e perspicácia. Assim me foi comunicada esta hipótese tão provável quanto nossa existência dual partícula-onda, carne-luz. Hoje ancestrais purificadas e renovadas, amanhã reencarnadas nos burocratas do futuro, dotando-os das manias e bizarrices de um urbanoide anos 2000…
“Biographies of gay men and lesbian women discuss their orientation only when unavoidable, as with Oscar Wilde. There have been several encyclopedias and dictionaries of sexuality (beginning with a German one of 1922, the Handbuch der Sexualwissenschaft), but this work is the first to treat homosexuality in all its complexity and variety.”
“all the efforts of church and state over the centuries to obliterate homosexual behavior and its expression in literature, tradition, and subculture have come to naught, if only because the capacity for homoerotic response and homosexual activity is embedded in human nature, and cannot be eradicated by any amount of suffering inflicted upon hapless individuals.”
“The editors are persuaded that the phenomenology of lesbianism and that of male homosexuality have much in common, especially when viewed in the cultural and social context, where massive homophobia has provided a shared setting, if not necessarily an equal duress.”
“Perhaps the most difficult obstacle to a simple focus on <homosexuality> is the growing realization that what has been lumped together under that term since its coinage in 1869 is not a simple, unitary phenomenon. The more one works with data from times and cultures other than contemporary middle-class American and northern European ones, the more one tends to see a multiplicity of homosexualities.”
“The Greeks who institutionalized pederasty and used it for educational ends take a prominent role, as does the Judeo-Christian tradition of sexual restriction and homophobia that prevailed under the church Fathers, Scholasticism, and the Reformers, and – in altered form – during the 20th century under Hitler and Mussolini, Stalin and Castro.”
“He is a tragic hero, being aware of the shortness of his life, and his devoted friendship for Patroclus is one of the major themes of the epic. Later Greek speculation made the two lovers, and also gave Achilles a passion for Troilus. The homoerotic elements in the figure of Achilles are characteristically Hellenic. He is supremely beautiful, kalos as the later vase inscriptions have it; he is ever youthful as well as short-lived, yet he foresees and mourns his own death as he anticipates the grief that it will bring to others. His attachment to Patroclus is an archetypal male bond that occurs elsewhere in Greek culture: Damon and Pythias, Orestes and Pylades, Harmodius and Aristogiton are pairs of comrades who gladly face danger and death for and beside each other. From the Semitic world stem Gilgamesh and Enkidu, as well as David and Jonathan. The friendship of Achilles and Patroclus is mentioned explicitly only once in the Iliad, and then in a context of military excellence; it is the comradeship of warriors who fight always in each other’s ken: <From then on the son of Thetis urged that never in the moil of Ares [nas confusões da guerra] should Patroclus be stationed apart from his own man-slaughtering spear.>”
“The friendship with Patroclus blossomed into overt homosexual love in the fifth and fourth centuries, in the works of Aeschylus, Plato, and Aeschines, and as such seems to have inspired the enigmatic verses in Lycophron’s third-century Alexandra that make unrequited love Achilles’ motive for killing Troilus. By the IV century of our era this story had been elaborated into a sadomasochistic version in which Achilles causes the death of his beloved by crushing him in a lover’s embrace. As a rule, the post-classical tradition shows Achilles as heterosexual and having an exemplary asexual friendship with Patroclus. The figure of Achilles remained polyvalent. The classical Greek pederastic tradition only sporadically assimilated him, new variations appeared in pagan writings after the Golden Age of Hellenic civilization, and medieval Christian writers deliberately suppressed the homoerotic nuances of the figure.”
W. M. Clarke, Achilles and Patroclus in Love (1978)
“Athenian orator. His exchanges with Demosthenes in the courts in 343 and 330 reflect the relations between Athens and Macedon in the era of Alexander the Great. Aeschines and Demosthenes were both members of the Athenian boule (assembly) in the year 347-46, and their disagreements led to 16 years of bitter enmity. Demosthenes opposed Aeschines and the efforts to reach an accord with Philip of Macedon, while Aeschines supported the negotiations and wanted to extend them into a peace that would provide for joint action against aggressors and make it possible to do without Macedonian help. In 346-45 Demosthenes began a prosecution of Aeschines for his part in the peace negotiations – Aeschines replied with a charge that Timarchus, Demosthenes’ ally, had prostituted himself with other males and thereby incurred atimia,<civic dishonor>, which disqualified him from addressing the assembly. Aeschines’ stratagem was successful, and Timarchus was defeated and disenfranchised. The oration is often discussed because of the texts of the Athenian laws that it cites, as well as such accusations that Timarchus had gone down to Piraeus, ostensibly to learn the barber’s trade.”
QUEM DISSE, JAEGER, QUE NÃO SE PODE SER SOLDADO E POETA AO MESMO TEMPO? “First of the great Attic tragedians. Aeschylus fought against the Persians at Marathon and probably Salamis. Profoundly religious and patriotic, he produced, according to one catalogue, 72 titles, but 10 others are mentioned elsewhere. He was the one who first added a second actor to speak against the chorus. Of his 7 surviving tragedies, none is pederastic. His lost Myrmidons, however, described in lascivious terms the physical love of Achilles for Patroclus’ thighs, altering the age relationship given in Homer’s Iliad – where Patroclus is a few years the older, but as they grew up together, they were essentially agemates – to suggest that Achilles was the lover (erastes)of Patroclus.
Plato had Phaedrus point out the confusion, and argue that Patroclus must have been the older and therefore the lover, while the beautiful Achilles was his beloved (Symposium, 180a). Among Attic tragedians Aeschylus was followed by Sophocles, Euripides, and Agathon.
Sophocles (496-406 B.C.), who first bested Aeschylus in 468 and added a third actor, wrote 123 tragedies of which 7 survive, all from later than 440.At least 4 of his tragedies were pederastic. Euripides (480-406 B.C.) wrote 75 tragedies of which 19 survive, and the lost Chrysippus,and probably some others as well, were pederastic. Euripides loved the beautiful but effeminate tragedian Agathon until Agathon was 40. The latter, who won his first victory in 416, was the first to reduce the chorus to a mere interlude, but none of his works survive.
All four of the greatest tragedians wrote pederastic plays but none survive, possibly because of Christian homophobia. The tragedians seem to have shared the pederastic enthusiasm of the lyric poets and of Pindar, though many of their mythical and historical source-themes antedated the formal institutionalization of paiderasteiain Greece toward the beginning of the sixth century before our era.”
(o artigo de William Percyfoi transcrito na íntegra)
“Pederasty was virtually pandemic in North Africa during the periods of Arab and Turkish rule. Islam as a whole was tolerant of pederasty, and in North Africa particularly so. (The Islamic high-water points in this respect may tentatively be marked out as Baghdad of The Thousand and One Nights, Cairo of the Mamluks, Moorish Granada, and Algiers of the 16th and 17th centuries.) The era of Arabic rule in North Africa did, however, witness occasional puritan movements and rulers, such as the Almohads and a Shiite puritanism centered in Fez (Morocco). This puritanism continues with the current King Hassan II of Morocco, who is, however, hampered by an openly homosexual brother.”
“400 Franciscan friars left the Spain of Isabel the Catholic and embraced Islam rather than <mend their ways>, as she had commanded them to do.”
“Universal throughout pre-colonial North Africa was the singing and dancing boy, widely preferred over the female in café entertainments and suburban pleasure gardens. A prime cultural rationale was to protect the chastity of the females, who would instantly assume the status of a prostitute in presenting such a performance. The result was several centuries of erotic performances by boys, who were the preferred entertainers even when female prostitutes were available, and who did not limit their acts to arousing the lust of the patrons. A North African merchant could stop at the café for a cup of tea and a hookah[narguilé], provided by a young lad, listen to the singing, and then proceed to have sex with the boy right on the premises, before returning to his shop.”
“The present writer has spoken with a Tunisian supervisor of schools who firmly believes in the death penalty for all homosexuals. Thus, in their rush to modernism, Third World leaders often adopt the sexual standards of medieval Christendom, even as Europe and America are moving toward legalization and tolerance of same-sex activity. Such, at least in part, is also the plight of modern North Africa.”
“Tunisia. A small and impoverished country of some 4 million, Tunisia’s high birthrate keeps the country very young – about half the people are under 18. Although it is common to see men walking hand-in-hand (as in all Islamic countries), it would not be wise for a foreigner to adopt the practice with a male lover. Tunisians can easily tell the difference between two friends of approximately equal status (where hand-holding is expected) and a sexual relation (which is <officially> disapproved of and therefore not to be made public).” “In the days of Carthage, the city was known for its perfumed male prostitutes and courtesans. After Carthage was destroyed in the Punic wars, Tunisia became a Roman colony. The country did not regain its independence until modern times. The Romans were supplanted by the Vandals, who in turn surrendered the country to the Byzantine Empire. The rise of the followers of Muhammad swept Tunisia out of Christendom forever, and the country eventually passed into the Turkish Empire, where it remained until the French protectorate.”
“Marxist societies abominate homosexuality, and this influence has had a chilling effect on Algeria. The passing tourist will see nothing of such activity, although residents may have a different experience. Another fact is that Algerians do not like the French (because of the war) and this dislike is frequently extended to all people who look like Frenchmen, though they may be Canadian or Polish. It is a strange country, where you can spot signs saying <Parking Reserved for the National Liberation Front> (the stalls are filled with Mercedes Benzes), and also the only place in all of North Africa where the present writer has even seen a large graffito proclaiming <Nous voulons vivre français!> (We want to live as Frenchmen!).
The adventures of Oscar Wilde and André Gide in Tunisia and Algeria before the war are good evidence that this modern difference between the two countries was in fact caused by the trauma of the war. There is better evidence in the history of Algiers long before. During the 16th and 17th centuries, Algiers was possibly the leading homosexual city in the world. It was the leading Ottoman naval and administrative center in the western Mediterranean, and was key to Turkey’s foreign trade with every country but Italy. Of the major North African cities, it was the furthest from the enemy – Europe. It was the most Turkish city in North Africa, in fact the most Turkish city outside Turkey.”
“The bath-houses (hammams) of Fez were the object of scandalous comments around 1500. Two factors assume a bolder relief in Morocco, although they are typical of North Africa as a whole. One is a horror of masturbation. This dislike, combined with the seclusion of good women and the diseases of prostitutes, leads many a Maghrebi [africano setentrional] to regard anal copulation with a friend as the only alternative open to him, and clearly superior to masturbation. It also leads
to such behavior being regarded as a mere peccadillo. The other, more peculiarly Moroccan tradition is that of baraka, a sort of <religious good luck>. It is believed that a saintly man can transmit some of this baraka to other men by the mechanism of anal intercourse. (Fellatio has traditionally been regarded with disgust in the region, although the 20th century has been changing attitudes.)”
Malek Chebel, L’Esprit de sérail: Perversions et marginalités sexuelles au
Magreb, Paris: Lieu Commun, 1988.
“Reared in the household of his guardian and uncle Pericles, he became the eromenos and later intimate friend of Socrates, who saved his life in battle. His, brilliance enabled him in 420 to become leader of the extreme democratic faction, and his imperialistic designs led Athens into an alliance with Argos and other foes of Sparta, a policy largely discredited by the Spartan victory at Mantinea. He sponsored the plan for a Sicilian expedition to outflank Sparta, which ended after his recall in the capture of thousands of Athenians, most of whom died in the salt mines where they were confined, but soon after the fleet reached Sicily his enemies recalled him on the pretext of his complicity in the mutilation of the Hermae, the phallic pillars marking boundaries between lots of land. He escaped, however, to Sparta and became the adviser of the Spartan high command. Losing the confidence of the Spartans and accused of impregnating the wife of one of Sparta’s two kings, he fled to Persia, then tried to win reinstatement at Athens by winning Persian support for the city and promoting an oligarchic revolution, but without success. Then being appointed commander by the Athenian fleet at Samos, he displayed his military skills for several years and won a brilliant victory at Cyzicus in 410, but reverses in battle and political intrigue at home led to his downfall, and he was finally murdered in Phrygia in 404 [Sócrates, mais velho, foi condenado apenas em 399]. Though an outstanding politician and military leader, Alcibiades compromised himself by the excesses of his sexual life, which was not confined to his own sex, but was uninhibitedly bisexual, as was typical of a member of the Athenian aristocracy. The Attic comedians scolded him for his adventures; Aristophanes wrote a play (now lost) entitled Triphales (The man with three phalli), in which Alcibiades’ erotic exploits were satirized. In his youth, admired by the whole of Athens for his beauty, he bore on his coat of arms an Eros hurling a lightning bolt. Diogenes Laertius said of him that <when a young man, he separated men from their wives, and later, wives from their husbands,> while the comedian Pherecrates declared that <Alcibiades, who once was no man, is now the man of all women>. He gained a bad reputation for introducing luxurious practices into Athenian life, and even his dress was reproached for extravagance. He combined the ambitious political careerist and the bisexual dandy, a synthesis possible only in a society that tolerated homosexual expression and even a certain amount of heterosexual licence in its public figures. His physical beauty alone impressed his contemporaries enough to remain an inseparable part of his historical image.”
Walter Ellis, Alcibiades, New York: Routledge, 1989;
Jean Hatzfeld, Alcibiade: Étude sur l’histoire d’Athènes à la fin du Ve siècle, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1951.
“Étienne de la Boétie (1530-1563) and William Godwin (1756-1836) wrote two proto-anarchist classics. Boétie’s Discours de la servitude voluntaire (1552-53) (translated as The Politics of Obedience and as The Will to Bondage) is still read by anarchists.” Ver excertos em Português em http://xtudotudo6.zip.net/arch2012-11-01_2012-11-30.html.
“Pederasty comes not so much from lack of marriage bed as from a hazy yearning for masculine beauty.”Proudhon
“The boy-lover John Henry Mackay (1864-1933), who wrote widely on both pederastic (under the pseudonym Sagitta) and anarchist topics, prepared the first (and only) biography of Stirner in 1898.”
“Karl Marx & Frederick Engels had a personal disgust for homosexuality (Engels told Marx to be grateful that they were too old to attract homosexuals). Marx published full-length diatribes against Proudhon, Stirner, and Bakunin. He used Bakunin’s relationship to Nechaev as an excuse for expelling the anarchists from the International in 1872. Lenin later denounced anarchists as politically <infantile>, just as Freudians argued that homosexuality was an arrested infantile (or adolescent) development.”
“Thomas Bell, a gay secretary of Frank Harris and a trick[?] of Wilde’s, has written a book on Wilde’s anarchism, available only in Portuguese.[!]”
“In Spain during the Civil War (1936-39), anarchists fought against both the fascists and the communists, and for a time dominated large areas of the country. Many gay men and lesbians volunteered to fight in the war, while others worked as ambulance drivers and medics.”
“Emma Goldman (1869-1940) is unquestionably the first person to lecture publicly in the United States on homosexual emancipation”
“Whether from choice or necessity, anarchists have written extensively against prisons and in favor of prisoners, many of whom either from choice or necessity have experienced prison homosexuality. William Godwin opposed punishment of any kind and all anarchists have opposed any enforced sexuality.”
“Both anarchists and gays can be found in the Punk Rock movement. Since many anarchists do not really believe in organizations, they can often be as hard to identify as homosexuals once were. During the early 80s at the New York Gay Pride marches, gay anarchists, S/M groups, gay atheists, NAMBLA, Pag Rag and others all marched together with banners as individual members drifted back and forth between all the groups.”
“A major question is whether homosexuals are inherently attracted to anarchism or whether homosexuals have been equally attracted to democracy, communism, fascism, monarchy, nationalism or capitalism. Because of the secrecy, no one can ever figure what percentage of homosexuals are anarchists and what percentage of anarchists are homosexual. But only among anarchists has there been a consistent commitment, rooted in basic principles of the philosophy, to build a society in which every person is free to express him- or herself sexually in every way.”
ANDERSEN, HANS CHRISTIAN
“His fame rests upon the 168 fairy tales and stories which he wrote between 1835 and 1872. Some of the very first became children’s classics from the moment of their appearance; the tales have since been translated into more than 100 languages. Some are almost child-like in their simplicity; others are so subtle and sophisticated that they can be properly appreciated only by adults.”
“It has been speculated that the fairy tale The Little Mermaid, completed in January 1837, is based on Andersen’s self-identification with a sexless creature with a fish’s tail who tragically loves a handsome prince, but instead of saving her own future as a mermaid by killing the prince and his bride sacrifices herself and commits suicide – another theme of early homosexual apologetic literature.”
“There is a tendency to consider androgyny primarily psychic and constitutional, while hermaphroditism is anatomical.”
“with reference to male human beings <androgynous> implies effeminacy. Logically, it should then mean <viraginous, masculinized> when applied to women, but this parallel is rarely drawn.Thus there is an unanalyzed tendency to regard androgynization as essentially a process of softening or mitigating maleness. Stereotypically, the androgyne is a half-man or incomplete male. In addition to these relatively specific usages there is a kind of semantic halo effect, whereby androgyny is taken to refer to a more all-encompassing realm. Significantly, in this broader, almost mystical sense the negative connotations fall away, and androgyny may even be a prized quality. For example the figures in the Renaissance paintings of Botticelli and Leonardo are sometimes admired for their androgynous beauty. It comes as no surprise that these aspects of the artists were first emphasized by homosexual art critics of the 19th century.”
“In Hinduism and some African religions there are male gods who have female manifestations or avatars. A strand of Jewish medieval interpretation of Genesis holds that Adam and Eve were androgynous before the Fall. If this be the case, God himself must be androgynous since he made man <in his own image>. Working from different premises, medieval Christian mystics found that the compassion of Christ required that he be conceived of as a mother. Jakob Böhme (1575-1624), the German seer, held that all perfect beings, Christ as well as the angels, were androgynous. He foresaw that ultimately Christ’s sacrifice would make possible a restoration of the primal androgyny.”
“androgyny points the way to a return to the Golden Age, an era of harmony unmarred by the conflict and dissension of today which are rooted in an unnatural polarization.”
Mircea Eliade, Mephistopheles and the Androgyne, New York: Harper and Row, 1965.
“In the 1970s the well-publicized reports of the German ethologist Konrad Lorenz drew attention to male-male pair bonds in greylag geese. Controlled reports of <lesbian> behavior among birds, in which two females share the responsibilities of a single nest, have existed since 1885. Mounting behavior has been observed among male lizards, monkeys, and mountain goats. In some cases one male bests the other in combat, and then mounts his fellow, engaging in penile thrusts – though rarely with intromission. In other instances, a submissive male will <present> to a dominant one, by exhibiting his buttocks in a receptive manner. Mutual masturbation and fellatio have been observed among male stump-tailed macaques. During oestrus female rhesus monkeys engage in mutual full-body rubbing. Those who have observed these same-sex patterns in various species have noted, explicitly or implicitly, similarities with human behavior. It is vital, however, not to elide differences. Mounting behavior may not be sexual, but an expression of social hierarchy: the dominant partner reaffirms his superiority over the presenting one. In most cases where a sexual pairing does occur, one partner adopts the characteristic behavior of the other sex. While this behavioral inversion sometimes occurs in human homosexual conduct, it is by no means universal. Thus while (say) Roman homosexuality, which often involved slaves submitting to their masters, may find its analogue among animals, modern American androphilia largely does not. This difference suggests that the cultural matrix is important.” “In the light of this complexity, a simple identification of human homosexual behavior with same-sex interactions among animals is reductive, and may block or misdirect the search for an understanding of the remaining mysteries of human sexuality. Still, for those aspects to which they have relevance, animal patterns of homosexual behavior help to place human ones in a phylogenetic perspective – in somewhat the same way as animal cries and calls have a relation to human language, and the structures built by birds and beavers anticipate the feats of human architecture.”
“In the 17th century Sir Edward Coke attributed the origin of sodomy to <pride, excess of diet, idleness and contempt of the poor>. The noted English jurist was in fact offering a variation on the prophet Ezekiel (16:49). This accusation reflects the perennial truism that wealth, idleness, and lust tend to go together – a cluster summed up in the Latin term luxuria.”
“The stereotype of aristocratic vice has a sequel in the early 20th-century Marxist notion that the purported increase of homosexuality in modem industrial states stems from the decadence of capitalism; in this view the workers fortunately remain psychologically healthy and thus untainted by the debilitating proclivity. In the Krupp and von Moltke-Eulenburg scandals in Germany in 1903-08, journalists of the socialist press did their best to inflame their readership against the unnatural vices of the aristocracy, which were bringing the nation to the brink of ruin.”
“As a thinker Aristotle is outstanding for the breadth of his interests, which encompassed the entire panorama of the ancient sciences, and for his efforts to make sense of the world through applying an organic and developmental approach. In this way he departed from the essentialist, deductive emphasis of Plato. Unfortunately, Aristotle’s polished essays, which were noted for their style, are lost, and the massive corpus of surviving works derives largely from lecture notes. In these the wording of the Greek presents many uncertainties”
“Although Aristotle is known to have had several male lovers, in his writings he tended to follow Plato’s lead in favoring restraints on overt expression of homoerotic feelings. He differs, however, from Plato’s ethical and idealizing approach to male same-sex love by his stress on biological factors. In a brief but important treatment in the Nicomachean Ethics (7:5) he was the first to distinguish clearly between innate and acquired homosexuality. This dichotomy corresponds to a standard Greek distinction between processes which are determined by nature (physis) and those which are conditioned by culture or custom (nomos).The approach set forth in this text was to be echoed a millennium and a half later in the Christian Scholastic treatments of Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologiae, 31:7). In The History of Animals (9:8), Aristotle anticipates modem ethology by showing that homosexual behavior among birds is linked to patterns of domination and submission. In various passages he speaks of homosexual relations among noted Athenian men and boys as a matter of course. His treatment of friendship (Nicomachean Ethics, books 8 and 9) emphasizes its mutual character, based on the equality of the parties, which requires time for full consolidation. He takes it as given that true friendship can occur only between two free males of equal status, excluding slaves and women. Aristotle’s ideas on friendship were to be echoed by Cicero, Erasmus, Michel de Montaigne, and Francis Bacon.
The Problems (4:26), a work attributed to Aristotle but probably compiled by a follower, attributes desire for anal intercourse in men to the accumulation of semen in the fundament. This notion derives from the common Greek medical view that semen is produced in the region of the brain and then transferred by a series of conduits to the lower body.
In England and America a spurious compilation of sexual and generative knowledge, Aristotle’s Masterpiece, enjoyed a long run of popularity. Compiled from a variety of sources, including the Hippocratic and Galenic medical traditions, the medieval writings of Albertus Magnus, and folklore of all kinds, this farrago was apparently first published in English in 1684. A predecessor of later sex manuals, the book contains such lore as the determination of the size of the penis from that of the nose.”
“Before the 16th century, we find only representations of friendship between women; then in the Venetian school there begins an imagery of lesbian dalliance – but only for male entertainment. Only in recent decades has there been a substantial production of lesbian art by lesbians and for lesbians.”
“In antiquity the Greeks were noted for their national peculiarity of exercising in the nude. Out of this custom grew the monumental nude statue, a genre that Greece bequeathed to the world. The tradition began a little before 600 B.C. with the sequence of nude youths known as kowoi. (Monumental female nudes did not appear until ca. 350 B.C.) Although archeologists have maintained a deafening silence on the matter, it seems clear that the radiance of these figures can only be explained in the light of the Greek homoerotic appreciation of the male form. Whatever else they may have been, the kowoi were the finest pin-ups ever created.”
“The Romans did not share the Greek fondness for nude exercise and their attitude toward homosexual behavior was more ambiguous. Perhaps it is not surprising that they favored the old religious subject of the hermaphrodite, the double-sexed being, but now reduced largely to a subject of titillation [erotização – vulgarização]. They also were capable of depicting scenes of peeping toms [machos, provavelmente felinos] that recall the atmosphere of Petronius’s Satyricon.”
“After the reign of Hadrian, who died in 138, the great age of ancient homoerotic art was over. Consequently, the adoption of Christianity cannot be said to have killed off a vibrant tradition, but it certainly did not encourage its revival.”
“Since Freud’s essay of 1910 the enigmatic figure of Leonardo has offered a special appeal.”
“By the turn of the century magazines began to appear in Germany presenting, by means of photographic reproduction, works appealing exclusively to male homosexual taste; lesbian magazines were only to emerge after World War I. Exceptionally, the American George Piatt Lynes (1907-1955) pursued a career in both mainstream and gay media (the latter in his extensive work for the Swiss magazine, Dei Kreis).”
“Although the Surrealists sought to explore sexuality, the homophobia of their leader André Breton placed a ban on gay subjects – or at least male ones. Two related figures did explore in this realm however, the writer Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), with his drawings of sailors, and the Argentine-born painter Leonor Fini (b. 1908), with enigmatic scenes of women. The ambitious Russian-born Pavel Tchelitchev (1898-1957), connected with several avant-garde circles in Europe and America, also belongs in this company.”
“It may be doubted that the long-standing premises of the modernist aesthetic – its sense of discontinuity, irony, and high seriousness – have been definitively overcome, but there is no doubt that the boundaries of the acceptable have been broadened. This enlargement creates opportunities for gay and lesbian artists. At the same time, however, the tyranny of the market and of critical stereotypes is as great as ever, so that artists are under great pressure to settle into niches that have been prepared for them. It should be remembered that many painters, sculptors, and photographers whose personal orientation is homosexual are as reluctant to be styled <gay artists> as they are to be called neo-expressionist, neo-mannerist, or some other label.”
“Vautrin’s secret is that he does not love women, but when and how does he love men? He does so only in the rents of the fabric of the narrative, because the technique of the novelist lies exactly in not speaking openly, but letting the reader know indirectly the erotic background of the events of his story. The physical union of Vautrin with Lucien he presents with stylistic subtlety as a predestined coupling of two halves of one being, as submission to a law of nature. The homosexual aspect of the discourse must always be masked, must hide behind a euphemism, a taunting ambiguity that nevertheless tells all to the knowing reader. The pact struck between Vautrin and Lucien is a Faustian one. Vautrin dreams of owning a plantation in the American South (sic) where on a 100,000 acres he can have absolute power over his slaves – including their bodies. Balzac refers explicitly to examples of the pederasty of antiquity as a creative, civilization-building force by analogy with the Promethean influence of Vautrin upon his beloved Lucien. Vautrin is almost diabolical as a figure of exuberant masculinity, while Lucien embodies the gentleness and meekness of the feminine. The unconscious dimension of their relationship Balzac underlines with magnificent symbolism. He characterizes Vautrin as a monster, <but attached by love to humanity>.Homosexual love is not relegated to the margin of society, as in the dark underworld of the prison, but expresses the fullness of affection with all its physical demands and its spiritual powers.”
“Having revealed to the hero and heroine an ideal love, Séraphitus-Séraphita departs for a heaven free of the earthly misery that human beings must endure.”
“Barthes introduced into the discussion of literature an original interpretation of semiotics based on the work of the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. His work was associated with the structuralist trend as represented by Claude Lévi-Strauss, Julia Kristeva, Tzvetan Todorov, and others. Attacked by the academic establishment for subjectivism, he formulated a concept of criticism as a creative process on an equal plane with fiction and poetry. Even those favorable to his work conceded that this could amount to a <sensuous manhandling> of the text. The turning point in his criticism is probably the tour de forceS/Z (Paris, 1970), analyzing Balzac’s novella about an aging castrato, Sarrasine. Here Barthes turns away from the linear, goal-oriented procedures of traditional criticism in favor of a new mode that is dispersed, deliberately marginal, and <masturbatory>. In literature, he emphasized the factor of jouissance, a word which means both <bliss> and <sexual ejaculation>. Whether these procedures constitute models for a new feminist/gay critical practice that will erode the power of patriarchy, as some of his admirers have asserted, remains unclear.”
“Barthes, who never married, was actively homosexual during most of his life. Although his books are often personal, in his writing he excluded this major aspect of his experience, even when writing about love. Because of the attacks launched against him for his critical innovations, he was apparently reluctant to give his enemies an additional stick with which to beat him. Barthes’ posthumously published Incidents (Paris, 1987) does contain some revealing diary entries. The first group stems from visits he made, evidently in part for sexual purposes, to North Africa in 1968-69. The second group of entries records restless evenings in Paris in the autumn of 1979 just before his death. These jottings reveal that, despite his great fame, he frequently experienced rejection and loneliness. Whatever his personal sorrows, Barthes’ books remain to attest a remarkable human being whose activity coincided with an ebullient phase of Western culture.”
Sanford Freedman, Roland Barthes: A Bibliographical Reader’s Guide, New York: Garland, 1983.
“The origins of this trend in American culture can be traced to the friendship of three key figures in New York City at the beginning of the 1940s. Allen Ginsberg (1926-) and Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) met as students at Columbia University, where both were working at becoming writers. In 1944 Ginsberg encountered the somewhat older William Burroughs (1914-), who was not connected with the University, but whose acquaintance with avant-garde literature supplied an essential intellectual complement to college study. Both Ginsberg and Burroughs were homosexual; Kerouac bisexual. At first the ideas and accomplishments of the three were known only to a small circle. But toward the end of the 1950s, as their works began to be published and widely read, large numbers of young people, <beatniks> and <hippies>, took up elements of their life-style.”
“The word beat was sometimes traced to <beatific>, and sometimes to <beat out> and similar expressions, suggesting a pleasant exhaustion that derives from intensity of experience. Its appeal also reflects the beat and improvisation of jazz music, one of the principal influences on the trend. Some beat poets tried to match their writings with jazz in ballroom recitals, prefiguring the more effective melding of words and music in folk and rock. The ideal of spontaneity was one of the essential elements of the beat aesthetic. These writers sought to capture the immediacy of speech and lived experience, which were, if possible, to be transcribed directly as they occurred. This and related ideals reflect a new version of American folk pragmatism, preferring life to theory, immediacy to reflection, and feeling to reason. Contrary to what one might expect, however, the beat generation was not anti-intellectual, but chose to seek new sources of inspiration in neglected aspects of the European avant-garde and in Eastern thought and religion.”
“First published in Paris in 1959, his novel Naked Lunchbecame available in the United States only after a series of landmark obscenity decisions. With its phantasmagoric and sometimes sexually explicit subject matter, together with its quasi-surrealist techniques of narrative and syntactic disjunction, this novel presented a striking new vision. This novel was followed by The Soft Machineand The Ticket That Explodedto form a trilogy. Nova Express (1964) makes extensive use of the <cut-up> techniques, which Burroughs had developed with his friend Brion Gysin. A keen observer of contemporary reality in several countries, Burroughs has sought to present a kind of <world upside down> in order to sharpen the reader’s consciousness. One of his major themes has been his anarchist-based protest against what he sees as increasingly repressive social control through such institutions as medicine and the police. Involved with
drugs for some years, he managed to kick the habit, but there is no doubt that such experiences shaped his viewpoint. His works have been compared to pop art in painting and science fiction in literature. Sometimes taxed for misogyny, his world tends to be a masculine one, sometimes exploiting fantasies of regression to a hedonistic world of juvenile freedom. Burroughs’s hedonism is acerbic and ironic, and his mixture of qualities yields a distorting mirror of reality which some have found, because perhaps of the many contradictions of later 20th-century civilization itself, to be a compelling representation.”
Ted Morgan, Literary Outlaw: The Life and Times of William Burroughs, New York: Henry Holt, 1988.
BEATS AND HIPPIES
“The journalistic word <beatnik> is a pseudo-Slavic coinage of a type popular in the 1960s, the core element deriving from <beat> (generation), the suffix -nik being the formative of the noun of agent in Slavic languages. The term <hippie> was originally a slightly pejorative diminutive of the beat <hipster>, which in turn seems to derive from 1940s jivetalk adjective <hep>, meaning <with it, in step with current fashions>. The original hippies were a younger group with more spending money and more flamboyant dress. Their music was rock instead of the jazz of the beats. Despite differences that seemed important at the time, beats and hippies are probably best regarded as successive phases of a single phenomenon.”
“Attracted by the prestige of the beat writers, many beats/hippies cultivated claims to be poets and philosophers. In reality, once the tendency became modish only a few of the beat recruits were certifiably creative in literature and the arts; these individuals were surrounded by masses of people attracted by the atmosphere of revolt and experiment, or just seeking temporary separation – a moratorium as it was then called – from the banalities of ordinary American life. At its height the phenomenon supported scores of underground newspapers, which were read avidly by curious outsiders as well.”
“Significantly, the street term for the Other, <straight>, could refer either to non-drug users or heterosexuals.”
“Mysticism exerted a potent influence among beats and hippies, and some steeped themselves in Asian religions, especially Buddhism, Taoism, and Sufism. This fascination was not new, inasmuch as ever since the foundation of Theosophy as an official movement in 1875, American and other western societies had been permeated by Eastern religious elements. Impelled by a search for wisdom and cheap living conditions, many hippies and beatniks set out for prolonged sojourns in India, Nepal, and North Africa. Stay-at-homes professed their deep respect for American Indian culture.”
“Most hippies were heterosexual, but their long hair exposed them to jibes of effeminacy. In this way they could experience something of the rejection that had always been the lot of homosexuals.”
“With its adoption of a variant of jive talk, largely derived from black urban speech, the movement has left a lasting impression on the English vernacular, as seen in such expressions as <cool>, <spaced out>, and <rip off>.”
Marco Vassi, The Stoned Apocalypse, New York: Trident, 1972.
BENTHAM, JEREMY (1748-1832)
“English philosopher and law reformer. Bentham was the founder of the Utilitarian school of social philosophy, which held that legislation should promote the greatest happiness of the greatest number. (…) His Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789) was eventually extremely influential in England, France, Spain, and Latin America where several new republics adopted constitutions and penal codes drawn up by him or inspired by his writings.
Bentham’s utilitarian ethics led him to favor abolition of laws prohibiting homosexual behavior. English law in his day (and until 1861) prescribed hanging for sodomy and during the early 19th century was enforced with, on the average, 2 or 3 hangings a year. Bentham held that relations between men were a source of sexual pleasure that did not lead to unwanted pregnancies and hence a social good rather than a social evil. He wrote extensive notes favoring law reform about 1774 and a 50-page manuscript essay in 1785. In 1791, the French National Assembly repealed France’s sodomy law but in England the period of reaction that followed the outbreak of the French Revolution made reforms impossible. In 1814 and 1816 Bentham returned to the subject and wrote lengthy critiques of traditional homophobia which he regarded as an irrational prejudice leading to <cruelty and intolerance>. In 1817-18 he wrote over 300 pages of notes on homosexuality and the Bible. Homophobic sentiment was, however, so intense in England, both in the popular press and in learned circles, that Bentham did not dare to publish any of his writings on this subject. They remained in manuscript until 1931 when C.K. Ogden included brief excerpts in an appendix to his edition of Bentham’s Theory of Legislation. Bentham’s manuscript writings on this subject are excerpted and described in detail in Louis Crompton’s 1985 monograph on Byron. Bentham’s views on homosexuality are sufficiently positive that he might be described as a precursor of the modern gay liberation movement. Bentham not only treats legal, literary, and religious aspects of the subject in his notes, but also finds support for his opinions in ancient history and comparative anthropology.”
“The emergence of systematic bibliographical control had to await the birth of the first homosexual emancipation movement in Berlin in 1897. This movement firmly held that progress toward homosexual rights must go hand in hand with intellectual enlightenment. Accordingly, each year’s production was noted in the annual volumes of the Jahrbuch fur sexuelle Zwischenstufen (1899-1923); by the end of the first ten years of monitoring over 1,000 new titles had been recorded. Although surveys were made of earlier literature, up to the time of the extinction of the movement by National-Socialism in 1933, no attempt had been made to organize this material into a single comprehensive bibliography of homosexual studies. Nonetheless, much valuable material was noted in the vast work of Magnus Hirschfeld, Die Homosexualität des Mannes und des Weisses (Berlin, 1914).”
Athenaeus (fl. ca. A.D. 200), Deipnosophists, Book 13;
Félix Buffiére, Eros adolescent: la pederastie dans la Grece antique (Paris, 1980);
Vern Bullough et al., Annotated Bibliography of Homosexuality(2 vols., New York, 1976);
Wayne R. Dynes, Homosexuality: A Research Guide (New York, 1987).
BRAZIL [HOMOPHOBIA NEWLAND] & PORTUGAL
“The Colonial Era.When the Portuguese reached Brazil in 1500, they were horrified to discover so many Indians who practiced the <unspeakable sin of sodomy>. In the Indian language they were called tivira, and André Thevet, chaplain to Catherine de Medici, described them in 1575 with the word bardache, perhaps the first occasion on which this term was used to describe Amerindian homosexuals. The native women also had relations with one another: according to the chroniclers they were completely <inverted> in appearance, work, and leisure, preferring to die rather than accept the name of women. Perhaps these cacoaimbeguire contributed to the rise of the New World Amazon myth.
In their turn the blacks – more than 5 million were imported during almost 4 centuries of slavery – made a major contribution to the spread of homosexuality in the <Land of the Parrots>. The first transvestite in Brazilian history was a black named Francisco, of the Mani-Congo tribe, who was denounced in 1591 by the Inquisition visitors, but refused to discard women’s clothing. Francisco was a member of the brotherhood of the quimbanba, homosexual fetishists who were well known and respected in the old kingdom of Congo-Angola. Less well established than among the Amerindians and Africans, the Portuguese component (despite the menace of the Tribunal of the Holy Office, 1536-62) continued unabated during the whole history of the kingdom, involving 3 rulers and innumerable notables, and earning sodomy the sobriquet of the <vice of the clergy>. If we compare Portugal with the other European countries of the Renaissance – not excluding England and the Netherlands – our documentation (abundant in the archives of the Inquisition) requires the conclusion that Lisbon and the principal cities of the realm, including the overseas metropolises of Bahia and Rio de Janeiro, boasted a gay subculture that was stronger, more vital, and more stratified than those of other lands, reflecting the fact that Luso-Brazilian gays were accorded more tolerance and social acceptance. Thirty sodomites were burned by the Inquisition during 3 centuries of repression, but none in Brazil, despite the more than 300 who were denounced for practicing the <evil sin>. They were referred to as sodomitas and fanchonos.
Independence. With Brazilian independence and the promulgation of the first constitution (1823) under the influence of the Napoleonic Code, homosexual behavior ceased to be criminal, and from this date forward there has been no Brazilian law restricting homosexuality[Bolsonaro e seu séquito se encontram quase 200 anos enterrados na História; me admira que não tenham morrido asfixiados em seu ideal de mundo até agora!] – apart from the prohibition with persons less than 18 years of age, the same as for heterosexuals. Lesbianism, outlawed by the Inquisition since 1646, had always been less visible than male homosexuality in Brazil, and there is no record of any mulher-macho (<male woman>) burned by the Portuguese Inquisition. In the course of Brazilian history various persons of note were publicly defamed for practicing homosexuality: in the 17th century 2 Bahia governors, Diogo Botelho and Câmara Coutinho, both contemporaries of the major satirical poet, Gregorio de Matos, author of the oldest known poem about a lesbian in the Americas, Nise. He himself was brought before the Inquisition for blasphemy in saying that <Jesus Christ was a sodomite>. [HAHAHA!] In the 19th century the revolutionary leader Sabino was accused of homosexual practices. A considerable surviving correspondence between Empress Leopoldina, consort of the Brazil’s first sovereign, Dom Pedro, with her English lady in waiting, Maria Graham, attests that they had both a homosexual relationship and an intense homoemotional reciprocity. Such famous poets and writers as Álvares de Azevedo (1831-1852), Olavo Bilac (1865-1918), and Mário de Andrade (1893-1945) rank among the votaries of Ganymede. The list also includes the pioneer of Brazilian aeronautics, Alberto Santos-Dumont (1873-1932), after whose airship the pommes Santos-Dumont were named. At the end of the 19th century homosexuality appears as a literary theme. In 1890 Aluizio Azevedo included a realistic lesbian scene in O Cortiço, and in 1895 Adolfo Caminha devoted the entire novel O Bom Crioulo(which has been translated into English) to a love affair between a cabin boy and his black protector. In the faculties of medicine of Rio de Janeiro and Bahia various theses addressed the homosexual question, beginning with O Androfilismo of Domingos Firmínio Ribeiro (1898) and O Homosexualismo: A Libertinagem no Rio de Janeiro (1906) by Pires de Almeida – both strongly influenced by the European psychiatrists Moll, Krafft-Ebing, and Tardieu. From 1930 comes the first and most outspoken Brazilian novel on lesbianism, O Terceiro Sexo, by Odilon Azevedo, where lesbian workers founded an association intended to displace men from power, thus setting forth a radical feminist discourse.”
“In 1976 appeared the main gay journal of Brazilian history, O Lampião (The Lantern)[!], which had a great positive effect on the rise of the Brazilian homosexual movement.” “One of the chief battles of gay activists is to denounce the repeated murders of homosexuals – about every 10 days the newspapers report a homophobic crime.”
“Recently the transvestite Roberta Close appeared on the cover of the main national magazines, receiving the accolade of <the model of the beauty of the Brazilian woman>. In the mid-1980s more than 400 Brazilian transvestites could be counted in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris; many also offer themselves in Rome. When they hear the statistics of the Kinsey Report, Brazilian gays smile, suggesting through experience and <participant observation> that in Brazil the proportion of predominantly homosexual men is as high as 30%.”
“Brazil, once the paradise of gays, has entered a difficult path.” Premonitório. Mas falava apenas da AIDS.
“Among world religions, Buddhism has been notable for the absence of condemnation of homosexuality as such.”
“For an account of the earliest form of Buddhism, scholars look to the canonical texts of the Tipitaka preserved in the Pali language and transmitted orally until committed to writing in the 2nd century B.C. These scriptures remain authoritative for the Theravada or Hinayana school of Buddhism, now dominant in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka. The Pali Canon draws a sharp distinction between the path of the lay-person and that of the bhikkhu (mendicant monk, an ordained member of the Buddhist Sangha or Order). The former is expected primarily to support the Sangha and to improve his karmic standing through the performance of meritorious deeds so that his future lives will be more fortunate than his present one. The bhikkhu, in contrast, is expected to devote all his energies to self-liberation, the struggle to cast off the attachments which prevent him from attaining the goal of nirvana in the present lifetime.”
“all acts involving the intentional emission of his semen are prohibited for the monk; the insertion of the penis into a female or male is grounds for automatic expulsion from the Sangha, while even masturbation is a (lesser) offense.” “there is no law against a monk receiving a penis into his own body.”
“The full rules of the vinaya are not applied to the samanera or novice monk, who may be taken into the Sangha as early as 7 years old and who is generally expected though not obligated to take the Higher Ordination by the age of 21. In this way the more intense sexual drive of the male teenager is tacitly allowed for. A samanera may masturbate without committing an offense. Interestingly, while a novice commits a grave offense if he engages in coitus with a female, requiring him to leave the Sangha, should he instead have sex with a male he is only guilty of a lesser offense requiring that he reaffirms his samanera vows and perform such penance as is directed by his teacher. This may be the only instance of a world religion treating homosexual acts more favorably than heterosexual ones.”
“it has been speculated that homosexual orientation may arise from the residual karma of a previous life spent in the opposite gender from that of the body currently occupied by the life-continuum. This explanation contains no element of negativity but rather posits homosexuality as a <natural> result of the rebirth cycle.”
“The form of Buddhism which spread northward into Tibet, China, Japan, Korea, and Mongolia from its Indian heartland came to be known as the Mahayana. It de-emphasized the dichotomy between monk and lay-person and relaxed the strict vinaya codes, even permitting monks to marry (in Japan). The Mahayana doctrinally sought to obliterate categorical thinking in general and resolutely fought against conceptual dualism. These tendencies favored the development of positive attitudes toward homosexual practices, most notably in Japan.”
“When Father Francis Xavier arrived in Japan in the mid-16th century with the hope of converting the Japanese to Christianity, he was horrified upon encountering many Buddhist monks involved in same-sex relationships; indeed, he soon began referring to homoeroticism as the <Japanese vice>. Although some Buddhist monks condemned such relationships, notably the monk Genshin, many others either accepted or participated in same-sex relationships. Among Japanese Buddhist sects in which such relationships have been documented are the Jishu, Hokkeshu, Shingon, and Zen.”
“Zen, that form of Buddhism perhaps most familiar to Westerners, emerged during the 9th century. In the Zen monasteries of medieval Japan, same-sex relations, both between monks and between monks and novices (known as kasshiki and shami), appear to have been so commonplace that the shogun Hojo Sadatoki (whom we might now refer to as <homophobic>) initiated an unsuccessful campaign in 1303 to rid the monasteries of same-sex love. Homoerotic relationships occurring within a Zen Buddhist context have been documented in such literary works as the Gozan Bungaku, Iwatsutsuji, and Comrade Loves of the Samurai . The blending of Buddhism and homoeroticism has continued to figure prominently in the works of contemporary Japanese writers, notably Yukio Mishima and Mutsuo Takahashi.”
“the Gelugpas [seita tibetana dos Lamas que se sucedem] condemned heterosexual intercourse for monks, believing that the mere odor resulting from heterosexual copulation could provoke the rage of certain deities. Such misogynistic and anti-heterosexual notions may have encouraged same-sex bonding.”
“Among those who may be credited with introducing the West to Buddhism are Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau, both of whom are thought to have loved members of the same sex and both of whom blended elements of Buddhism with elements of other spiritual traditions in their work. In the latter half of the 20th century, many American gays are practitioners of Buddhism, and the blending of homoeroticism and Buddhism may be found in the work of a number of gay American writers and musicians including Allen Ginsberg, Harold Norse, Richard Ronan, Franklin Abbott, and Lou Harrison.”
“The most influential poet of his day, with a world-wide reputation, Byron became famous with the publication of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1812-
18), an account of his early travels in Portugal, Spain, Albania, and Greece. The proud, gloomy, guilt-ridden, alienated Harold defined the <Byronic hero> who was to reappear in various guises in Byron’s later poems, notably in Manfred, The Corsair, and Lara. The type became a defining image for European and American romanticism. Forced into exile in 1816 because of the scandal caused by his wife’s leaving him, Byron settled in Italy, principally in Venice. There he wrote his sparkling satire on cant and hypocrisy, Don Juan. He spent the last months of his life in Greece, trying to help the Greeks in their struggle to gain independence from the Turks.”
“Because of the intense homophobia of English society these poems were ostensibly addressed to a woman, as the name Thyrza and Byron’s use of feminine pronouns implied.”
“publicity about his love affair with his half-sister, Augusta Leigh, compounded the scandal [of his homosexuality].”
“Byron’s last three poems, On This Day I Complete My 36th Year, Last Words on Greece, and Love and Death, poignantly describe his love for Loukas, which was not reciprocated.”
“A surreptitiously published erotic poem, Don Leon, purporting to be Byron’s lost autobiography, probably written in 1833, had set forth many of the facts about Byron’s homosexuality but was dismissed as an unwarranted libel. An edition appeared in 1866 but it remained unknown to all but a few specialists. When the Fortune Press reprinted it in 1934, the publication was confiscated by the British police.”
“In addition to his three wives and several mistresses, Julius Caesar had a number of homosexual affairs.”
Arthur D. Kahn, The Education of Julius Caesar: A Biography, a Reconstruction, New York: Schocken, 1986;
“American novelist and journalist. Capote became famous at the age of 24 with his elegant, evocative book Other Voices, Other Rooms, which concerns the growing consciousness of a boy seeking to comprehend the ambivalent inhabitants of a remote Mississippi house. Dubbed <swamp baroque>, this short novel was easily assimilated into then-current notions of Southern decadence. (…) In 1966 he published In Cold Blood, a <non-fiction novel> about the seemingly senseless murder of a Kansas farm family by two drifters. In preparing for the book, Capote gained the confidence of the murderers, and was thus able to make vivid their sleazy mental universe.”
“Capote became the confidant of rich and famous people, especially women, and he gathered their stories for incorporation in a major work which was intended to rival Marcel Proust. Yet when excerpts from this work-in-progress were published in magazines, not only were they found to be vulgar and lacking in insight, but Capote began to be dropped by the socialites he had so unsubtly satirized. Dismayed, the writer sank more and more into a miasma of alcohol, cocaine, and valium – his only consolation the devoted love, or so he claimed, of a succession of straight, proletarian young men whom he prized because of their very ordinariness.”
“Caravaggio came under the protection of Cardinal Francesco Maria del Monte, a homosexual prelate. During this period he painted several works showing ambiguous or androgynous young men, including The Musicians (New York, Metropolitan Museum). Efforts have been made to deny the homoerotic implications of these works, but they seem feeble.”
“Only after World War II did his reputation begin to climb, attaining remarkable heights in the 1980s, when even the abstract artist Frank Stella praised him. In 1986 Derek Jarman’s stylish film Caravaggio was released, presenting the artist as bisexual, but emphasizing the homosexual side.”
“The castrati were male singers emasculated in boyhood to preserve the soprano or contralto range of their voices, who from the 16th century to the 19th played roles in Italian opera.” “Boys are commonly mischievous, unruly, and troublesome, and by the time they have really been trained their voices are usually on the edge of breaking; falsettists do not share these drawbacks, but their voices have a peculiar, unpleasant quality, and as a rule cannot attain as high a range as the soprano.”
“The elaborate a cappella style, which began to flourish about the middle of the 15th century, required a much wider range of voices and a higher degree of virtuosity than anything that had gone before, and for this task the existing singers were inadequate. The first response took the form of Spanish falsettists of a special kind, but by the end of the 16th century these had yielded to the castrati, who also dominated the new baroque art form – the opera, which was the principal musical activity of the Italian nation in the next two centuries. Opera was unlike legitimate theatre in that it traveled well; it was the first form of musical entertainment that was both popular and to a certain degree international, so that a star system transcending national borders arose. Leading singers were discussed, criticized, and compared in fashionable drawing rooms from Lisbon to St. Petersburg. (…) If other nations had some form of native opera, this ranked lower on the cultural scale and was indifferently sung, while the Italian version enjoyed the highest standard of singing that had ever been known, and will in all likelihood never again be attained. France alone refused admission to Italian singers, and virtually banned the castrati; but Frenchmen, like other Europeans, were full of praise for the opera of Italy.
Since no recording devices existed in the heyday of the castrati, the modern critic has no way of judging the quality of their performance, yet 6 generations of music-lovers preferred the voices of these <half-men> to those of women themselves and of whole men.”
“In this economic stratum, however, it was accepted that any male child who betrayed the slightest aptitude for music should be sold into servitude, just as in modern Thailand children are sold by their parents to labor in factories or serve in brothels. The successful castrato naturally tried to conceal his humble origins and pose as the scion of an honorable family. The singing-masters of that era were responsible for the perfection of the art of the castrati; no one since has rivaled them in perseverance and thoroughness, and in their perfect command of the capabilities and shortcomings of the human vocal organs. They usually worked in a conservatorio, though sometimes they had their own singing schools or tutored pupils on the side.
Since canon law condemned castration and threatened anyone involved in it with excommunication, which could be reinforced by civil penalties, the business had to be carried on more or less clandestinely, and everywhere prying questions brought only misleading and deceitful answers. The town of Lecce in Apulia, and Norcia, a small town in the Papal States about 20 miles east of Spoleto, are mentioned as notorious for the practice, though the castrati themselves came from all parts of the peninsula. The doctors most esteemed for their skill in the operation were those of Bologna, and their services were in demand not just in Italy but abroad as well.”
“The curriculum entailed much hard work, and was thorough and comprehensive; as much attention was given to the theory of singing as to its actual practice. Between the ages of 15 and 20, a castrato who had retained and embellished his voice, and passed the various tests with greater or lesser distinction, was considered ready for his debut. On contract to some opera house, he would often first be seen in a female part, for which his youth and fresh complexion would particularly suit him. His looks and unfamiliarity would perhaps gain him greater success than his art would have merited, to the rage and envy of his senior colleagues. Once his name was made, he would have his clique of admirers who attended en masse his every performance and extolled him as their idol; aristocratic ladies and gentlemen would fancy themselves in love with him and manipulate a piquant interview. Backstage, the rivalry with other singers could rage with intense virulence; and a castrato who was too vain and insolent might be assassinated by the hirelings of a rival’s protector. If, however, the performer did not please his audience, he would be doomed to touring small provincial opera houses, or to performing in a church choir. Dissatisfied with his situation, he could set off for Bologna, the marketplace for the musical profession in Italy, to better his fortunes. The castrati came in for a great amount of scurrilous and unkind abuse, and as their fame increased, so did the hatred of them. They were often castigated as malign creatures who lured men into homosexuality, and there were admittedly homosexual castrati, as Casanova’s accounts of XVIII century Italy bear witness. He mentions meeting an abbé whom he
took for a girl in disguise, but was later told that it was a famous castrate. In Rome in 1762, he attended a performance at which the prima donna was a castrato, the minion of Cardinal Borghese, who supped every evening with his protector. From his behavior on stage, <it was obvious that he hoped to inspire the love of those who liked him as a man, and probably would not have done so as a woman.> He concludes by saying that the holy city of Rome forces every man to become a pederast, even if it does not believe in the effect of the illusion which the castrati provoke.”
“Opponents of castration have claimed that the practice caused its victims an early loss of voice and an untimely death, while others have affirmed that castration prolonged the life of the vocal cords, and even that of their owner. There is no solid evidence for either contention: the castrati had approximately the same life span as their contemporaries, and retired at roughly the same age as other singers. The operation appears to have had surprisingly little effect on the general health and well-being of the subject, any more than on his sexual impulses. The trauma was largely a psychological one, in an age when virility was deemed a sovereign virtue.” A castração tardia não elimina a libido, ao contrário da crença vulgar. Não há solução fácil para o dilema da energia! Eu-nuco El-niño or neverminds…
“Toward the end of the XVIII century castrati went out of fashion, and new styles in musical composition led to the disappearance of these singers. Meyerbeer was the last composer of importance to write for the male soprano voice; his Il Crociato in Egitto, produced at Venice in 1824, was designed especially for a castrato star. Succeeding generations regarded their memory with derision and disgust, and were happy to live in an age when such products of barbarism were no longer possible. A few castrati performed in the Vatican chapel and some other Roman churches until late in the XIX century, but their vogue on the operatic stage had long passed.”
Angus Heriot, The Castrati in Opera
“The Latin common noun, catamitus, designating a minion or kept boy, is usually derived from the Greek proper name Ganymede(s), the favorite of Zeus. Another possible source is Kadmilos, the companion of the Theban god Kabeiros. The word entered English in 16th century as part of the Renaissance revival of classical literature, and has always retained a learned, quasi-exotic aura. The term could also be used as a verbal adjective, as <a catamited boy>.” “In modern English the termination -ite tends to be perceived as pejorative, as in Trotskyite (vs. Trotskyist) and sodomite.”
“Born at Verona, he spent most of his life in Rome, but kept a villa near his birthplace at Smirno on Lake Garda. Often considered the best Republican poet, he imitated Sappho as well as other archaic, classical, and Hellenistic models, upon which he often improved, and which he combined with native Latin traditions to create stunning, original pieces. He wrote poems, 250 of which survive, of happiness and bitter disappointment. Some are addressed to his mistress Clodia, 10 years his senior, whom he addressed as Lesbia(though with no insinuation of what we now call lesbianism), and who was unfaithful to him with other men. Homophobic Christians and modern schoolmasters have, however, greatly exaggerated the importance of the poems to Lesbia, which amount to no more than 1/8 of the Catullan corpus.”
“Sophisticated and fastidious, he set the standard for the Augustan poets of love Ovid, Horace, Vergil, and Propertius. In the Silver Age even Martial acknowledged his debt to Catullus’ epigrams. Like those poets, and most specifically Tibullus, he showed little inhibition and equal attraction to boys and women, but also shared the traditional attitude that the active, full-grown male partner degraded the passive one, and that the threat to penetrate another male symbolized one’s superior virility and power. On the other hand, the accusation of having been raped by another male has a largely negative force”
CENSORSHIP AND OBSCENITY
“The practice of tolerating certain hand-produced materials clearly shows that censorship is concerned not simply with the prohibition of materials, but with the size of the audience. It is for this reason that medical and other books dealing with sexual matters formerly had the crucial details in Latin.”
“The urge to censor is probably ultimately rooted in fear of blasphemy, the apprehension that if utterances offensive to the gods are tolerated their wrath will fall on the whole society. It was impiety toward the gods for which Socrates was tried and condemned in 399 B.C. The Roman erotic poet Ovid was banished by the puritanical emperor Augustus in A.D. 8.”
“Since the monasteries had a monopoly on producing manuscripts, it was assumed that such oversight was not necessary. In fact the abbey scriptoria not only copied erotic materials from Greco-Roman times, but created their own new genres of this type. In any event, the medieval authorities were concerned more with doctrinal deviation than with obscenity.” “The centralization of printing in the hands of a relatively few firms made it possible to scrutinize their intended productions before publication; only those that had passed the test and bore the imprimatur [seal] could be printed. It was then only necessary to make sure that heretical materials were not smuggled in from abroad. In Catholic countries this system was put in place by the establishment, under the Inquisition, with the Index of Prohibited Books in 1557. In countries where the Reformation took hold the control of books was generally assumed by the government. In England the requirement that books should be licenced for printing by the privy council or other agents of the crown was introduced in 1538. These origins explain why the activity of censors was for long chiefly concerned with the printed word. Revealingly, this system is still in force in Communist countries today .”
“The French author Nicolas Chorier contrived an even more ambitious ruse for his pansexual dialogues of Aloisia Sigea (1658(?)), which purported to be a translation into Latin by a Dutch author (Jan de Meurs) working from a Spanish original by a learned woman.” Entendeu? Uma tradução para o latim (língua culta) de um escrito erudito (mas vulgar) de uma espanhola, feito por um holandês, para circular na França!
“Many French books, unwelcome to throne and altar, were published in Geneva, in Amsterdam, and in Germany. With the coming of the French revolution, however, all restraints were off. Thus the large works which the Marquis de Sade had composed in prison were published, as well as two fascinating homosexual pamphlets, Les enfans de Sodome and Les petits bougres au manège. Although controls were eventually tightened again, Paris gained the reputation (which lasted until about 1960) among English and American travelers as the place where <dirty books> could be obtained.”
“Through his prudish editions of Shakespeare, Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825) gave rise to the term <bowdlerize>. At the ports, an efficient customs service kept all but a trickle of works deemed to be obscene from coming in. In the United States, the morals crusader Anthony Comstock (1844-1915) not only fought successfully for stringent new legislation, but as head of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice [haha] he claimed responsibility for the destruction of 160 tons of literature and pictures. The restrictions on malleability proved to be particularly hard on publishers of homosexual material, and this problem was not overcome until the ONE, Inc. case in 1954. A landmark in freedom to read books in the United States was the 1931 Ulysses case. Shortly thereafter, however, Hollywood instituted a system of self-censorship known as the Hays Office. This device effectively prevented any direct representation of homosexual love on the silver screen for decades, the only exceptions being a very few foreign films shown at art houses. During this period book publishers practiced their own form of self-censorship by insisting that novels featuring homosexual characters must doom them to an unhappy end.
Only after World War II did the walls begin to come tumbling down in English-speaking countries. In Britain the publishers of Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence were acquitted after a spectacular trial in 1960. In America Grove Press had obtained a favorable court decision on the availability of Lady Chatterley in 1959; three years later the firm went on to publish Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer without difficulty. The travails of a book containing explicit homosexual passages, William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, were more extended. In 1958 authorities at the University of Chicago refused to permit publication of excerpts in a campus literary review. This led to the founding of a new journal, largely to publish the Burroughs text; once this had been done, a lengthy court battle ensued. Only in 1964 was the way clear for the whole novel to be issued by Grove Press. (The book had been published in Paris in 1959.)
Subsequently, a series of United States Supreme Court decisions made censorship impractical, and for all intents and purposes it has ceased nationally, though local option is sometimes exercised. This cessation permitted the appearance and sale of a mass of sexually explicit
books, films, and magazines. The only restriction that is ubiquitously enforced is the ban on <kiddy porn>, photographs and films of children engaging in sexual acts. In an unlikely de facto alliance, two groups emerged at the end of the 1970s in America to reestablish some form of censorship: one consisting of fundamentalists and other religious conservatives; the other of feminist groups [haha].”
Michael Barry Goodman, Contemporary Literary Censorship: The Case of Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1981;
Rocco, Alcibiades The Schoolboy (1652) (diálogo êmulo de Platão apólogo da pederastia)
“For 5 years he was a captive in Algiers, where he was on surprisingly good terms with a homosexual convert to Islam; he refers several times in his writings to the pederasty that flourished in the Ottoman empire – on his return from Algiers he was accused of unspecified filthy acts. His marriage was unhappy, and women in his works are treated distantly. Like Manuel Azaña, he put a very high value on freedom.
While Cervantes presented the male-female relationship as the theoretical ideal and goal for most people, the use of pairs of male friends is characteristic of his fiction, and questions of gender are often close to the surface. In his masterpiece Don Quixote (1605-15), which includes cross-dressing by both sexes, the middle-aged protagonist has never had, and has no interest in, sexual intercourse with a woman. A boy servant who appears fleetingly at the outset is replaced by the unhappily-married companion Sancho Panza. The two men come to love each other, although the love is not sexual.”
Verbete por Daniel Eisenberg
Louis Combet, Cervantes ou les incertitudes du désir, Lyon: Presses Universitaires, 1982 (review in MLN, 97 , 422-27);
Rosa Rossi, Ascoltare Cervantes, Milan: Riuniti, 1987 (Spanish translation: Escuchar a Cervantes, Valladolid: Ámbito, 1988);
Luis Rosales, Cervantes y la libertad, 2ed., Madrid: Cultura Hispánica, 1985;
Ruth El Saffar, Cervantes and the Androgyne, Cervantes, III (1983);
______. Beyond Fiction: The Recovery of the Feminine in the Novels of Cervantes, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.
“The civilization of China emerged from pre-history during the first half of the 2nd millennium B.C. in the valley of the Huang-He (Yellow River), spreading gradually southwards. Over the centuries China has exercised extensive influence on Korea, Japan, and southeast Asia. Inasmuch as Chinese society has traditionally viewed male homosexuality and lesbianism as altogether different, their histories are separate and are consequently treated in sequence in this article.”
“During the latter part of the Zhou, homosexuality appears as a part of the sex lives of the rulers of many states of that era. Ancient records include homosexual relationships as unexceptional in nature and not needing justification or explanation. This tone of prosaic acceptance indicates that these authors considered homosexuality among the social elite to be fairly common and unremarkable. However, the political, ritual and social importance of the family unit made procreation a necessity. Bisexuality therefore became more accepted than exclusive homosexuality, a predominance continuing throughout Chinese history.
The Eastern Zhou produced several figures who became so associated with homosexuality that later generations invoked their names as symbols of homosexual love, much in the same way that Europeans looked to Ganymede, Socrates, and Hadrian. These famous men included Mizi Xia, who offered his royal lover a half-eaten peach, and Long Yang, who compared the fickle [volúvel] lover to a fisherman who tosses back a small fish when he catches a larger one. Rather than adopt scientific terminology, with associations of sexual pathology, Chinese litterateurs preferred the aesthetic appeal of these literary tropes [figures of speech].”
“One incident in the life of Dong Xian became a timeless metaphor for homosexuality. A tersely worded account [relato oral sucinto] relates how Emperor Ai [last Han] was sleeping with Dong Xian one afternoon when he was called to court. Rather than wake up his beloved, who was reclining across the emperor’s sleeve [manga, sobra de tecido], Ai took out a dagger and cut off the end of his garment. When courtiers inquired after the missing fabric, Emperor Ai told them what had happened. This example of love moved his courtiers to cut off the ends of their own sleeves in imitation, beginning a new fashion trend.”
“The Jin dynasty (265-420) poet Zhang Hanbian wrote a glowing tribute to the 15-year-old boy prostitute Zhou Xiaoshi. In it he presents the boy’s life as happy and care-free, <inclined toward extravagance and festiveness, gazing around at the leisurely and beautiful>. A later poet, the Liang dynasty (502-557) figure Liu Zun, tried to present a more balanced view in a poem entitled Many Blossoms. In this piece he shows the dangers and uncertainty associated with a boy prostitute’s life. His Zhou Xiaoshi
<knows both wounds and frivolity
Withholding words, ashamed of communicating.>
Although these poems take opposite perspectives on homosexual prostitution, the appearance of this theme as an inspiration for poetry points to the presence of a significant homosexual world complete with male prostitutes catering [sendo ofertados] to the wealthy.”
“The high profile of male prostitution led the Song rulers to take limited action against it. Many Confucian moralists objected to male prostitution because they saw the sexual passivity of a prostitute as extremely feminizing. In the early 12th century, a law was codified which declared that male prostitutes would receive 100 strokes of a bamboo rod and pay a fine of 50,000 cash. Considering the harsh legal penalties of the period, which included mutilation and death by slicing, this punishment was actually quite lenient. And it appears that the law was rarely if ever enforced, so it soon became a dead letter.”
“Legal intervention peaked in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) when the Kang Xi Emperor (r. 1662-1723) took steps against the sexual procurement of young boys, homosexual rape, and even consensual homosexual acts.” “it seems that the traditional government laissez-faire attitude toward male sexuality prevented enforcement of the law against consensual homosexual acts.”
“A thirst for knowledge of homosexual history led to the compilation of the anonymous Ming collection Records of the Cut Sleeve (Duan xiu pian) which contains vignettes of homosexual encounters culled from nearly two millennia of sources. This anthology is the first history of Chinese homosexuality, perhaps the first comprehensive homosexual history in any culture, and still serves as our primary guide to China’s male homosexual past.”
“In Fujian province on the South China coast, a form of male marriage developed during the Ming. Two men were united, the older referred to as an <adoptive older brother> (qixiong) and the younger as <adoptive younger brother> (qidi). The younger qidi would move into the qixiong’s household, where he would be treated as a son-in-law by his husband’s parents. Throughout the marriage, which often lasted for 20 years, the qixiong was completely responsible for his younger husband’s upkeep. Wealthy qixiong even adopted young boys who were raised as sons by the couple. At the end of each marriage, which was usually terminated because of the familial responsibilities of procreation, the older husband paid the necessary price to acquire a suitable bride for his beloved qidi.” [!!!]
“The famous 17th century author Li Yu wrote several works featuring male homosexuality and lesbianism. The greatest Chinese work of prose fiction, Dream of the Red Chamber (Honglou meng), features a bisexual protagonist and many homosexual interludes. And the mid-19th century saw the creation of A Mirror Ranking Precious Flowers (Pinhua baojian), a literary masterpiece detailing the romances of male actors and their scholar patrons.”
“Within a few generations, China shifted from a relative tolerance of homosexuality to open hostility. The reasons for this change are complex and not yet completely understood. First, the creation of colloquial baihua literary language removed many potential readers from the difficult classical Chinese works which contained the native homosexual tradition. Also, the Chinese reformers early in the century began to see any divergence between their own society and that of the West as a sign of backwardness. This led to a restructuring of Chinese marriage and sexuality along more Western lines. The uncritical acceptance of Western science, which regarded homosexuality as pathological, added to the Chinese rejection of same-sex love. The end result is a contemporary China in which the native homosexual tradition has been virtually forgotten and homosexuality is ironically seen as a recent importation from the decadent West.
Communist China.In the People’s Republic of China, homosexuality is taken as a sign of bourgeois immorality and punished by <reeducation> in labor camps. Officially the incidence of homosexuality is quite low. Western psychologists, however, have noted that the official reporting of impotence is much higher in mainland China than in the West. It seems that many Chinese men, unfamiliar with homosexual role models, interpret their sexuality solely according to their attraction to women. Nevertheless, a small gay subculture has begun to develop in the major cities since the end of the Maoist era [?]. Fear of discovery and lack of privacy tend to limit the quality and duration of homosexual relationships. And for the vast majority of Chinese living in the conservative country-side, homosexual contacts are much more difficult to come by.” “With the 1997 return of Hong Kong to China approaching, British liberals have supported a last minute repeal of the sodomy law.”
“Traditionally, Chinese people have viewed male homosexuality and lesbianism as unrelated. Consequently, much of the information we have on male homosexuality in China does not apply to the female experience. Piecing together the Chinese lesbian past is frustrated by the relative lack of source material. Since literature and scholarship were usually written by men and for men, aspects of female sexuality unrelated to male concerns were almost always ignored.” “Sex manuals of the period Ming include instructions integrating lesbian acts with heterosexual intercourse as a way of varying the sex lives of men with multiple concubines.”
“Li Yu’s first play, Pitying the Fragrant Companion (Lianxiangban), describes a young married woman’s love for a younger unmarried woman. The married woman convinces her husband to take her talented beloved as a concubine. The 3 then live as a happy ménage-à-trois free from jealousy. A more conventional lesbian love affair is detailed in Dream of the Red Chamber, in which a former actress regularly offers incense to the memory of her deceased beloved.”
The most highly developed form of female relationship was the lesbian marriages formed by the exclusively female membership of Golden Orchid Associations. A lesbian couple within this group could choose to undergo a marriage ceremony in which one partner was designated <husband> and the other <wife>. After an exchange of ritual gifts, a wedding feast attended by female friends served to witness the marriage. These married lesbian couples could even adopt young girls, who in turn could inherit family property from the couple’s parents. This ritual was not uncommon in 19th-century Guangzhou province. Prior to this, the only other honorable way for a woman to remain unmarried was to enter a Buddhist nunnery.” “The existence of Golden Orchid Associations became possible only by the rise of a textile industry in south China which enabled women to become economically independent. The traditional social and economic attachment of women to the home has so far prevented the emergence in modem China of a lesbian community on even so limited a scale as that of male homosexuals.”
Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng, Golden Lotus ou The Plum [Ameixa] in The Golden Vase (2013) (título original: Jin ping mei)(novela de costumes, considerada o “Lolita” oriental), s/ data precisa (~séc. XVI; ed. por Zhang Zhupo no século seguinte). trad. francesa: La merveilleuse histoire de Hsi Men avec ses six femmes (1), Fleur en fiole d’or (2);
Pai Hsien-yung, The Outsiders (Niezi) (inspirou um filme homônimo, de 1986)
“ORÍGENES” DO MAL II: “By about A.D. 200, the church had come to recognize the texts making up the New Testament as a single canon. After some hesitation, the Hebrew Bible, known to Christians as the Old Testament, was taken from Judaism and also accepted as divinely inspired. From this point onwards, Christian doctrines were elaborated by a group of intellectuals, known as the Fathers of the Church or the Patristic writers, beginning with such figures as Origen, Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian.” “Though they based their exegesis upon the Bible, they were inevitably influenced by philosophical and religious currents of their own time, especially Greek Stoicism and Neo-Platonism and by rival mystery cults such as Manichaeanism and Gnosticism.” “Still today there are differences on such sexually related topics as divorce, celibacy, and so forth between Roman Catholics and members of various eastern branches of Christianity which date from the foundations of Christianity, including Coptic, Nestorian, and various Orthodox Churches. In practice, most of these churches have been more tolerant of homosexuality than the Roman Catholic Church and its Protestant off-shoots.”
RESUMO DAS CONFISSÕES DE UM HOMEM POUCO SANTO
“St. Augustine (d. 430), one of the great scholars of the ancient world, had converted to the austere faith of Manichaeanism after receiving a classical education. It seemed to his mind more suited to his Neo-Platonic and Stoic ideals than the Christianity of his mother. In Manichaean belief, which drew heavily from Zoroastrianism, intercourse leading to procreation was particularly evil because it caused other souls to be imprisoned in bodies, thus continuing the cycle of good versus evil.
Augustine was a member of the Manichaean religion for some 11 years but never reached the stage of the Elect in part because of his inability to control his sexual appetites. He kept a mistress, fathered a child, and according to his own statement, struggled to overcome his lustful appetites everyday by praying: <Give me chastity, and continence, but do not give it yet>. Recognizing his own inability to give up sexual intercourse, Augustine finally arrived at the conclusion that the only way to control his venereal desire was through marriage. He expelled his mistress and his son from his house, became engaged to a young girl not yet of age for wedlock (probably under 12 years of age), and planned a marriage. Unable to abstain from sex, he turned to prostitutes, went through a religious crisis, and in the process became converted to Christianity.”
HA-HA: “All other sex was sinful including coitus within marriage not performed in the proper position (the female on her back and facing the male) and using the proper appendages and orifices (penis in vagina). St. Augustine’s views became the views of the western church centered in Rome.” “In general there was no extensive discussion of homosexuality by any of the early Church Fathers, and most of the references are incidental.”
“The Augustinian views were modified in the 13th century [o que houve nestes 7 séculos além de monges devassos e burros?] by St. Thomas Aquinas, who held that homosexual activities, though similar to other sins of lust, were more sinful because they were also sins against nature. The sins against nature in descending order were (I) masturbation, (2) intercourse in an unnatural position, (3) copulation with the same sex (homosexuality and lesbianism), and (4) sex with non-humans (bestiality).”
One of the key sources in the early medieval Church is the penitential literature. Originally penance had been a way of reconciling the sinner with God and had taken place through open confession. The earliest penitentials put sexual purity at a high premium, and failure to observe the sexual regulations was classified as equal to idolatry (reversion to paganism) and homicide. Ultimately public penance was replaced by private penance and confession which was regulated by the manuals or penitentials designed to guide those who were hearing them. Most of the early penitentials classified homosexual and lesbian activities as equivalent to fornication. Later ones classified such activities as equivalent to adultery although some writers distinguished between interfemoral intercourse and anal intercourse and between fellatio or oral-genital contacts. Anal intercourse was regarded as being the most serious sin.” “Sodomy came to be regarded as the most heinous of sexual offenses, even worse than incest, and as civil law began to take over from canon law, it could be punished as a capital crime.”
Antes só dormia, hoje sodomia.
Só dormia, ou será que prazer também? No lato sensucht
Calvin & Child Harolde: “Catholics denounced Calvin for his supposed pederasty, a charge that was completely unfounded.”
NADA COMO COMER O BRIOCO DUMA INDIAZINHA: “In 1730-31 the great Dutch persecution of sodomites occurred, and in the accompanying propaganda the old charges against Roman Catholicism were revived. In Catholic countries themselves, the dissolution of the Jesuit order in 1773 was preceded by accusations of sodomy.”
Graciano, A Harmony of Discordant Canons (1140)
St. Peter Damián (1007-1072), Liber Gomorrhianus
“The emergence of Christian churches with predominantly gay and lesbian congregations, as well as interest groups within or allied to existing denominations, is a recent phenomenon, centered in the English-speaking world. There are records of homosexual monks, nuns, and priests, especially in the later Middle Ages and in early modern times, but no indication that they even thought of organizing on the basis of their sexual preference. Christian homosexuals drawn to particular parishes, where cliques [panelinhas] occasionally even became a visible segment of the congregation, would not openly avow this shift in the church’s character: they remained closeted gay Christians, so to speak.”
“Some maintain that Jesus – an unmarried man in a Jewish milieu where marriage and procreation were de rigueur even for the religious elite – had a passionate relationship with John, the beloved disciple. Liturgically and sociologically the UFMCC tends to be of a <low church> character, with notable exceptions in some congregations. The evangelical fundamentalist domination of the UFMCC may be regarded as a response to the homophobic vehemence of the mainstream fundamentalist churches, which drives gay Christians out of their fold with a vengeance and forces them into an external redoubt, in contrast to the relatively more tolerant atmosphere, hospitable to internal gay caucuses [panelinhas, partidos], of the more liberal churches.”
“Roman politician, orator, and writer, who left behind a corpus of Latin prose (speeches, treatises, letters) that make him one of the great authors of classical antiquity. Unsuccessful in politics, he was overestimated as a philosopher by the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and underestimated in modern times, but was and is ranked as one of the greatest masters of Latin style. His career as an orator began in 81 B.C., and from the very beginning his speeches revealed his rhetorical gifts. His denunciation ofVerres, the proconsul who had plundered the province of Sicily, opened the way to his election as aedile, praetor, and then consul, but subsequently the intrigues of his enemies led to his banishment from Rome (58/57), followed by his triumphal return. In the civil war he took the side of Pompey and so failed again, but was pardoned by the victorious Caesar, after whose death he launched a rhetorical attack on Mark Antony. The formation of the triumvirate meant that Cicero was to be proscribed by his opponent and murdered by his henchmen.”
“In the last turbulent century of the Roman republic in which he lived, a contrast between the austere virtue of earlier times and the luxury and vice of the present had become commonplace. Also, as we know from the slightly later genre of satirical poetry, a taste for salacious gossip had taken root in the metropolis. In his orations Cicero remorselessly flays the homosexual acts of his enemies, contrasting homosexual love with the passion inspired by women which is <far more of natural inspiration>.”
“Something of the Roman antipathy to Greek paiderasteia transpires from Cicero’s condemnation of the nudity which the Greeks flaunted in their public baths and gymnasia, and from his assertion that the Greeks were inconsistent in their notion of friendship. He pointedly noted: <Why is it that no one falls in love with an ugly youth or a handsome old man?> Effeminacy and passive homosexuality are unnatural and blameworthy in a free man, though Cicero remained enough under the influence of Greek mores to express no negative judgment on the practice of keeping handsome young slaves as minions of their master.” “The Judaic condemnation of homosexuality per se had not yet reached Rome, but the
distinction that had existed in Hellenic law and custom between acts worthy and unworthy of a citizen was adopted and even heightened by the com[cu]bination of appeal to Roman civic virtue and his own rhetorical flair.”
SMEAR CAMPAIGN: “Cicero’s rhetoric thus had two sides: the attempt to discredit opponents by inflammatory imputations of homosexual conduct and of sexual immorality in general – a type of smear to be followed in political life down to modern times”
GENEALOGIA DA PROFILAXIA: “Male circumcision, or the cutting away of the foreskin [prepúcio] of the penis, has been practiced by numerous peoples from remotest antiquity as a religious custom, while to some modern homosexuals it has an aesthetic and erotic significance. It has been speculated that the custom originated somewhere in Africa where water was scarce and the ability to wash was limited. Thus the Western Semites (Israelites, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Arabs, Edomites, Syrians), who lived in an area where water was never really plentiful, also observed the custom, while the Eastem Semites (Assyrians and Babylonians), in an area where water was more abundant, did not circumcise. This is true also of the Greeks and other Aegean peoples who always lived near the water.”
“Jesus never mentioned circumcision, though the Jewish rite was (Luke 2:21) performed upon him on his 8th day as it was with all other males of his community of faith – hence the designation of the calendar in which the first day of the year is January 1 as <circumcision style>. In the early church the party of Paul of Tarsus which opposed circumcision was victorious, and uncircumcised Greeks and Romans poured into the new faith, so that to this day the majority of European men have retained their foreskins. With the coming of the faith of Islam, however, in the VII century the Middle East and North Africa became a stronghold of the practice of circumcision. Hindus and Buddhists avoid it, hence East Asians – and Amerindians – retain their foreskins.”
“In the late 20th century the trend is being reversed in America as more and more medical articles – and some books – have argued that the operation in most cases is needless.”
“There are even groups of men who have retained their foreskins (and others who admire them); these individuals with generous or pronounced <curtains> are in demand.”
Bud Berkeley & Joe Tiffenbach, Circumcision: Its Past, Its Present, and Its Future, San Francisco: Bud Berkeley, 1983-84;
Rosemary Romberg, Circumcision: The Painful Dilemma, South Hadley, MA: Bergin & Garvey, 1985;
Edward Wallerstein, Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy, New York: Springer Publishing Co., 1980.
“When there are no children to raise there is more discretionary income, so that adopting a homosexual lifestyle provides a margin for class enhancement.” “An established gay man or lesbian may put resources which parents would use for raising the status of their children into helping a lover-protegé. The mentor may also provide private lessons in manners and business acumen.” “Curiously, some parents seem to tolerate same-sex alliances by their offspring more easily than those that cross class or racial lines. § Internalizing the folk belief that homosexuals are more <artistic>, some gay men cultivate musical, theatrical, and culinary tastes that are above their <station> – and above their income. Acquisition of these refined preferences, together with <corrected> speech patterns, hinders easy communication with former peers, though there are many factors that work for geographical and psychological distance between homosexuals, on the one hand, and their families and original peer groups, on the other. Given their relative freedom, some individuals may be inclined to experiment with <class bending>, [sinuosidade de classe] sometimes with paradoxical results.”
“There is class, and there is class fantasy.”
CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA
“Greek church father. Born in Athens, probably of pagan and peasant ancestry, he is not to be confused with Clement, bishop of Rome, author of the New Testament epistle. After his conversion, Clement of Alexandria traveled widely to study under Christians, finally under the learned Pantaenus in Alexandria. Of the early Fathers, he had the most thorough knowledge of Greek literature. He quoted Homer, Hesiod, the dramatists, and (most of all) Platonic and Stoic philosophers. Sometime before 200 he succeeded Pantaenus, whom he praised for his orthodoxy, as head of the catechetical school at Alexandria, but in 202 he had to flee the persecution unleashed by the emperor Septimius Severus and perhaps died in Asia Minor.”
“Although Clement’s christianity has been criticized as being too Hellenized, his serene hope and classical learning helped convert the upper classes. His pseudo-Platonic doctrine that homosexuality was particularly noxious because it was <against nature> served to combine that strand of classical philosophy with Hellenistic Jewish homophobia, most trenchantly exemplified by the Alexandrian philosopher Philo Judaeus (20 B.C.-A.D. 45), to justify persecution of sodomites. He thus preceded and stimulated the homophobia of the Christian emperors, from Constantine’s sons to Justinian, and of the two most influential Fathers, John Chrysostom and Augustine of Hippo.”
“that there is a psychological affinity between religious ministry and hemophilia”Edward Carpenter
“The patrician John XII (938-964) went so far as to model himself on the scandalous Roman emperor Heliogabalus, holding homosexual orgies in the papal palace – a practice imitated by Benedict IX (1021-ca. 1052).” “paradoxically the enforcement of celibacy on priests and even attempts to impose it on those in lesser orders increased the danger of homosexuality.”
“Friars, who unlike the monks were free to wander among the laity without much supervision, became notorious as seducers of boys as well as women, whose confessions they often heard to the disgruntlement [desabono] of parish priests. Many homosexual clergy, then as now, confessed to one another and were formally absolved. Indeed, the confessional at times became the locus of seduction.”
“Philip IV of France charged Boniface VIII not only with heresy, usury, and simony, but with sodomy and masturbation as well.”
“The Renaissance in Italy, with its revival of classical antiquity and love of art, saw a number of popes who were interested in their own sex. Among them were the anti-pope John XXIII (d. 1419), who began his career as a pirate. Entering the clergy he quickly acquired the reputation of an unblushing libertine. The humanist pope Pius II (1405-1464) watched boys run naked in a race at Pienza, noting a boy <with fair hair and a beautiful body, though disfigured with mud>. The vain Venetian Paul II (1417-1471) toyed with adopting the name Formosus. Affecting the most lavish costumes, he was attacked by his enemies as <Our Lady of Pity>. His successor, Sixtus IV (1414-1482), made his mark as an art patron, erecting the Sistine chapel. He also elevated to the cardinalate a number of handsome young men. Julius II (1443-1513), another art-loving pope, provoked such scandal that he was arraigned under various charges, including that of sodomy, but he managed to survive the attempt to depose him. His successor, the extravagant Medici Leo X (1475-1521), became embroiled in intrigues to advance favorite nephews, a hobby that strained the treasury to the utmost. Julius III (1487-1555), who had presided over the Council of Trent before his pontificate, was nonetheless sometimes seen at official functions with catamites [<coroinhas>], one of whom he made a cardinal.”
“The anticlerical literature of the last decades of that century delighted in exposing cases in which a clergyman had committed a sexual offense, to the point where in 1911 the Pope had to issue the motu proprio decree Quamvis diligenter forbidding the Catholic laity to bring charges against the clergy before secular courts. This step unilaterally abolished the principle of the equality of all citizens before the law established by the French Revolution, reinstating the <benefit of clergy> of the Middle Ages. The anticlerical literature of that period still needs study for the light that it can shed on the homosexual subculture of the clerical milieux.”
The Bible for Believers and Unbelievers (1922)(clássico anticlerical russo)
The Rule of St. Benedict, chapter 22.
Transcrição completa do capítulo 22 das regras de São Benedito (regulamento dos monges na alta idade média):
“CHAPTER XXII: HOW THE MONKS ARE TO SLEEP
Let them sleep singly in separate beds. Let them receive bedding suitable to their manner of life, at the discretion of the abbot. If it can be done, let all sleep in one room: but if their number does not allow of this, let them repose by tens or by twenties with their seniors who have charge of them. Let a candle burn continually in the dormitory until morning. Let them sleep clothed and girded with girdles or cords, but let them not have knives at their sides while they sleep, lest by chance while dreaming they wound a sleeper; and let them be monks always ready; and upon the signal being given let them rise without delay and hasten one after the other, yet with all gravity and decorum, to be ready in good time for the Work of God. Let not the younger brethren have their beds by themselves, but among those of the seniors: and let them be allowed gently to encourage one another as they rise for the Work of God, because some may feel drowsy and listless.”
The Infernal Machine (peça)
“A happy childhood is a bad preparation for contact with human beings.”
“A current Russian term for a gay man is golubchik, from goluboy, <blue>, evidently through association with the <blue blood> of the aristocracy of the Old Régime.”
“According to Havelock Ellis, one could not safely walk down the streets of late 19th century New York wearing a red tie without being accosted, since this garment was then the universal mark of the male prostitute.” “Because of the <scarlet woman>, the great Whore of Babylon of the book of Revelation, that color has acquired a strong association with prostitution and adultery”
“In American culture the word lavender – a blend of red and blue (as in <lavender lover>, The Lavender Lexicon, etc.) – almost speaks for itself.”
“The mid-1980s saw public display at rallies and marches of a rainbow Gay Pride Flag, consisting of six parallel stripes ranging from bright red to deep purple. The juxtaposition of colors stands for the diversity of the gay/lesbian community with regard to ethnicity, gender, and class – perhaps also connoting, in the minds of some, the coalition politics of the Rainbow Alliance headed by Jesse Jackson.”
“The first true comic strips were introduced in 1897 as a circulation-building device in the Sunday supplements of the Hearst newspapers. The now-familiar pulp comic book was a creation of the Depression: the first commercial example is Famous Funnies of 1934. Although these strips generally affirmed middle-class values, and certainly contained not the slightest overt indication of sex, they were regularly denounced by pundits as a pernicious influence on the young.”
“Batman, appearing in 1939, featured the adventures of a playboy detective and his teenage ward, Robin. Although the relationship is portrayed as a simple mentor-protegé one, some teenage male readers were able to project something stronger into it. This aspect was certainly flirted with in the campy television off-shoot beginning in 1966, though this series reflects a much changed cultural climate. In 1941 there appeared Wonder-woman, featuring an Amazon with special powers living on an all-woman island. This strip – contrary to the expressed wishes of its creators – served as a focus for lesbian aspirations. In the 1970s it was rediscovered by the women’s movement as a proto-feminist statement.
In the late 1940s Blade drew several illustrated stories, including The Barn and Truck Hiker, that can be considered predecessors of the gay comics. Circulated underground, they have been officially published only in recent years. Somewhat later the wordless strips of supermacho types created by Tom of Finland began to circulate in Europe.
It was the American counterculture of the 1960s, however, which first made possible the exploration of taboo subjects in a context of crumbling censorship restrictions. In 1964 a Philadelphia gay monthly, Drum, began serializing Harry Chess by Al Shapiro (A. Jay). Modeled on a popular television series, Harry Chess was both macho and campy, though explicit sex scenes were veiled. In the 1970s no-holds-barred examples appeared drawn by such artists as Bill Ward, Sean, and Stephen (Meatman).”
“A few gays and lesbians report no memory of a coming out process; they always considered themselves homosexual and were never <in the closet>. Others have reported a sudden revelation of their own homosexuality which does not fit into any theory of stages but has brought them from apparently heterosexual to comfortably homosexual virtually overnight.”
“The self-help literature for gay and lesbian youth is quite explicit in designating parents as the crucial factor in the youth’s coming out process. Those who do not come out to their family, according to G.B. MacDonald, become <half-members of the family unit: afraid and alienated, unable ever to be totally open and spontaneous, to trust or be trusted… This sad stunting of human potential breeds stress for gay people and their families alike – stress characterized by secrecy, ignorance, helplessness, and distance.> The scientific literature, however, has largely ignored the role of parents, having centered on gay and lesbian adults.”
Achilles Tatius, Leucippe and Clitophon
Pseudo-Lucian, Affairs of the Heart
CONTRARY SEXUAL FEELING
“the linguistic remnant of the first, uncertain psychiatric attempt to grapple with the problem of homosexuality.”
“Apparently the term counterculture is an adaptation of the slightly earlier <adversary culture>, an expression coined by the literary critic Lionel Trilling (1905-1975). In many respects the counterculture constituted a mass diffusion – fostered by diligent media exploitation – of the prefigurative beat/hippie phenomenon. As American involvement in the Vietnam War increased, in the wake of opposition to it the counterculture shifted from the gentle <flower-child> phase to a more aggressive posture, making common cause with the New Left, which was not, like the radicalism of the 30s, forced by economic crisis to focus on issues of unemployment and poverty. Of course radical political leaders were accustomed to decry the self-indulgence of the hippies, but their followers, as often as not, readily succumbed to the lure of psychedelic drugs and the happy times of group togetherness accompanied by ever present rock music.”
MESSIANISMO EPIDÊMICO: “The counterculture shamelessly embraced ageism: <Don’t trust anyone over thirty.> Observing this precept cut young people off from the accumulated experience and wisdom of sympathetic elders. Moreover, it meant that the adherents of the movement themselves quickly became back numbers as they crossed over the 30-year line. In regard to gay adherents, the distrust of older people tended to reinforce the ageism already present in their own subculture. To be sure, the full force of such problematic effects has become evident only in retrospect. Although outsiders, and some insiders as well, exaggerated the fusion of the counterculture and the New Left, still the convergence of massive cultural innovation with hopes for fundamental political change gave the young generation a heady sense of imminent revolution.”
“The psychiatrist Thomas Szasz and others correctly perceived the link between the campaign to decriminalize marijuana and the efforts to reform sex laws.” “many assumed that homosexuals were essentially counterculturist, leftist, and opposed root and branch to the established order. Subsequent observation has shown, not surprisingly perhaps, that a majority of gay men and lesbians were (and are) liberal-reformist and even conservative, rather than revolutionary in then-overall political and social outlook.”
“After the turn of the century Crowley’s public career began, and he was regularly attacked in the press as <The Great Beast> and <The Wickedest Man in the World>.”
Raulseixismo: <There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.>
“In a 1910 memoir Aleister Crowley proclaimed, <I shall fight openly for that which no Englishman dare defend, even in secret – sodomy! At school I was taught to admire Plato and Aristotle, who recommend sodomy to youths – I am not so rebellious as to oppose their dictum; and in truth there seems to be no better way to avoid the contamination of woman and the morose pleasures of solitary vice.>”
“he advanced beyond the grade of Magus to the supreme status of Ipsissimus.” E o Quico?
“Scarcely known today outside occult circles, Crowley is an extravagant instance of the concern with heterodox religion that has flourished among some male homosexuals who could find no peace within established Christianity, and more recently among female adherents of <the craft>. Through his voluminous writings Crowley foreshadowed the emergence of the <Age of Aquarius>.”
Israel Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle: An Interpretation of Aleister Crowley, St. Paul: Llewellen Publications, 1970.
Nicole Ariana, How to Pick up Men, New York: Bantam, 1972;
Mark Freedman & Harvey Mayes, Loving Man, New York: Hark, 1976, chapter 2;
John A. Lee, Getting Sex, Toronto: General, 1978 [Tinder on paper for human beings as archaic as those from a century ago];
Publius Ovid, Art of Love [~1A.D., obra seminal do “flerte” e “sondagens de sexo casual”, homo e heteronormativas!]
“The largest island of the Antilles chain, home to 10 million Spanish-speaking people” Para 2017, o censo ainda não aponta população superior a 11.5 milhões.
“The British, French, and Dutch seized islands from the Spanish or colonized vacant ones as naval bases or sugar plantations; like the pirates they seldom brought women along. All 3 European powers were involved in the notorious triangular trade, shipping molasses or rum to Europe, guns and trinkets from there to Africa, and slaves back to the West Indies.”
“Cuba began to excel in sugar production after 1762. Havana became a glittering metropolis, rivaling New York and Rio de Janeiro, by 1800. The slave population, including huge numbers of males imported for work in the cane fields or molasses manufacturing, grew from fewer than 40,000 in 1770 to over 430,000 seventy years later. The census of 1841 reported that more than half the population was non-white (black and mixed blood) and that 43% were slaves. Males outnumbered females by 2 to 1 in the center and west and were just equal in the east. Other islands in the Caribbean had even greater sexual imbalances. Documentation for the homosexuality that must have abounded is scarce but the earlier prevalence can be assumed from attitudes and customs that still survive.”
“With Spain’s adoption of the Napoleonic Code in 1889, homosexuality was decriminalized 3 years after the abolition of slavery.”
“During World War I, Europe was closed to North Americans and Cuba, especially Havana, became a resort for the more adventurous. Prosperity increased with a rise in commodity prices. Also, the Prohibition in the United States after 1920 left Cuba as an oasis where liquor still flowed freely. Casino gambling and prostitution were also legal. A favorite port of call of cruise ships [pun intended!], Havana flourished as a mecca for pleasure-seekers.”
“The post-war collapse of commodity prices was to some extent offset by tourism. Everything was for sale in Havana under the dictator Fulgencio Batista, whose 1952 coup ousted an outwardly democratic but venal and nepotistic predecessor.
Old Havana had gay bars. Moral laxity, characteristic of the slave-rooted Caribbean economy, the Napoleonic Code, and the weakness of the Catholic Church (which was mainly Spanish, urban and upper class) produced an environment where gays were only mildly persecuted and could buy protection from corrupt officials. Drugs, especially marijuana, which flourished throughout the Caribbean, were available in Cuba long before they won popularity in the United States.”
“Exploiting popular revulsion against continuing political corruption as well as resentment of the diminishing but still important American domination, Fidel Castro led an ill-assorted group of liberals, patriots, and Marxists, including some gays, to victory over Batista in 1959. Only after he came to power did the United States realize that Castro was an avowed Communist. The American Central Intelligence Agency then tried and failed to assassinate him. His triumph was sealed by the missile crisis of 1962 when Khrushchev agreed to withdraw the missiles in return for Kennedy’s promise never to try to invade Cuba.”
“Soviet hostility toward homosexuality since 1934, when Stalin restored the penal laws against male homosexuals, combined with traditional Latin American machismo and Catholic homophobia, made the existence of Cuban homosexuals wretched and oppressive. To prevent their <contamination> of youth, thousands of gays in the 1960s were placed in work camps known as Military Units to Increase Production (UMAP). Although the camps were abolished by the end of the decade, other forms of discrimination continued. Article 359 of the Cuban penal code prohibits public homosexuality. Violations are punished with a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 20 years. Parents must discourage their children from homosexuality or report their failure to officials as Articles 355-58 mandate. Articles 76-94 punish with 4 years imprisonment sexual deviation regarded by the government as contrary to the spirit of Socialism.”
“The gifted playwright and fiction writer Virgilio Piñera (1912-1967) returned from Argentina in 1957 and after Castro’s triumph worked for several of the newspapers of the regime. On October 11, 1961, he was arrested and jailed for homosexuality. Che Guevara personally denounced him.”
Allen Young, Gays under the Cuban Revolution
“The dandy has been since antiquity the man who prides himself on being the incarnation of elegance and of male fashion. The word itself stems from the Romantic period in the 19th century, when the character type reached its apogee; England and France were the principal countries in which it flourished. Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) was one of the first to perceive that the type was not limited to the age just preceding his own, but had emerged across the centuries in some celebrated historical figures. Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly (1808-1889) wrote an Essay on Dandyism and George Brummel (1845), dealing with Beau Brummell (1778-1840), the most famous English representative of the dandy in the London of George IV.
History of the Type. Ancient Greece saw two classical specimens of the dandy: Agathon and Alcibiades. In Plato’s Symposium Agathon is a poet and tragedian, not merely handsome, but obsessed with the most trivial details of his wardrobe. Aristophanes shows him using a razor to keep his cheeks as smooth and glistening as marble, wearing sumptuous clothing in the latest Ionian fashion. Later in the same dialogue Alcibiades also enters the stage, the most dazzling figure of the jeunesse dorée of Athens, richer and more influential than Agathon, and never sparing any expenditure that would enhance his renown.”
“Another aesthete of this era, Oscar Wilde, affected a particularly striking costume when he made a lecture tour of the United States, capitalizing on a character featured in the Gilbert and Sullivan opera Patience (1881).”
“Rationale. The relation of the dandy to male homosexuality is complicated. As a rule the homosexual – more than the male who is attracted to women – feels the need to distinguish his person in some way, is more conscious of the world of male fashion and more likely to be narcissistically preoccupied with his image. Naturally not all the dandies of the past were homosexual or bisexual, and an element of leisure class self-demarcation and snobbery enters into the picture. Since it is usually the male of the species whom nature makes physically more noteworthy, the male-female antithesis in style of dress that has prevailed in Western culture since the French Revolution reverses the immemorial state of affairs. The notion that only a woman may be preoccupied with her wardrobe and that a man should dress simply and even unobtrusively is of recent date.”
“As a youth he had a profound spiritual experience in an encounter with the young Beatrice Portinari; after her death he submerged himself in the study of philosophy and poetry. In 1302 Dante was banished from Florence, pursuing his literary career in various other cities of Italy.”
“The presence in both the Inferno and the Purgatorio of groups of <sodomites> has given rise to a series of debates over the centuries. These passages must be interpreted in the larger context of the great poem’s situations and personnel.” “The sodomites of the Inferno (cantos 15 and 16) are seen running under a rain of fire, condemned never to stop if they wish to avoid the fate of being nailed to the ground for a hundred years with no chance of shielding themselves against the flames. Having recognized Dante, Brunetto Latini (ca. 1212-1294) called him to speak with him, voicing an important prophecy of Dante’s future. In describing his fellow sufferers, Latini mentioned a number of famous intellectuals, politicians, and soldiers.
In the Purgatorio (canto 26) the sodomites appear in a different context – together with lustful heterosexuals. The two categories travel in opposite directions, yelling out the reason for their punishment.
How can one account for the striking deference and sympathy that Dante shows for the sodomites? This matter began to puzzle commentators only a few years after the poet’s death.”
“Dante’s education took place in the 13th century when Italy was beginning to change its attitudes toward homosexual behavior. Conduct which had been a transgression condemned by religion but viewed with indulgence by everyday morality assumed increasing seriousness in the eyes of the laity. For Dante it was still possible – as it had commonly been through the first half of the 13th century – to separate human and divine judgment with respect to sodomy.”
IDADE DAS LUZES E O BURACO ESCURO: “For Dante’s commentators sodomy was a sin of such gravity that it was inconceivable for them to treat with respect men seared with such <infamy>.”
“That Dante had spoken of Brunetto Latini and the sodomites with too much sympathy because he too shared their feelings was the conclusion of one anonymous commentator of the 14th century. Another wild suggestion is that the shameless Latini had made an attempt on Dante’s own virtue, and that hence Dante’s gentle words are in reality sarcasm that must be understood <in the opposite sense> (Guiniforto dei Bargigi; 1406-ca. 1460). Then, foreshadowing a thesis that would be favored by medical opinion in the 12th century, it was suggested that there were two types of sodomites, those by <choice> and those who are such by <necessity>.”
“The debate on Dante’s motives has continued until our own day. In 1950Andre Pezard devoted a whole book, Dante sous la pluie de feu, to an effort to show that the sin for which Brunetto and his companions were being punished was sodomy not in the usual sense, but in an allegorical one: sodomie spirituelle, which in Brunetto’s case meant having used the French language as a medium for one of his works.”
“The authoritative Encyclopedia Dantesca has sought to bring the conflict to an end, taking adequate account of Dante’s indulgent judgment as the correct key for solving the supposed <enigma> of the band of sodomites. As regards the reason for Brunetto Latini’s presence among the sodomites, Avalle D’Arco’s recent confirmation of the attribution to him of a long love poem directed to a man, S’eo son distretto inamoramente, shows that it was probably on the basis of facts that were publicly known in Dante’s time that he was consigned to Hell.” Aposto o cu que você já deu o cu.
DICKINSON, EMILY (1830-1886)
“American poet. After brief periods at Amherst Academy and Holyoke Female Seminary, she settled into an outwardly uneventful life keeping house for her family. Dickinson never married. The real events in her life are her writings, which have assumed classic status in American literature.”
“These homoerotic poems are never joyous, but that is to be expected in a society where heterosexual marriage was virtually believed inevitable and there was little possibility of two unrelated women establishing a life together if they were not wealthy through independent inheritance.”
“Greek god associated with wine and emotional exuberance. Although the name occurs in linear B tablets [?] from the end of the second millennium B.C., his figure absorbed additional elements from Thrace and the East in the following centuries. Dionysus, called Bacchus in Latin, was the son of Zeus and a mortal, Semele. When his mother unwisely besought Zeus to reveal himself in his true form, she was incinerated, but the embryo of her son escaped destruction. Zeus then inserted it into his own thigh and carried the child to term. This quality of being <twice born>, once from a woman and once from a man, points to the ambiguity of the god, who though male had effeminate traits. In literary and artistic representations, he sometimes served as a vehicle for questioning sex roles, otherwise strongly polarized in ancient Greece.
According to the late-antique writer Nonnus, Dionysus fell in love with a Phrygian boy, Ampelos, who became his inseparable companion. When the boy was killed in a bull-riding accident, the grief-stricken Dionysus turned him into a vine. As a result, the practices of vine cultivating and grape harvesting, of wine making and drinking, commemorate this deeply felt pederastic relationship: in honoring the vine (ampelos in Greek), one honors the god through his beloved.
In historic times Dionysus attracted a cult following consisting largely of women, the Bacchae or maenads. During the ritual followers abandoned their houses and work to roam about in the mountains, hair and clothing in disarray, and liberally imbibing wine, normally forbidden to women. At the height of their ecstasy they would seize upon an animal or even a child, tear it to pieces, and devour the uncooked flesh, by ingesting which they sought to incorporate the god and his powers within themselves. From a sociological point of view, the Bacchic cult is a <religion of the oppressed>, affording an ecstatic relief to women, whose status was low. Occurring only once during the year, or once every two years, these Dionysiac rites were bracketed off from the normal life of the Greek polis, suggesting comparison with such later European customs as the feast of fools, the carnival, the charivari, and mardi gras.
The maenads assume a major role in Euripides’ tragedy, The Bacchae (406 BC). Accompanied by his female followers, Dionysus appears in Thebes as a missionary. Unwisely, King Pentheus insults and arrests the divine visitor; after he has been rendered mad and humiliated, the transgressor is dismembered by the maenads. Interpretations of the play differ: a warning of the consequences of emotional excess versus a reaffirmation of the enduring presence of humanity’s irrational side. The subject probably attracted Euripides as a phenomenon of individual and group psychology in its own right, but it is unlikely that he intended it as a forecast of modern gay liberation in the <faery spirituality> mode, as Arthur Evans has argued. Inasmuch as the sexuality of The Bacchae was not pederastic, the Greek audience would not have seen the play as homosexual (a concept foreign to their mentality), but rather as challenging gender-role assumptions about men and women, whatever their sexual orientation. That the parts of the maenads were taken by men was not exceptional: women never appeared on the Greek stage.
Bacchanalian rites were introduced into Rome during the Republic. Men joined women in the frenzied gatherings, and (according to the historian Livy) there was more debauchery among the men with each other than with the women. Apart from their orgiastic aspects, the rites caused concern because they crossed class lines, welcoming citizens, freed men and slaves alike. Condemned as a subversive foreign import, the Senate suppressed the Bacchanalia in 186 BC, but they evidently were soon revived. Roman sarcophagi of the 2nd and 3rd century of our era show Bacchic scenes, projecting hopes for an afterlife spent in Dionysic bliss. In its last phases the cult of Dionysus emerged as an other-worldly mystery religion, showing affinities with Mithraism, the religion of Isis, and Christianity. Meeting now behind closed doors, members of the sect recognized one another by passwords and signs.
Although the early Christians regarded all pagan worship as demonic, they were not averse to purloining the Bacchic wine harvest imagery for their own sarcophagi and mosaics. Some Bacchic reminiscences recur in drinking songs of medieval goliardic poets, notably the Carmina Burana.”
“At the end of the 16th century the flamboyant bisexual painter Caravaggio created a notably provocative image of Bacchus-Dionysus (Florence, Uffizi Gallery).” Veja pintura no verbete do pintor mais acima.
“The most influential latter-day evocation of the god occurs in The Birth of Tragedy (1872) of Friedrich Nietzsche, who exalted the category of the Dionysiac as an antidote for excessive rationality in the interpretation of ancient Greece and, by implication, in modern life as well.
Nietzsche’s ideas were modernized and correlated with anthropology and psychoanalysis by the classical scholar E.R. Dodds, who in turn influenced the poet W.H. Auden. Together with his lover, Chester Kallman, Auden turned Euripides’ play into an opera libretto entitled The Bassarids.”
Karl Kerenyi, Dionysus: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life, London: Routledge, 1976.
“When a dream has homosexual content, the hermeneutic process is complicated by the ethical assumptions of the dreamer and the interpreter, which reflect the attitudes of society toward same-sex experience.
To understand their dream experiences human beings have formulated a lore to which the ancients gave the name oneirocritical. Because the ancient world accepted homosexual interest and activity as part of human sexuality, the dream interpreters of the eastern Mediterranean cultures could calmly explain the homoerotic episodes in dreams in terms of their overall system of signs and meanings and without anxiety. Such was the work of Artemidorus of Daldis (middle of the 2nd century), which alludes to pédérastie and homosexual dream sequences and assigns them a specific, often prophetic meaning. Not so the Christian Middle Ages; the literature of dreams became exclusively heterosexual because the taboo with which theology had tainted sexual attraction to one’s own sex imposed a censorship that is only now being lifted.”
“It should be noted that there has never been a country or society in which unrestricted use of all psychoactive drugs has been permitted over any period of time.”
“In some users hallucinogens cause terrifying experiences; psychological problems can be exacerbated, and brain damage caused. The action of stimulants is often followed by a compensatory negative experience through which the body restores its equilibrium.”
“Society can tolerate drug use if it is encapsulated within an artistic, recreational, religious, or therapeutic context; while some are able to so control their usagé, for many that is a daunting or impossible condition, at least in our present culture”
“education is more effective than prohibition. Exaggeration of drugs’ harmful effects reduces respect for law, overwhelms the courts and prisons, inhibits research on any therapeutic use of drugs, makes drugs of controlled strength and purity unavailable, gives drugs the glamour of the forbidden, and encourages progression to ever more dangerous yet legally equal substances. As with alcohol during America’s Prohibition (1920-33), the supply of illegal drugs has become a very profitable industry, and not a passive or benign one. Foreigners who supply drugs sometimes justify their actions to themselves and their countrymen as a means of striking back at the political and economic power of the United States.”
“during the 1960s, there were a considerable number of reports of people becoming aware of homoeroticism for the first time while under the influence of LSD especially. Drugs have also been used by musicians, artists, and writers who claim that the substances help them create, although this claim is controversial, perhaps because if substantiated it would be a powerful argument for drug use.”
“The use of hashish (cannabis), eaten in sweets rather than smoked, is found in the Bible (Song of Songs 5:1; I Samuel 14:25-45), and there is evidence of psychic use of hemp (marijuana), from which hashish is made, from pre-historic times. Herodotus, for example, reports its popularity among the Scythians. However, widespread use of hashish begins in Islam in the 12th and 13th centuries. While the Koran prohibited wine, which because of distribution costs was somewhat more expensive than today, it was silent on hashish, which was also much less expensive. There was debate about whether the Koran’s silence was to be taken as approval, or whether prohibition was to be inferred from the treatment of wine; still, as long as it remained a minority indulgence it was tolerated, as wine usually was. Hashish users became a subculture; in particular it is linked to the mystical Sufis, who made a cult and ritual of its use. However, almost every Islamic poet from the 13th to the 16th centuries produced at least some playful poems on hashish, although wine poetry is much more abundant.”
“Hashish was thought to cause effeminacy, a preference for the passive sexual role, and a loss of interest in sex. However, it was also prized as the drug of scholars and lovers of young men, and an aid in seduction of the latter. Turkish soldiers frequently ate hashish together before going into battle.
Coffee was introduced to Europe in the 17th century from the Turkish empire. Both within Islam and in Europe coffee was at first a similarly controversial drug, subject to occasional legal restriction or suppression. Its use in coffee-houses, later cafés, was typical of intellectuals and dissidents.”
“The first half of the 20th century was characterized by a wave of reaction against drugs and the establishment of legal controls throughout Westem Europe and North America. However, the tensions of the 1960s, against a backdrop of the Holocaust and the invention and use of the atomic bomb, brought on a new wave of drug use. The hedonistic use of cannabis increased greatly; its enthusiasts promoted it as an aid to sensual and sexual enjoyment. The Beat generation, especially William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, had already turned to potent psychedelics as a means of self-improvement; they became part of the short-lived counterculture of the late 1960s. The discovery of psychedelics was in part due to progress in anthropology and archeology. The use by native peoples of mescaline (peyote), psilocybin (mushrooms), and other psychedelics became known, and the possible role of such substances in visions and oracles of the ancient Mediterranean world was proposed by scholars. The hallucinogenic properties of the most potent psychedelic yet known, lysergic acid diethylamine-25 (LSD), were discovered in 1943” “until it became too controversial, it was manufactured by a pharmaceutical company for research in psychotherapeutic treatment.”
“The gay bar remains the only gay institution in many American communities, as it was almost everywhere until the 1970s.”
“Poppers are a vasodilator of transitory effect, and cause a <high> from a drop in blood pressure; users say that the intensity and/or duration of orgasm is increased, that muscles (such as throat and anal sphincters) and gag reflexes are relaxed, and that feelings of increased union or <melting> with the sex partner result. Many users report that continued use (a single inhalation produces effects only for a few minutes) inhibits erections, while other users seem unaffected. Likewise, some users say the poppers encourage passivity and complete relaxation, while others report no such effect. Headaches and dizziness are sometimes reported as side effects.” “In the early 1980s poppers were accused of being a co-factor in the development of AIDS, and they were made illegal in some areas, although the accusation remains unproven.”
EFFEMINACY, HISTORICAL SEMANTICS OF
“In reading older texts it is important to bear these differences in mind, for the term effeminate can be used slightingly of a womanizer [mulherengo] as well as of a <womanish> man.
The ancient Greeks and Romans sharply differentiated the active male homosexual, the paiderastes (in the New Testament arsenokoites, literally <man-layer>), from the passive partner, the cinaedus or pathicus (New Testament Greek malakos; Hebrew, rakha). The Greeks also sometimes used the term androgynos, <man-woman>, to stigmatize the passive homosexual. Beginning with the Old Attic comedies of Aristophanes, the passive is a stock figure of derision and contempt, the active partner far less so. Because of the military ideals on which ancient societies were founded, passivity and softness in the male were equated with cowardice and want of virility. A seeming exception is the god Dionysus – whose effeminate characteristics are, however, probably an import from the non-Greek East.
In ancient Rome the terms mollis (soft) and effeminatus acquired special connotations of decadence and enervating luxury. By contrast the word virtus meant manliness. The Roman satirists took sardonic delight in flagellating the vices of luxury that were rampant among the upper classes of a nation that, once rude and war-like, had succumbed to the temptations that followed its successful conquest and plunder of the entire ancient world. The classical notion of effeminacy as the result of luxury, idleness, and pampered self-indulgence is thus far removed from the claim of some gay liberationists today to kinship with the exploited and down-trodden.”
“The old Icelandic literature stemming from medieval Scandinavia documents the condemnation of the argr, the cowardly, unwar-like effeminate (compare Modern German arg, <bad>). The Latin term mollities (softness) entered early Christian and medieval writings, but often with reference to masturbation. It may be that the 18th-century English term molly for an effeminate homosexual is a reminiscence of Latin mollis.”
“In the 16th century the French monarch Henri III assembled an entourage of favorites whose name mignon connotes effeminacy and delicacy. In French also the original meaning of bardache was the passive partner of the active bougre. English writings of the 17th and 18th century frequently denounced foppery [dandismo], sometimes homosexual but more often heterosexual.”
“Restoration times also witnessed the popularity of the self-referencing habit of male homosexuals adopting women’s names: Mary, Mary-Anne, Molly, Nance or Nancy, and Nelly. The habit occurs in other languages as well – Janet in Flemish; Checca (from Francesca) in Italian; Maricón (from Maria) in Spanish; and Adelaida in Portuguese.”
“19th-century English witnessed a semantic shift of a number of terms originally applied to women to provide opprobrious designations of male homosexuals. Thus gay had the meaning of a loose woman, prostitute; faggot, a slatternly woman –, and queen (or quean), a trollop. Even today the popular mind tends to the view that gay men seek to imitate women, or even become women –, the considerable number of unstereotypical, masculine homosexuals are not taken into account.”
“Termagant and virago, though pejorative, do not suggest variance of sexual orientation. The girl who is a tomboy has always been treated more indulgently than the boy who is a sissy.”
“Men who cross-dress as women are of two kinds. Some go to great lengths to make the simulation credible, an effort that may be a prelude to transsexualism. In other instances the simulation is imperfect, a kind of send-up. Although some feminists have interpreted such cross-dressing exercises as mockery of women, it is more likely that they signify a questioning of gender categories. In any event, transvestism is not normally held to lie within the province of effeminacy, which is thought to be the adjunction of feminine traits in a person otherwise fully recognizable as masculine.”
Hans Herter, Reallexikon fur Antike und Christentum, 4 (1959).
“Traditionally the pharaohs married their half-sisters, a custom that other peoples considered curious. Self-confident in their cherished habits and customs, the Egyptians nonetheless cherished a distinct sense of privacy, which restricted discussion of erotic themes in the documents that have come down to modern times. Most of our evidence stems from temples and tombs, where a full record of everyday life could scarcely be expected. Unfortunately, Egypt had no law codes comparable to those known from ancient Mesopotamia.”
“The realm of mythology provides several instances of homosexual behavior. In order to subordinate him, the god Seth attempted to sodomize his brother Horus, but the latter foiled him, and tricked Seth into ingesting some of his (Horus’s) own semen. Seth then became pregnant. In another myth the ithyphallic god Min anally assaulted an enemy, who later gave birth to the god Thoth. Both these stories present involuntary receptive homosexuality as a humiliation, but the act itself is not condemned; in the latter incident the god of wisdom is born as a result. (In another myth the high god engenders offspring parthenogenetically by masturbation.) While it is sometimes claimed that the ancient Egyptians were accustomed to sodomize enemies after their defeat on the battlefield, the evidence is equivocal.”
“In what is surely history’s first homosexual short story, King Pepy II Neferkare (2355-2261) makes nocturnal visits to have sex with his general Sisinne. This episode is significant as an instance of androphilia – sex between two adult men – rather than the pederasty that was dominant in the ancient world. From a slightly earlier period comes the Tomb of the Two Brothers at Thebes, which the excavators have explained as the joint sepulcher of two men, Niankhnum and Khnumhotep, who were lovers. Bas reliefs on the tomb walls show the owners embracing affectionately.”
“Queen Hatshepsut (reigned 1503-1482 BC) adopted male dress and even wore a false beard; these male attributes probably stem from her decision to reign alone, rather than from lesbianism.
A figure of particular interest is the pharaoh Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV; reigned ca. 1372-1354 BC), who was a religious and artistic reformer. Although this king begat several daughters with his wife, the famous Nefertiti, in art he is often shown as eunuch-like, with swollen hips and feminine breasts. According to some interpreters these somatic features reflect a glandular disorder. Other scholars believe that they are a deliberate artistic stylization, so that the appearance of androgyny may convey a universal concept of the office of kingship, uniting the male and the female so as to constitute an appropriate counterpart of the universal god Aten he introduced. Scenes of Akhenaten caressing his son-in-law Smenkhkare have been interpreted, doubtfully, as indicating a homosexual relation between the two.”
“Pioneering British writer on sexual psychology. Descended from a family with many generations of seafarers, Henry Havelock Ellis was named after a distinguished soldier who was the hero of the Indian Mutiny. Early in life he sailed twice around the world and spent some years in Australia. In boarding school he had some unpleasant experiences suggesting a passive element in his character, and his attachments to women were often more friendships than erotic liaisons. At the age of 32 he married Edith Lees, a lesbian; after the first year of their marriage all sexual relations ceased, and both went on to a series of affairs with women. By nature an autodidact, Ellis obtained in 1889 only a licentiate in Medicine, Surgery, and Midwifery from the Society of Apothecaries – a somewhat inferior degree that always embarrassed him. More interested in his literary studies than in the practice of medicine, he nevertheless collected case histories mainly by correspondence, as his autobiography makes no mention of clinical practice.”
ERA DE AQUARIUS: “In the atmosphere that prevailed after the disgrace of Oscar Wilde (May 1895), publication in England was problematic, but under doubtful auspices the English edition was released in November 1897.”
“Sexual Inversion was the first book in English to treat homosexuality as neither disease nor crime, and if he dismissed the current notion that it was a species of <degeneracy> (in the biological sense), he also maintained that it was inborn and unmodifiable – a view that he never renounced. His book, couched in simple language, urged public toleration for what was then regarded as unnatural and criminal to the highest degree. To a readership conditioned from childhood to regard homosexual behavior with disgust and abhorrence, the book was beyond the limits of comprehension, and a radical publisher and bookseller named George Bedborough was duly prosecuted for issuing <a certain lewd wicked bawdy scandalous and obscene libel>” “The book was to appear in two later editions as the second volume of Ellis’ Studies in the Psychology of Sex, which in its final format extended to 7 volumes covering the whole of sexual science as it existed in the first three decades of the 20th century.” “Ellis never endorsed the explanations offered by Freud and the psychoanalytic school, so that the third edition of Sexual Inversion (1915), which was supplemented by material drawn from Magnus Hirschfeld’s Die Homosexualität des Mannes und des Weibes, published a year earlier, presented essentially the standpoint of 1904. The next in radical character was the measured discussion of masturbation, which Victorian society had been taught to regard with virtual paranoia as the cause of numberless ills.”
“The term ephebophilia seems to have been coined by Magnus Hirschfeld in his Wesen der Liebe (1906)”
ANTI-AQUILINO (BANQUETE): “those with bearded faces who had outgrown the stage at which they were appropriate as the younger partners in pederasty, but not yet old enough to marry: the prime age for military service. The ancient Greek age of puberty was likely in the mid-teens rather than the younger ages typical of contemporary Western society.”
“In other societies, ephebes are legally on a par with younger children, but in practice sexual activities with them are not as harshly repressed as with the younger group.”
“The combination of heightened sexual energy with a lack of heterosexual outlets (owing to marriage ages in the twenties and restrictions on pre-marital opportunities) and low incomes (characteristic of males still in school, military service, or just beginning to acquire work experience) has in many societies made heterosexual ephebes more available for trade (one-sided) relationships with homosexuals than any other group of heterosexual males.
For many ephebophiles, the naïveté of ephebes is a source of attraction, their enthusiasm for new experiences (including sexual and romantic involvements) contrasted with what is perceived to be the more jaded and skeptical attitudes of other adults.”
“The ancient Greeks acknowledged this trait with the term philephebos (fond of young men) and philoboupais (one who is fond of over-matured boys, <bull-boys> or <husky young men>), but generally slighted it in favor of the pederastic preference. Nevertheless, the athletic games of which the Greeks were so fond featured nude ephebes, the size of whose members received public acclaim, and the victors basked in adulation; Pindar wrote odes to them.”
“In the 20th century, the dominance of the androphile model of male homosexuality has tended to subsume, appropriate, and obscure the ephebophile current, and to consider it as a mode of adult-adult relationships rather than as a distinctive type of preference.”
“Knowledge of Epicureanism, the classical rival of Stoicism, is fragmentary because Christians, disliking its atheistic materialism, belief in the accidental existence of the cosmos, and ethical libertarianism, either failed to copy or actually destroyed the detested works. Of all the numerous works composed in antiquity, only Lucretius’ philosophical poem De rerum natura survives intact. Diogenes Laertius reported that Epicurus wrote more than anyone else, including 37 books On Nature. A typical maxim: <We see that pleasure is the beginning and end of living happily>.
Epicurus (341-270 BC), the founder of the school, served as an ephebe in Athens at 18 and then studied at the Academy, a fellow classmate of Menander, when Aristotle was absent in Chalcis. Having taught abroad, where he combatted the atomist philosophy of Democritus, he returned to Athens and bought his house with a garden in 307-6. There he taught until his death, allowing women and slaves to participate in his lessons – to the shock of traditionalists. Only a few lines of his works survive. Apparently he likened sexual object choice, whether of women or boys, to food preferences – a parallel that often recurred in later times. His beloved Metrodorus predeceased him.
[O LEITMOTIF INCONSCIENTE DO BLOG] The Epicurean school, consisting of scholars who secluded themselves from society in Epicurus’ garden, lived modestly or even austerely. Stoics, however, libeled the secretive Epicureans because of their professed hedonism, accusing them of profligacy of every kind despite the fact that Epicurus felt that pleasure could be attained only in restraint of some pursuits that in the long run bring more pain than the temporary pleasure they seem to offer. Natural pleasures are easily satisfied, others being unnecessary. The ideal was freedom from destiny by satisfying desire and avoiding the pain of desires too difficult or impossible to satisfy. By freeing man from fear of gods and an afterlife and by teaching him to avoid competition in politics and business it liberates him from emotional turmoil. Friendship was extremely important to Epicureans.”
“Lucretius (ca. 94-55 BC) seems not to have added any ideas to those taught by Epicurus himself. But others, like the fabulously rich general Lucullus, whose banquets became proverbial, excused their gross sensuality by references to Epicurus’ maxims. Julius Caesar proclaimed himself an Epicurean. Under the Empire Stoicism vanquished its rival and vied with Christianity, which when triumphant anathematized Epicureanism.”
“the Soviet Communists, who naturally ranked Epicurus above Plato as the greatest philosopher of antiquity.” ???
“Gassendi (1592-1655) [neo-epicurean] exerted enormous influence on both Newton and Leibniz.”
“One of the most persistent myths that have gained a foot-hold in the gay movement is the belief that faggot derives from the basic meaning of <bundle of sticks used to light a fire>, with the historical commentary that when witches were burned at the stake, <only presumed male homosexuals were considered low enough to help kindle the fires>.
The English word has in fact three forms: faggot, attested by the Oxford English Dictionary from circa 1300; fadge, attested from 1588; and faggald, which the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue first records from 1375. The first and second forms have the additional meaning <fat, slovenly woman> which according to the English Dialect Dictionary survived into the 19th century in the folk speech of England.
The homosexual sense of the term, unknown in England itself, appears for the first time in America in a vocabulary of criminal slang printed in Portland, Oregon in 1914, with the example <All the fagots (sissies) will be dressed in drag at the ball tonight>. The apocopated (clipped) form fag then arose by virtue of the tendency of American colloquial speech to create words of one syllable; the first quotation is from the book by Neis Anderson, The Hobo (1923): <Fairies or Fags are men or boys who exploit sex for profit.> The short form thus also has no connection with British fag as attested from the 19th century (for example, in the novel Tom Brown’s Schooldays) in the sense of <public school boy who performs menial tasks for an upper-classman>.
In American slang faggot/fag usurped the semantic role of bugger in British usage, with its connotations of extreme hostility and contempt bordering on death wishes. In more recent decades it has become the term of abuse par excellence in the mouths of heterosexuals, often just as an insult aimed at another male’s alleged want of masculinity or courage, rather than implying a sexual role or orientation.
The ultimate origin of the word is a Germanic term represented by the Norwegian dialect words fagg, <bundle, heap>, alongside bagge, <obese, clumsy creature> (chiefly of animals). From the latter are derived such Romance words as French bagasse and ltalian bagascia, <prostitute>, whence the parallel derivative bagascione whose meaning matches that of American English faggot/fag, while Catalan bagassejar signifies to faggot, <to frequent the company of loose women>.
The final proof that faggot cannot have originated in the burning of witches at the stake is that in English law both witchcraft and buggery were punishable by hanging, and that in the reign of the homosexual monarch James I the execution of heretics came to an end, so that by the time American English gave the word its new meaning there cannot have been in the popular mind even the faintest remnant of the complex of ideas credited to the term in the contemporary myth. It is purely and simply an Americanism of the 20th century.
Given the fact that the term faggot cannot refer to burning at the stake, why does the myth continue to enjoy popularity in the gay movement? On the conscious level it serves as a device with which to attack the medieval church, by extension Christianity in toto, and finally all authority. On another level, it may linger as a <myth of origins>, a kind of collective masochistic ritual that willingly identifies the homosexual as victim.”
“The term fascism derives from fasces, the bundles of rods carried by the lictors of ancient Rome to symbolize the unity of classes in the Republic. Fascism is the authoritarian movement that arose in Italy in the wake of World War I. Although Hitler admired its founder Mussolini and imitated him at first – the term Führer is modeled on Duce – one cannot simply equate his more radical National Socialist movement with the Italian phenomenon, as writers of the left are prone to do.”
“Not essentially racist like Nazism or anti-bourgeois like Marxism, Italian fascism, with its corporative binding of workers and employers, has been less consistently hostile to homosexuals.”
“Mussolini also argued in a discussion of a draft penal code in 1930 that because Italians, being virile, were not homosexuals, Italy needed no law banning homosexual acts, which he believed only degenerate foreigners to practice. A ban would only frighten such tourists away, and Italy needed the money they spent to improve its balance of payments and shore up its sagging economy. Napoléon had promulgated his code, which did not penalize homosexual acts between consenting adults, in northern Italy in 1810, and thus decriminalized sodomy. It had already been decriminalized in Tuscany by Grand Duke Leopold, the enlightened brother of Joseph II. The Albertine Code of 1837 for Piedmont-Sardinia was extended to all its dominions after the House of Savoy created a united Kingdom of Italy, a task completed in 1870. Pervasive was the influence of the jurist MarquisCesare Beccaria, who argued against cruel and unusual punishments and against all offenses motivated by religious superstition and fanaticism.
Thus Italy with its age-old <Mediterranean homosexuality> in which women were protected, almost secluded – upper-class girls at least in the South being accompanied in public by dueñas –, had like other Latin countries allowed female prostitution and closed its eyes to homosexuality. As such it had became the playground par excellence during the grand tour of the English milords, and also the refuge of exiles and émigrés from the criminal sanctions of the Anglo-American common law and the Prussian code. The Prussian Code was extended in 1871-72 to the North and then South German territories incorporated in the Reich, including ones where the Code Napoleon had prevailed in the early part of the century. Byron and John Addington Symonds took refuge in Italy, as William Beckford did in Portugal and Oscar Wilde in Paris. Friedrich Alfred Krupp’s playground was in Capri, Thomas Mann’s in Venice, and Count Adelswárd Fersen’s also in Capri.”
“Personally, Mussolini was somewhat of a sexual acrobat, in that he had a succession of mistresses and often took time out in the office to have sex with one or another of his secretaries.”
“Believing in military strength through numbers, Mussolini did more than Hitler to subsidize parents of numerous progeny, thus hoping to increase Italy’s population from 40 to 60 million.”
“However, after he formed the Rome-Berlin Axis with Hitler in 1936, Mussolini began, under Nazi influence, to persecute homosexuals and to promulgate anti-Semitic decrees in 1938 and 1939, though these were laxly enforced, and permitted exceptions, such as veterans of World War I.”
“Oppressing homosexuals more than Jews, Mussolini’s regime rounded up and imprisoned a substantial number, a procedure poignantly depicted in Ettore Scola’s excellent film A Special Day (1977).” “Even exclusive homosexuals, if they were not unlucky, survived fascism unscathed.”
“Admiral Horthy seized control of Hungary from the communist Bela Kun in 1920 and as Regent unleashed a <White Terror> largely directed against Jews, two years before Mussolini marched on Rome with his black-shirts.”
“Fascists were less consistent and more divided among themselves than even communists or Nazis. After all, they had no sacred text like Das Kapital or Mein Kampf, and further were not ruling only a single powerful country.” “Czechoslovakia, the only democracy in Central Europe to survive this period, simply continued the Austrian penal code of 1852 that penalized both male and female homosexuality.”
“The great homosexual poet Federico García Lorca was shot by a death squad near Granada in 1936; it is said that they fired the bullets through his backside to <make the punishment fit the crime>.” “More than Mussolini, Franco resisted the theories and pressures of Hitler, whom he regarded as a despicable (and perhaps deranged) upstart. It has been argued that Franco was not a fascist at all and that he actually maintained a pro-Jewish policy, granting asylum to refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe and attempting to protect Sephardic Jews in the Balkan countries. In his last years he in fact liberalized Spain to a certain extent, allowing among other things a resurgence of gay bars, baths, and culture even before the accession of King Juan Carlos upon his death in 1975. Today Spain is one of the freest countries in Europe.”
“Naturally Latins, like Slavs, being considered inferior peoples by Hitler, did not in general espouse racism (Hitler had to make the Japanese honorary Aryans to ally with them in the Tripartite Pact of 1937), so they had no reason to think of homosexuals in his terms.”
FASCIST PERVERSION, BELIEF IN
“Fascism and National Socialism (Nazism) were originally distinct political systems, but their eventual international ties (the <Rome-Berlin axis>) led to the use of <fascist> as an umbrella term¹ by Communist writers anxious to avoid the implication that <National Socialism> was a type of socialism. Neither in Italy nor in Spain did the right-authoritarian political movements have a homosexual component. Rather it was in Weimar Germany that the right-wing paramilitary groups which constituted the nucleus of the later National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) attracted a considerable number of homosexuals whose erotic leanings overlapped with the male bonding of the party. This strong male bonding, in the later judgment of their own leaders, gave the Nazis a crucial advantage in their victory over the rival Social Democratic and communist formations in the early 1930s.
The most celebrated of the homosexuals in the Nazi Party of the 1920s was Ernst Rohm, whose sexual proclivities were openly denounced by left-wing propagandists, but this did not deprive him of Hitler’s confidence until the putsch of June 30, 1934, in which he and many of his homosexual comrades in arms were massacred.”
¹ Discordo, mas segue o jogo.
“theorists such as Wilhelm Reich who were opposed to homosexuality [?] could claim that the right-wing youth were <becoming more homosexual>. The victory of National Socialism at the beginning of 1933 then reinforced Communist and émigré propagandists in their resort to <fascist perversion> as a rhetorical device with which they could abuse and vilify the regime that had defeated and exiled them – and which they hoped would be transient and unstable.
In particular, the statute by which Stalin restored the criminal sanctions against homosexuality that had been omitted from the penal codes of 1922 and 1926 was officially titled the <Law of March 7, 1934> – a pointed allusion to the anniversary of the National Socialist consolidation of power one year earlier.”
“In the United States Maoists charged that the gay liberation movement of 1969 and the years following was an example of <bourgeois décadance> that would vanish once the triumph of socialism was achieved. “
Samuel Igra, Germany’s National Vice, London: Quality Press, 1945.
“Adolescent alienation was the theme of Rebel without a Cause (1955), in which, however, the delicate Sal Mineo character dies so that James Dean can be united with Natalie Wood.”
“In the book Midnight Express the hero admitted to a gay love affair in prison, but in the movie version (1978) he rejects a handsome fellow inmate’s advances.”
“Screen biographies of gay people have had similar fates. Michelangelo and Cole Porter appear as joyful heterosexuals; Oscar Wilde could not be sanitized, to be sure, but he was presented in a <tasteful> manner (3 British versions, 2 in 1960, one in 1984). Recent screen biographies have been better; the documentary on the painter Paul Cadmus (1980) is open without being sensational; Prick Up Your Ears, on the life of Joe Orton, is as frank as one can wish, though it somehow misses the core of his personality.”
“In The Third Sex (West Germany, 1959) a sophisticated older man has an entourage of teenage boys. Although this film purveys dated ideas of homosexuality, it went farther in explicitness than anything that Hollywood was able to do for over a decade. Federico Fellini’s celebrated La Dolce Vita (1960) is a multifaceted portrait of eternal decadence in chic circles in Rome.”
“One breakthrough came in 1967 when the legendary Marlon Brando portrayed a closeted homosexual army officer in John Huston’sReflections in a Golden Eye, a film which drew a <Condemned> rating from the Catholic Church.” Who gives a fuck (literally)!
“Sunday Bloody Sunday: this film was notable for the shock experienced by straight audiences at a kissing scene between Peter Finch and Murray Head. Perhaps the most notorious of the gay directors was Rainer Werner Fassbinder, whose Fox and His Friends (1975) deals with homosexuality and class struggle. Fassbinder’s last film was his controversial version of a Genet novel, Querelle (1982). The death of Franco created the possibility of a new openness in Spanish culture, including a number of gay films. Influenced by Luis Buñuel, Law of Desire (1986) by Pedro Almodóvar is surely a masterpiece of comic surrealism.”
“Already in the 1920s some major directors were known to be gay, including the German Friedrich W. Murnau and the Russian Sergei Eisenstein.”
“During their lifetimes Charles Laughton and Montgomery Clift had to suffer fag-baiting taunts from colleagues, while Rock Hudson remained largely untouched by public scandal until his death from AIDS in 1985. Tyrone Power and Cary Grant were decloseted after their deaths. The sexuality of others, such as Errol Flynn and James Dean, remains the subject of argument. In Germany the stage actor and film director Gustav Grundgens managed to work through the Nazi period, even though his homosexuality was known to the regime.”
“In 1969, however, hardcore porno arrived, apparently to stay. Some 50 theatres across the United States specialized in the genre, and where the authorities were willing to turn a blind eye, sexual acts took place there, stimulated by the films.”
“Much of the early production was forgettable, but in 1971, in Boys in the Sand starring Casey Donovan (Cal Culver), the director-producer Wakefield Poole achieved a rare blend of sexual explicitness and cinematographic values.”
“In the later 80s AIDS began to devastate porno-industry workers, gay and straight, and safe sex procedures became more rigorous on the set (it should be noted, however, that long before AIDS, by strict convention, pornographic film ejaculations were always conducted outside the body, so as to be graphically visible; hence film sex was always basically <safe sex>).”
PROVAVELMENTE ULTRAPASSADO: “Lesbian porno exists only as scenes within films addressed to heterosexual males, their being, thus far, no market for full-length lesbian films of this nature. A number of independent lesbian film-makers have made candid motion pictures about lesbian life, but they are not pornographic.”
Carel Rowe, The Baudelairean Cinema: A Trend Within the American Avant-Garde, Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, 1982.
“From his early years at the lycée onward, he preferred the pen to his father’s scalpel, and single-handedly edited a minor journal, the Colibri, that clumsily but clearly foretold his future talent. In Paris he read Law but never took the degree for reasons of health, and there met Maxime Du Camp, with whom he formed a close friendship. Together they traveled through Brittany and Normandy in 1847, bringing back a volume of reminiscences that was to be published only after Flaubert’s death (Par les champs et par les grèves, 1885). Between October of 1849 and May of 1851 the two traveled in Egypt and Turkey, and there Flaubert had a number of pédérastie experiences which he related in his letters to Louis Bouilhet.”
BORING FASHION: “On his return to France Flaubert shut himself up in his country house at Croisset, near Rouen. Instead of aspiring to self-discovery in the manner of the Romanticists, Flaubert sought to bury his own personality by striving for the goal of art in itself, and he devoted his entire life to the quest for its secrets. His ferocious will to be in his works <like God>, everywhere and nowhere, explains the nerve-wracking effort that went into each of his novels, in which nothing is left to the free flow of inspiration, nothing is asserted without being verified, nothing is described that has not been seen.” “This explains the multiple versions that are periodically uncovered of almost every one of his works, with the sole exception of Madame Bovary (1857), which led to his being tried for offending public decency.”
“In 1857 he traveled to Tunisia to collect material for a historical novel set in Carthage after the First Punic War. Salammbô (1862), abundantly documented, is so rich in sadistic scenes, including one of a mass child-sacrifice, that it horrified some contemporary readers.”
“In 1874 he published La tentation de saint Antoine, a prose poem of great power and imagination. His last work, Bouvard et Pécuchet (issued posthumously in 1881), is an unfinished study in male bonding.”
“Sodomy is a subject of conversation at table. You can deny it at times, but everyone starts ribbing you and you end up spilling the beans. Traveling for our own information and entrusted with a mission by the government, we regarded it as our duty to abandon ourselves to this manner of ejaculation. The occasion has not yet presented itself, but we are looking for one. The Turkish baths are where it is practiced. One rents the bath for 5 fr., including the masseurs, pipe, coffee, and linen, and takes one’s urchin into one of the rooms. – You should know that all the bath attendants are bardaches [homossexuais passivos].”
“at the end of his life he surprised the world with 2 successor volumes with a different subject matter: the management of sexuality in ancient Greece and Rome. While completing these books he was already gravely ill, a fact that may account for their turgid, sometimes repetitive presentation. In June 1984 Michel Foucault died in Paris of complications resulting from AIDS.”
O CONTINENTE SE ESMIGALHA: “Discontent with the systems of Marx and Freud and their contentious followers had nonetheless left an appetite for new <mega-theories>, which the Anglo-Saxon pragmatic tradition was unable to satisfy.”
“This concept of discontinuity was all the more welcome as the ground had been prepared by an influential American philosopher of science, Thomas Kuhn, whose concept of radical shifts in paradigm had been widely adopted. In vain did Foucault protest toward the end of his life that he was not the philosopher of discontinuity; he is now generally taken to be such.”
“Not since Jean-Paul Sartre had France given the world a thinker of such resonance. Yet Foucault’s work shows a number of key weaknesses. Not gifted with the patience for accumulating detail that since Aristotle has been taken to be a hallmark of the historian’s craft, he often spun elaborate theories from scanty empirical evidence. He also showed a predilection for scatter-gun concepts such as episteme, discourse, difference, and power; in seeking to explain much, these talismans make for fuzziness. Foucauldian language has had a seductive appeal for his followers, but repetition dulls the magic and banalization looms.”
“French Utopian philosopher and sexual radical. Fourier spent much of his life in Lyon, trapped in a business world which he hated with a passion. Disillusioned in childhood by the dishonesty and hypocrisy of the people around him, he gradually formulated an elaborate theory of how totally to transform society in a Utopian world of the future known as Harmony, in which mankind would live in large communes called Phalansteries.
Fourier hid his sexual beliefs from his contemporaries, and it was more than a century after his death before his main erotic work, Le nouveau monde amoureux, was first published. (…) Fourier did not believe that anyone under 16 had any sexual feelings, nor did he understand the psychology of sadism, pedophilia, or rape, so that his sexual theories are not entirely suitable for modem experimentation. (…) He recognized male homosexuals and lesbians as biological categories long before Krafft-Ebing created the modern concept of immutable sexual <perversions>.” “He wrote some fictional episodes in the vein of William Beckford, one of which describes the seduction of a beautiful youth by an older man.”
“French politics and literature have exercised an incalculable influence on other countries, from England to Quebec, from Senegal to Vietnam. Whether justified or not, a reputation for libertine hedonism clings to the country, and especially to its capital, Paris – by far the largest city of northern Europe from the 12th to the 18th centuries (when London surpassed it), making France a barometer of changing sexual mores.”
“The heavy-drinking later Merovingians, descendants of the Frankish king Merovech and his grandson Clovis, who conquered all Gaul, were barbarians who indulged their sensual appetites freely. Lack of control allowed considerable sexual license to continue into the more Christianized Carolingian period (late 8th-9th centuries), and probably to increase during the feudal anarchy that followed the Viking invasions of the 9th and 10th, but in the 11th century the church moved to regulate private conduct according to its own strict canons.”
“The term sodomia, which appears in the last decades of the 12th century [?], covered bestiality, homosexual practices, and <unnatural> heterosexual relations of all kinds.” “Popes organized the Inquisition against them and invoked the bloody Albigensian Crusade which devastated much of Languedoc, homeland of a sensual culture tinged by Moslem influences from the south. The word bougre itself survives to this day as English bugger, which in Great Britain, apart from legal usage, remains a coarse and virtually obscene expression.”
“The guilt of the Templars remains moot to this day; while some may have been involved in homosexual liaisons, the political atmosphere surrounding the investigation and the later controversy made impartial judgment impossible. A persistent fear of sexuality and a pathetic inability to stamp out its proscribed manifestations, even with periodic burning of offenders at the stake and strict regulations within the cloister, plagued medieval society to the end.”
“Henri III was celebrated for his mignons, the favorites drawn from the ranks of the petty nobility – handsome, gorgeously attired and adorned adolescents and magnificent swordsmen ready to sacrifice their lives for their sovereign. Although the king had exhibited homosexual tendencies earlier in life, these became more marked after a stay in Venice in 1574. Yet neither he nor the mignons scorned the opposite sex in their pursuit of pleasure, and there is no absolute proof that any of this circle expressed their desires genitally. Yet a whole literature of pamphlets and lampoons by Protestants and by Catholic extremists, both of whom disapproved of the king’s moderate policy, was inspired by the life of the court of Henri III until his assassination in 1589.”
“Even the entourage of Cardinal Richelieu included the Abbé Boisrobert, patron of the theatre and the arts, and founder of the French Academy, the summit of French intellectual life. His proclivities were so well known that he was nicknamed <the mayor of Sodom>, while the king who occupied the throne, Louis XIII, was surnamed <the chaste> because of his absolute indifference to the fair sex and to his wife Marie de Medici.”
“In his posthumously published novel La religieuse, Denis Diderot indicted convents as hot-houses of lesbianism.”
“The Revolution secured the release (though only for a time) of the imprisoned pansexual writer and thinker, the Marquis D.A.F. de Sade, who carried the transgressive strain in the Enlightenment to the ultimate limits of the imagination.”
“The novels of Jean Genet, a former professional thief, treated male homosexuality with a pornographic frankness and style rich in imagery unparalleled in world literature. Genet enjoyed the patronage of the dominant intellectual of the time, the heterosexual Jean-Paul Sartre, who also wrote about homosexuality in other contexts.”
“Innovations such as a computerized gay bulletin board – the Minitel – reached France, but also the tragic incursion of AIDS (in French, SIDA), spread in no small part from Haiti and the United States.”
“The fraternal order of Free and Accepted Masons is a male secret society having adherents throughout the world. The order is claimed to have arisen from the English and Scottish fraternities of stone-masons and cathedral builders in the late Middle Ages. The formation of a grand lodge in London in 1717 marked the beginning of the spread of free-masonry on the continent as far east as Poland and Russia. From its obscure origins free-masonry gradually evolved into a political and benevolent society that vigorously promoted the ideology of the Enlightenment, and thus came into sharp and lasting antagonism with the defenders of the Old Régime.”
“The slogan Liberty, Equality, Fraternity immortalized by the French Revolution is said to have begun in the lodges of the Martinist affiliate.”
“Five aspects of Freud’s psychoanalytic work are relevant to homosexuality, though by no means have all of them been fully appreciated in the discussion of the legal and social aspects of the subject. These include: (1) the psychology of sex; (2) the etiology of paranoia; (3) psychoanalytic anthropology; (4) the psychology of religion; and (5) the origins of Judaism and Christianity. In regard to the last two the psychoanalytic profession in the United States has notably shied away from the implications of the founder’s ideas, in no small part because of its accommodation to the norms of American culture, including popular Protestant religiosity.”
“Freud pointed out that the pederast is attracted only to the male youth who has not yet lost his androgynous quality, so that it is the blend of masculine and feminine traits in the boy that arouses and attracts the adult male” “with a narcissistic starting point they seek youthful sexual partners resembling themselves, whom they then love as the mother loved them. He also determined that alleged inverts were not indifferent to female stimuli, but transferred their arousal to male objects.”
“Recent investigations have sought to confirm this insight for paranoia in male subjects only, and in all likelihood it is related not just to the phenomenon of homosexual panic but to the generally higher level of societal anxiety and legal intolerance in regard to male as opposed to female homosexuality. This would also explain why lesbianism is invisible to the unconscious: the collective male psyche experiences no threat from female homosexuality.”
“The outcome of Freud’s explorations in this direction [anthropology] was Totem and Taboo (1913), which despite the break with his Swiss colleague in that year is the most Jungian of all his works.” “While Hellenic civilization could distinguish between father-son and erastes-eromenos relationships, Biblical Judaism could not, and expanded its earlier prohibition of homosexual acts with a father or uncle to a generalized taboo. It is perhaps pertinent that pedophilia (sex with pre-pubertal children), as distinct from pederasty, usually involves members of the same family, not total strangers. Also, extending this mode of thinking, the fascination which some homosexual men have for partners of other races may be owing to the unconscious guilt that still adheres to a sexual relationship with anyone who could be even remotely related to them, which is to say a member of the same ethnic or racial group.” “Totemism and exogamy are the two halves of the familiar Oedipus complex, the attraction to the mother and the death wishes against the rival father.” “Freud then appealed to Robertson Smith’s writings on sacrifice and sacrificial feasts in which the totem is ceremonially slain and eaten, thus reenacting the original deed. The rite is followed by mourning and then by triumphant rejoicing and wild excesses –, the events serve to perpetuate the community and its identity with the ancestor. After thousands of years of religious evolution the totem became a god, and the complicated story of the various religions begins. This work of Freud’s has been condemned by anthropologists and other specialists, yet it may throw considerable light on aspects of Judeo-Christian myth and legend that cluster around the rivalry of the father and his adolescent son – in which the homosexual aggressor is, ostensibly, seeking to destroy the masculinity of his rival by <using him as a woman>.”
“Obsessional neurosis is a pathological counterpart of religion, while religion may be styled a collective obsessional neurosis.”
“From the secondary sources that he had read, Freud surmised that the lawgiver Moses was an Egyptian who had opted for exile after religious counter-revolution had undone the reforms of the first monotheist, Akhenaten. His Egyptian retinue became the Levites, the elite of the new religious community which received its law code, not from him, but from the Midianite priest of a volcanic deity, Jahweh, at the shrine of Kadesh Barnea. This last site, amusingly enough, presumably took its name from the bevy of male and female cult prostitutes who ministered at its shrine. The Biblical Moses is a fusion of the two historic figures.
Freud also, on the basis of a book published by the German Semiticist Ernst Sellin, posited the death of Moses in an uprising caused by his autocratic rule and apodictic pronouncements. The whole notion was based upon a reinterpretation of some passages in the book of Hosea, which because of its early and poetic character, not to speak of the problems of textual transmission, poses enormous difficulties even for the expert.” “Judaism is a religion of the father, Christianity a religion of the son, whose death on the cross and the institution of the eucharist are the last stage in the evolution that began with the slaying and eating of the totem animal by the primal horde.”
“The particular emphasis with which Freud contradicted Magnus Hirschfeld’s notion that homosexuals were a biological third sex led – together with a tendency (not confined to psychoanalysis) to deny the constitutional bases of behavior – to the assertion that homosexuality was purely the result of <fixation> in an infantile stage of sexual development provoked by the action or inaction of the parents. (…) Thus in the popular mind the belief that homosexuality is somehow a failure of psychological development has its underpinning in the Freudian concepts.”
“his legacy has quietly worked in favor of toleration”
FRIENDSHIP, FEMALE ROMANTIC
“When Sarah’s family discovered that she had run off with a woman instead of a man, they were relieved – her reputation would not suffer any irreparable harm (as it would have had her accomplice been male). Her relative Mrs. Tighe observed, <Sarah’s conduct, though it has an appearance of imprudence, is I am sure void of serious impropriety. There were no gentlemen concerned, nor does it appear to be anything more than a scheme of Romantic Friendship.> The English, during the second half of the 18th century, prized sensibility, faithfulness, and devotion in a woman, but forbade her significant contact with the opposite sex before she was betrothed. It was reasoned, apparently, that young women could practice these sentiments on each other so that when they were ready for marriage they would have perfected themselves in those areas. It is doubtful that women viewed their own romantic friendships in such a way, but – if we can place any credence in 18th century English fiction as a true reflection of that society – men did. Because romantic friendship between women served men’s self-interest in their view, it was permitted and even socially encouraged. The attitude of Charlotte Lennox’s hero in Euphemia (1790) is typical. Maria Harley’s uncle chides her for her great love for Euphemia and her obstinate grief when Euphemia leaves for America, and he points out that her fiancé <has reason to be jealous of a friendship that leaves him but second place in Maria’s affection>; but the fiancé responds, <Miss Harley’s sensibility on this occasion is the foundation of all my hopes. From a heart so capable of a sincere attachment, the man who is so happy as to be her choice may expect all the refinements of a delicate passion, with all the permanence of a generous friendship.>”
“The most complete fictional blueprint for conducting a romantic friendship is Sarah Scott’s A Description of Millennium Hall (1762), a novel which went through four editions by 1778.”
“Mrs. Delany’s description of her own first love (in The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mrs. Delany, ed. Sara L. Woolsey) is typical of what numerous autobiographies, diaries, letters, and novels of the period contained. As a young woman, she formed a passionate attachment to a clergyman’s daughter, whom she admired for her <uncommon genius … intrepid spirit … extraordinary understanding, lively imagination, and humane disposition.> They shared <secret talk> and <whispers> together –, they wrote to one another every day, and met in the fields between their fathers’ houses at every opportunity. <We thought that day tedious,> Mrs. Delany wrote years later, <that we did not meet, and had many stolen interviews>. Typical of many youthful romantic friendships, it did not last long (at the age of 17, Mrs. Delany was given in marriage to an old man), but it provided fuel for the imagination which idealized the possibilities of what such a relationship might be like without the impingement of cold marital reality. Because of such girlhood intimacies (which were often cut off in an untimely manner), most women would have understood when those attachments were compared with heterosexual love by the female characters in 18th century novels, and were considered, as Lucy says in William Hayley’s The Young Widow, <infinitely more valuable>. They would have had their own frame of reference when in those novels, women adopted the David and Jonathan story for themselves and swore that they felt for each other (again as Lucy says) <a love passing the Love of Men>, or proclaimed as does Anne Hughes, the author of Henry and Isabella (1788), that such friendships are <more sweet, interesting, and to complete all, lasting, than any other which we can ever hope to possess; and were a just account of anxiety and satisfaction to be made out, would, it is possible, in the eye of rational estimation, far exceed the so-much boasted pleasure of love.>”
“Saint Mery, who recorded his observations of his 1793-1798 journey, was shocked by the <unlimited liberty> which American young ladies seemed to enjoy, and by their ostensible lack of passion toward men. The combination of their independence, heterosexual passionlessness, and intimacy with each other could have meant only one thing to a Frenchman
in the 1790s: that <they are not at all strangers to being willing to seek unnatural pleasures with persons of their own sex>. It is as doubtful that great masses of middle and upper-class young ladies gave themselves up to homosexuality as it is that they gave themselves up to heterosexual intercourse before marriage. But the fiction of the period corroborates that St. Mery saw American women behaving openly as though they were in love with each other. Charles Brockden Brown’s Ormand, for example, suggests that American romantic friends were very much like their English counterparts.”
“But love between women, at least as it was lived in women’s fantasies, was far more consuming than the likes of Casanova could believe. Women dreamed not of erotic escapades but of a blissful life together. In such a life a woman would have choices; she would be in command of her own destiny; she would be an adult relating to another adult in a way that a heterosexual relationship with a virtual stranger (often an old or at least a much older man), arranged by a parent for consideration totally divorced from affection, would not allow her to be. Samuel Richardson permitted Miss Howe to express the yearnings of many a frustrated romantic friend when she remarked to Clarissa, <How charmingly might you and I live together and despise them all>.”
“For Plato, friendship is rather part of the philosopher’s quest: a link between the world of the senses in which we live and the eternal world.”
“How could the masculinity of a youth be preserved in a homosexual relationship with an older man? That was the kernel of the problem for the Greeks. For the Romans it was the perennial anxiety that a free citizen might take a passive role in a sexual relationship with a slave. Homosexuality in itself was not the problem for either: it was in the forms that homosexuality might take that the difficulty lay.”
“Homosexuality and friendship: they may well appear at first as two discrete histories, one of society and the other of sexuality. But if one tries to follow their subterranean currents in the Europe of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, one will end by finding oneself drawn into writing about something larger. One will find oneself writing about power and the power not only of judges but of words.”
“Marriage itself was redefined, with implicit consequences for friendship. A society that had observed the tradition of arranged marriages between unequal partners was confronted with a need for change. Under the influence of the middle-class ideology of the 18th century, society now accepted the principle of a marriage founded upon the affinity of equals, upon love rather than family interest. In this sense husband and wife could now be friends, and friendship was no longer invested with an exclusively homo-social character. The decisive shift in this direction occurred in England, where the Industrial Revolution and the ideology of classical liberalism went hand in hand.”
“So Romanticism revived the classical model of friendship for which Hellenic antecedents could always be held up as an ideal by such homosexual admirers of antiquity as Johann Joachim Winckelmann, a thinker who in Goethe’s words <felt himself born for a friendship of this kind> and <became conscious of his true self only under this form of friendship>.”
“While Ernst Röhm could boast, late in 1933, that the homoerotic component in the SA and SS had given the Nazis the crucial edge in their struggle against the Weimar system, homophobic writers could call for the suppression of all forms of overt male homosexuality and the enactment of even more punitive laws – which were in fact adopted in 1935.”
“Certain women feel more comfortable in their dealings with gay men, just because they know that they do not have to be constantly on guard against sexual aggression, but can have close relationships, both social and professional, that attain high levels of creativity and imagination.”
“The use of friend or friendship as an euphemism for the homosexual partner (lover) and the liaison itself persists. Recently the compilers of newspaper obituary columns have taken to describing the lifelong companion of a deceased homosexual as <his friend>, in contexts where a heterosexual would be survived by the spouse and children.” Haha
Edward Carpenter, Ioläus: An Anthology of Friendship (1902)
“Anyone was allowed to compete regardless of race, sex, age, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, or athletic ability. In keeping with the Masters Movement in sports, athletes competed with others in their own age group. The track and field and swimming events were officially sanctioned by their respective national masters programs. Athletes participated, not as representatives of their respective countries, but as individuals on behalf of cities and towns. There were no minimum qualifying standards in any events.”
“The organizers of the Gay Games have experienced considerable legal difficulties. Before the 1982 Gay Games, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) filed a court action against the organizers of the Gay Games, which were going to be called the Gay Olympic Games. In 1978, the United States Congress passed the Amateur Sports Act which, among other things, granted the USOC exclusive use of the word Olympic. Although the USOC had allowed the Rat Olympics, Police Olympics, and Dog Olympics, it took exception to the term Gay Olympic Games. Two years later, the USOC continued its harassment of the Gay Games and filed suit to recover legal fees in the amount of $96,600.”
“The word gay (though not its 3 later slang meanings) stems from the Old Provençal gai, <high spirited, mirthful>. A derivation of this term in turn from the Old High German gahi, <impetuous> (cf. modem German jah, <sudden>), though attractive at first sight, seems unlikely. Gai was a favorite expression among the troubadours, who came to speak of their intricate art of poetry as gai saber, <gay knowledge>. Despite assertions to the contrary, none of these uses reveals any particular sexual content. In so far as the word gay or gai has acquired a sexual meaning in Romance languages, as it has very recently, this connotation is entirely owing to the influence of the American homosexual liberation movement as a component of the American popular culture that has swamped the non-Communist world.
Beginning in the 17th century, the English word gay began to connote the conduct of a playboy or dashing man about town, whose behavior was not always strictly moral but not totally depraved either; hence the popularity of such expressions as <gay lothario>, <gay deceiver>, and <gay blade>. Applied to women in the 19th century (or perhaps somewhat before), it came to mean <of loose morals; a prostitute>: <As soon as a woman has ostensibly lost her reputation we, with grim inappositeness, call her gay> (Sunday Times, London, 1868).”
“The expansion of the term to mean homosexual man constitutes a tertiary stage of modification, the sequence being lothario, then female prostitute, then homosexual man.”
“The word (and its equivalents in other European languages) is attested in the sense of <belonging to the demimonde> or <given to illicit sexual pleasures>, even specifically to prostitution, but nowhere with the special homosexual sense that is reinforced by the antonym straight, which in the sense of heterosexual was known exclusively in the gay subculture until quite recently.”
“Although it has not been found in print before 1933 (when it appears in Noel Ersine’s Dictionary of Underworld Slang as gay cat, <a homosexual boy>), it is safe to assume that the usage must have been circulating orally in the United States for a decade or more. (As Jack London explains in The Road of 1907, gay cat originally meant – or so he thought – an apprentice hobo, without reference to sexual orientation.) In 1955 the English journalist Peter Wildblood defined gay as <an American euphemism for homosexual>, at the same time conceding that it had made inroads in Britain. Grammatically, the word is an adjective, and there has been some resistance to the use of gay, gays as nouns, but this opposition seems to be fading.”
“Many lesbian organizations now reject the term gay, restricting it to men, hence the spread of such binary phrases as <gay and lesbian> and <lesbian and gay people>.”
“Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (1825-1895), whose Forschungen zur mannmännhchen Liebe (Researches on Love between Males), published from 1864 to 1870, ranged in an encyclopedic manner over the history, literature, and ethnography of past and present.”
“In England John Addington Symonds may be considered the first gay scholar, since he composed two privately printed works, A Problem in Greek Ethics and A Problem in Modern Ethics, the latter of which introduced to the English-speaking world the recent findings of continental psychiatrists and the new vision of Ulrichs and Walt Whitman. Symonds was also a major contributor to the first edition of Havelock Ellis’ Sexual Inversion (German 1896, English 1897). At the same time the American university president Andrew Dickson White quietly inserted into his 2-volume History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896) a comprehensive analysis and demolition of the Sodom legend. In the same year Marc-André Raffalovich published his Uranisme et unisexualité (Uranism and unisexuality), with copious bibliographical and literary material, some from German authors of the 19th century, which he supplemented at intervals in a series of articles in the Archives d’anthropologie criminelle down to World War I.”
“psychoanalytic biographies of famous homosexuals, a genre initiated by Freud’s philologically rather weak Eine Kindheitserinnerung des Leonardo da Vinci (A Childhood Reminiscence of Leonardo da Vinci; 1910).”
“The interest of geneticists in twin studies led to some papers on the sexual orientation of monozygotic and dizygotic twins, a field pioneered by Franz Kallmann. While certain issues continue to be disputed, the study of monozygotic twin pairs has revealed concordances as marked as those for intelligence and other character traits, albeit with a complexity in the developmental aspect of the personality that earlier thinkers had not fully appreciated.”
“black studies and women’s studies are by their very nature interdisciplinary. In 1976, for example, ONE Institute, the independent Los Angeles homophile education foundation, articulated the subject in the following fields: anthropology, history, psychology, sociology, education, medicine and biology, psychiatry, law and its enforcement, military, religion and ethics, biography and autobiography, literature and the arts, the homophile movement, and transvestism and transsexualism (An Annotated Bibliography of Homosexuality, New York, 1976).”
“In anthropology there is a continuing temptation to ethno-romanticism, that is over-idealizing the exotic culture one is studying, viewing it as natural, non-repressive, organic, and so forth.”
“The homosexuality of Genet’s characters is explicit, and the scenes of love-making attain the limit of physical and psychological detail, recounted in the argot of the French criminal underworld (which largely defies English translation) and in a style once possible only in pornographic novels sold <under the counter>. If the homosexuality of the heroes of Genet’s novels has a strong sado-masochistic component, their love is depicted with honesty and tenderness. The plot construction borders on free association, while the sordid and brutal aspects of male love are not suppressed or denied.” “Since French writing shapes literary trends throughout the world, the influence of Genet on future depictions of homosexual experience is likely to mount.”
“In the Passion of Saint Pelagius composed in Latin by Roswitha (Hrotswith) of Gandersheim, there is the story of the son of the king of Galicia in Spain who, captured by the Moslem invaders, was approached by Abderrahman with offers of the highest honors if he would submit to his pederastic advances but violently refused – at the cost of his life. The Latin poem on Lantfrid and Cobbo relates the love of two men, one homosexual, the other bisexual. A High German version of Solomon and Mololf composed about 1190 makes an allusion to sodomy, while the Eneid of Heinrich von Veldeke has the mother of Lavinia, the daughter of King Latinus of Italy accuse Aeneas of being a notorious sodomite to dissuade her from marrying him. Moriz von Craun, a verse narrative of ca. 1200, makes the emperor Nero the archetype of the mad sodomite, who even wishes to give birth to a child. In his rhymed Flauenbuch (1257), Ulrich von Lichtenstein presents a debate between a knight and a lady, in which the latter accuses men of preferring hunting, drinking, and boy-love to the service of women. About the same time the Austrian poet Der Strieker used references to Sodom and Gomorrah in his negative condemnation.”
“Prussia was the first German state that in 1794 abolished the death penalty for sodomy and replaced it with imprisonment and flogging. After 1810 many states (including Bavaria, Württemberg, and Hannover) followed the model of the Code Napoleon in France and introduced complete impunity for homosexual acts, a policy reversed in 1871 in favor of the anti-homosexual Paragraph 175 of the uniform Imperial Penal Code.”
“In German poetry, however, the homosexual theme was rare before the 19th century. Friendship between men is, to be sure, a frequent subject of poetry (especially in Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim, Wilhelm Heinse, even in Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen and others), but the amicable feelings depicted in them are clearly demarcated from the longing of pederasts and sodomites, and the boundary between friendship and sexuality is seldom if ever crossed (though possibly in F.W.B. von Ramdohr, Venus Urania, 1798, Part 2, pp. 103ff.)”
“The flowering of a gay movement in the first third of the 20th century was the outstanding feature that set the homosexuals in Germany apart from those in other countries.”
“The campaign for the abolition of Paragraph 175 provoked an enormous literature of books, pamphlets, and articles pro and con, so extensive that by 1914 the criminologist Hans Gross could write that everything that anyone could ever have to say on the subject had by then appeared in print. There was also a profusion of gay and lesbian poetry, short stories, and novels. Such mainstream authors as Hans Henny Jahnn, Klaus Mann, Thomas Mann, Anna Elisabet Weihrauch, and Christa Winsloe also discussed the theme. This cultural efflorescence lent substance to the claim of Weimar Germany to be a land of cultural innovation, though to be sure the Republic had its dark side as well.”
“If until then Germany was probably unique and unparalleled in the world in terms of governmental liberalism and of opportunities for homosexual life, then the same was true in reverse for the Nazi era from 1933 to 1945: at least 10,000 homosexual men, stigmatized with the pink triangle, were confined in German concentration camps under the Holocaust during those 12 years, and many of them were killed.”
“In West Germany after about 1948 conditions returned to what they had been before 1933. Although the Nazi version of Paragraph 175 remained on the books, homosexual organizations, bars, and gay magazines were tolerated in many West German cities and in West Berlin. In East Germany, to be sure, only the milder pre-1933 version of paragraph 175 was in force, but homosexual life was subject to restrictions on the part of the state and the police, so that gay men and lesbians had scarcely any opportunity to organize and express their views freely.”
Richard Plant, The Pink Triangle, New York: Henry Holt, 1986.
“In 1891 Gide met Oscar Wilde, the flamboyant aesthete, who set about ridding him of his inhibitions – with seductive grace. Gide’s first really striking work of moral <subversion> was Les Nourritures terrestres (The Fruits of the Earth, 1897), a set of lyrical exhortations to a fictional youth, Nathanaël, who is urged to free himself of the Christian sense of sin and cultivate the life of the senses with sincerity and independence. During the political turmoil of the 1930s Gide returned to the same themes and stylistic manners in Les nouvelles nourritures (1935).”
“In 1895 he married his cousin, Madeleine Rondeaux, and suffered an acute conflict between her strict Christian values and his own yearning for self-liberation, together with his awakening homosexual drives. The never-ending battle within himself between the puritan and the pagan, the Biblical and the Nietzschean, caused his intellect to oscillate between two poles that are reflected in his succeeding books. In Les Caves du Vatican (The Vatican Cellars, 1914), the hero, Lafcadio, <lives dangerously> according to the Gidean formula and commits a seemingly senseless murder as a psychologically liberating <gratuitous act>. A further series of short novels have an ironic structure dominated by the viewpoint of a single character, while his major novel, Les Fauxmonnayeurs (The Counterfeiters, 1926) has a Chinese-box like structure meant to reflect the disorder and complexity of real life.”
“Limited in scope as they were, Gide’s four dialogues constituted a remarkable achievement for their time by blending personal experience, the French literary mode of detached presentation of abnormal behavior, the traditional appeal to ancient Greece, and the then quite young science of ethology – the comparative study of the behavior of species lower on the evolutionary scale.”
Gide, Retour de l’U.R.S.S. (Back from the USSR, 1936)
“This Mesopotamian figure ranks as the first tragic hero in world literature. The Epic of Gilgamesh has survived in Sumerian, Akkadian, and Hittite versions that go back to the 3rd millennium before our era. Lost from sight until the decipherment of the cuneiform script retrieved the literatures of early Mesopotamia, the epic is a blend of pure adventure, morality, and tragedy. Only the final version, that of Assurbanipal’s library in Nineveh, has survived in virtually complete form, but all the episodes in the cycle existed as separate poems in Sumerian. The setting of the story is the 3rd millennium, and the original language was Sumerian, the Paleoeurasian speech of the first literate civilization of Mesopotamia, which continued like Latin to be copied as a dead language of past culture even after it was displaced by the Eastern Semitic Akkadian.”
“Gilgamesh is announced at the outset as a hero: two-thirds god and one-third man, endowed by the gods with strength, with beauty, with wisdom. His sexual demands upon the people of Uruk are insatiable: <No son is left with his father, for Gilgamesh takes them all . . . His lust leaves no virgin to her lover, neither the warrior’s daughter nor the wife of the noble.> In reply to their complaints Aruru, the goddess of creation, forms Enkidu out of clay. <His body was rough, he had long hair like a woman’s. He was innocent of mankind; he knew not the cultivated land.> To tame the wild man a harlot offers her services, <she made herself naked and welcomed his eagerness, she incited the savage to love and taught him the woman’s art.> At the conclusion, the transforming power of eros has humanized him; the wild animals flee from him, sensing that as a civilized man he is no longer one of them. The metamorphosis from the subhuman and savage to his new self proves strikingly how love is the force behind civilization.”
“Gilgamesh has two dreams with symbolism which presages the homoerotic relationship which the gods have planned for him and the challenger Enkidu. In the Akkadian text there are puns on the words lusru, <ball (of fire), meteorite>, andiezru, <male with curled hair>, the counterpart of the harlot, and on hassinu, <axe>, and assinu, <male prostitute>. Gilgamesh’s superior energy and wisdom set him apart from others and make him lonely; he needs a male companion who can be his intimate and his equal at the same time, while their male bond stimulates and inspires them to action. After a wrestling match between Enkidu and Gilgamesh in which the latter triumphs, the two become comrades. Their erotic drive is not lost, but rather transformed and directed to higher objects; it leads to a homoerotic relationship that entails the rejection of Ishtar, the goddess of love. A liaison of this kind is not contingent on the physical beauty of the lover, it endures until death. Gilgamesh himself abandons his earlier oppressive conduct toward Uruk and comes to behave like a virtuous ruler who pursues the noble goals of fame and immortality through great deeds. But a dream warns Gilgamesh: <The father of the gods has given you kingship (but) everlasting life is not your destiny … Do not abuse this power, deal justly with your servants in the palace.>”
“To obtain the secret of everlasting life he journeys far across the sea to Utnapishtim, who tells him the Babylonian version of the story of the Deluge. On his return he carries with him a flower that has the power of conferring eternal youth, but loses it to a serpent lying beside a pool and so reaches Uruk empty-handed, yet still able to engrave the tale of his journey in stone. Gilgamesh has been transformed by a love that makes him seek not the pleasures of the moment, but virtue, wisdom, and immortality, hence the motif of the epic is that male bonding is a positive ingredient of civilization itself.”
George F. Held, “Parallels between The Gilgamesh Epic and Plato’s Symposium”, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 42 (1983) (artigo)
BIOGRAFIAS PARTE II & III: “Settling at Weimar under the patronage of the ducal heir and elected to the Privy Council, he became leader in that intellectual center, associating with Wieland, Herder, and later Schiller. His visit to Italy recorded in Italienische Reise and probably involving pederastic adventures inspired him anew as did his intimate friendship with Schiller. Even after he married in 1806 he continued his frequent love affairs with women. His autobiographical Wilhelm Meister, a Bildungsroman or novel of character formation [probably boring…], and the second part of Faust (in 1832), exalted his reputation further, although he was already first in German literature. The non-exhaustive Weimar edition of his works extends to over 130 volumes.”
Knaben hebt ich wohl auch, doch
lieber sind mir die Mädchen,
Hab ich als Mädchen sie sätt, dient
sie als Knabe mir noch.
“If I have had enough of one as a girl, she still serves me as a boy.”
“In the play Egmont (1788) the hero’s enemy Alba is embarrassed by his son’s intense emotional bonding with Egmont. The figure of Mignon, the waif girl in Wilhelm Meister, could be androgynous. In his Travels in Switzerland [DV] he waxed rapturous over the sight of a nude comrade bathing in the lake, and in the West Eastern Divan (1819, enlarged edition, 1827), he used the pretext of being inspired by Persian poetry to allude to the <pure> love which a handsome cupbearer evokes from his master (sec. 9).”
“Paiderasteia, or the love of an adult male for an adolescent boy, was invested with a particular aura of idealism and integrated firmly into the social fabric. The erastes or lover was a free male citizen, often a member of the upper social strata, and the eromenos or beloved was a youth between 12 and 17, occasionally somewhat older. Pedophilia, in the sense of erotic interest in young children, was unknown to the Greeks and the practice never approved by them. An interesting question, however, is what was the average age of puberty for ancient Greek boys? For some men (the philobupais type), the boy remained attractive after the growth of the first beard, for most he was not – exactly as with the modern pederast.”
“It formed part of the process of initiation of the adolescent into the society of adult males, of his apprenticeship in the arts of the hunter and warrior. The attachment of the lover to his boy eroticized the process of learning, making it less arduous and more pleasurable, while reinforcing the bond between the mentor and his pupil.”
“a biological universal – the physical beauty and grace of the adolescent that invest him with an androgynous quality soon lost when he reaches adulthood.”
“The achievements of their own history necessarily rested upon the legacy of 3,000 years of cultural evolution in the Semitic and Hamitic nations. In technology and material culture they – and their successor peoples – never went far beyond the accomplishments of the non-Indo-European civilizations of the East. It was in the realm of theory and philosophy that the Greeks innovated – and created a new model of the state and society, a new conception of truth and justice that were the foundations of Western civilization.”
“Sir Francis Galton calculated in the late 19th century that in the space of 200 years the population of Athens – a mere 45,000 adult male citizens [número controverso] – had produced 14 of the 100 greatest men of all time. This legacy – the <Greek miracle> – owed no small part of its splendor to the pederastic ethos that underlay its educational system and its civic ideal.”
“Marriage and fatherhood were part of the life cycle of duties for which the initiation and training prepared the eromenos. Needless to say, family life did not hinder a male from pursuing boys or frequenting the geisha-like hetairai. Down to the 4th century BC, however, the really intense and reciprocal passion that the modern world calls romantic love was reserved for relationships between males. Only in the Hellenistic period (after 323 BC) was the additional possibility of love between man and wife recognized.”
A INSÂNIA E O RANCOR DO MESTRE: “The misinterpretations have been reinforced by the strictures of the elderly Plato in the Laws, where an element of resentment toward the young and of embitterment at his own failures and disappointments as a teacher seems to have been at work. This text, however it may anticipate later judeo-Christian attitudes and practices, was never typical of Greek thought on the subject. The evidence of the classical authors shows that as late as the early 3rd century of our era the Greeks accepted pederasty non-chalantly as part of the sexual order, without condemnation or apprehension.”
“The Greeks knew nothing of the Book of Leviticus, cared nothing for the injunctions it contained, and scarcely even heard of the religious community for which it was meant down to the beginning of the Hellenistic era, when Judea was incorporated into the empire of Alexander the Great. On the other hand,there is evidence that in the Zoroastrian religion pederasty was ascribed to a demonic inventor and regarded as an inexpiable sin, as a vice of the Georgians, the Caucasian neighbors of the Persians – just as the Israelites identified homosexual practices with the religion of the heathen Canaanites whose land they coveted and invaded. However, the antagonism between the Greeks and the Persians precluded any adoption of the beliefs and customs of the <evil empire> – against which they won their legendary victories. The Greek spirit – of which pederasty was a vital component – stood guard over the cradle of Western civilization against the encroachments of Persian despotism. Only on the eastern periphery of the Hellenic world – where Greeks lived as subject peoples under Persian rule – could the Zoroastrian beliefs gain a foothold.”
“Oral-genital sexuality seems not to have been popular, but this was probably for hygienic reasons specific to the ancient world.”
“The career of Sappho suggests that lesbian relations in ancient Greece took the same pattern, that is to say, they were corophile – between adult women and adolescent girls who were receiving their own initiation into the arts of womanhood. But the paucity of evidence makes it difficult to assay the incidence of the phenomenon, especially as Greek sexual mores were entirely androcentric – everything was seen from the standpoint of the adult male and free citizen. The subordinate status of women and children was taken for granted, and the effeminate man was the object of ridicule if not contempt, as can be seen in the plays of Aristophanes and his older contemporary Cratinus.”
“It is true that the more abstract thinking of the Greeks ultimately recognized the parallel between male and female homosexuality, beginning with a passage in Plato’s Laws (636bc) in which both are stigmatized as <against nature> – a concept which the Semitic mind, incidentally, lacked until it was adopted from the Greek authors translated in the Middle Ages.”
“Toward the end of the 2nd millennium the Mycenean era closed with a series of disasters, both natural catastrophes and wars – of which the Trojan war sung by Homer was an episode. During this period the Dorians invaded Greece, blending with the older stocks. One landmark paper on Greek pederasty, Erich Bethe’s article of 1907, ascribed pederasty to the military culture of the Dorian conquerors, an innovation ostensibly reflected in the greater prominence of the institution among the Dorian city-states of history.”
“The sexual lives of the Greeks were free of ritualistic taboos, but enacted in a context of comrade simplified in the devotion of Achilles and Patroclus, which foreshadowed the pederastic ideal of the Golden Age. The lyric poetry composed in the dawn of Greek literature was rich in allusions to male love, between gods and between mortals.”
“In a mere 4 centuries Greek civilization had matured into a force that intellectually and militarily dominated the world – and laid the foundations not just for Western culture, but for the entire global meta-system of today. What followed was the Hellenistic era, in which Greek thought confronted the traditions of the peoples of the east with whom the colonists in the new cities founded in Egypt and Syria mingled. The emergence of huge bureaucratic monarchies effectively crushed the independence of the city-states, eroding the base of the pederastic institution with its emphasis on civic initiative. The outcome of this period, once Rome had begun its eastward expansion, was Roman civilization as a derivative culture that blended Greek and indigenous elements. Even under Roman rule the position of the Greek language was maintained, and the literary heritage of previous centuries was codified in the form in which, by and large, it has been transmitted to modern scholars and admirers.”
“For nearly 200 years scholars have argued the Homeric question: Did one, two, or many authors create the two great epic poems known as the Illiad and the Odyssey? What were the sources and techniques of composition of the author (or authors)? The current consensus favors a single author utilizing a traditional stock of legends and myths – the final redaction may have taken place as late as 640 BC. A second question arises in connection with these epic poems: Did they recognize homoerotic passion as a theme, or was this an accretion of later times?” “Homer may not have judged the details of their intimacy suitable for epic recitation, but he was not oblivious to a form of affection common to all the warrior societies of the Eastern Mediterranean in antiquity. The peculiar resonance of the Achilles-Patroclus bond probably is rooted in far older Near Eastern epic traditions, such as the liaison between Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Mesopotamian texts.”
PLATÃO CHATEADÍSSIMO: “The famous Athenian lawgiver Solon was also a poet, and in two surviving fragments (13 and 14) he speaks of pederasty as absolutely normal.”
“Despite the mutilated and fragmentary state in which Sappho’s poetry has been transmitted, she was hailed in antiquity as the <tenth Muse>, and her poetry remains one of the high points of lyric intensity in world literature. In the 19th century philologists tried to reconcile her with the Judeo-Christian tradition by dismissing the lesbian interpretation of her poems as libelous, and misinterpreting or misusing bits of biographical data to make her nothing but the strait-laced mistress of a girls’ finishing school.”
“Anacreon of Teos [Ceos?], who flourished in the mid-6th century, owes his fame to his drinking songs, texts composed for performance at the symposia, which inspired an entire genre of poetry: anacreontic.”
“Herodotus, the <Father of History>, used the data that he gathered on his
extensive travels to point up the relativism of moral norms. Among the phenomena that he reported was the Scythian institution of the Enarees, a shift in gender that puzzled the Greeks, who called it the nousos theleia or <feminine disease>, but can now be identified as akin to the shaman and the berdache/bardache of the sub-Arctic and New World cultures. Profiting from the insights of the pre-Socratic thinkers, Herodotus anticipated the findings of modern anthropology in regard to the role of culture in shaping social norms. The consequence of his relativistic standpoint was to discredit absolutist concepts of <revealed> or <natural> morality and to allow for a pluralist approach to sexual ethics.”
“Thanks to a surviving oration of Aeschines, the Contra Timarchum of 346 BC, we know of the restrictions that Athenian law placed on the homosexual activity of male citizens: the male who put his body in the power of another by prostituting himself incurred atimia or infamy, the gymnasia anathose who had authority over youth were subject to legal control, and a slave could not be the lover of a free youth. There is no evidence for parallel statutes elsewhere, and certainly no indication that homosexual behavior per se was ever the object of legal prohibition, or more stringently regulated than heterosexual, which had its own juridical norms.”
“In the writings of Plato and Xenophon, Socrates basks in a strongly homophile ambiance, as his auditors are exclusively male, even if he was no stranger to heterosexuality and had a wife named Xanthippe who has come down in history as the type of the shrewish wife. His chief disciple, Plato (ca. 429-347 BC), whose thought cannot easily be disentangled from that of his teacher, never married, and left a record of ambivalence toward sexuality and homosexuality in particular that is one of the problematic sides of his thinking. His influence on Western civilization has been incalculable. One of the ironies of history is that the atypical hostility to pederasty in the elderly Plato, probably reflecting both personal resentment and envy and the decline of the institution in the 4th century (while anticipating later <puritan> attitudes), was often received with enthusiasm in later centuries, becoming a Hellenic source of Christian homophobia.” “he inculcated the notion of sexual activity as ignoble and demeaning, which was integrated with the absolute <purity> of biblical Judaic ascetic ideal of complete asexuality which was to have fateful consequences for homosexuals in later centuries. A completely negative approach to pederasty emerges in one of his last works, the Laws, the product of the pessimism of old age disappointed by Athenian democracy and the failure of his ambitions at statecraft in Sicily. In the 1st book Plato calls homosexual acts <against nature> (para physin) because they do not lead to procreation, and in the 8th book (836b-839a) he proposes that homosexual activity can be repressed by law and by constant and unrelenting defamation, likening this procedure to the incest taboo. The designation of homosexual acts as <contrary to nature> found its way into the New Testament in a text that intertwined Judaic myth with Hellenic reasoning, Romans 1:18-32. This passage argues that <the wrath of God is revealed from heaven> in the form of the rain of water that drowned the Watchers and their human paramours and the rain of fire that obliterated the homosexual denizens of Sodom and Gomorrah. Later Christian thinkers were to insist that the morality of sexual acts was coterminous with procreation, and that any non-procreative gratification was <contrary to nature>, but this view never held sway in pagan antiquity, so that Plato himself cannot be charged with the tragic aftermath of this belief and the attempt to impose it upon the entire population by penal sanctions and by ostracism. The attempt of modern Christian historians to prove that Plato’s idiosyncratic later attitude corresponded to the mores of Athenian society, or of Greece as a whole, is unfounded.
Plato was succeeded by the almost equally influential Aristotle (384-322 BC), who sought to correct some of the imbalances in his teacher’s work and bring it more in line with experience.” “In the Nicomachean Ethics (1148b) he undertook to differentiate two types of homosexual inclination, one innate or constitutionally determined (<by nature>) and one acquired from having been sexually abused (<by habit>). He stated categorically that no fault attached to behavior that flowed from the nature of the subject (thereby contradicting Plato’s assertion that homosexuality per se was unnatural), while in the second type some moral fault could be imputed. In the 13th century Thomas Aquinas utilized this passage in arguing that sodomy was unnatural in general, but connatural in some human beings; yet in quoting Aristotle he suppressed the mention of homosexual urges as determined <by nature>, so that Christian theology has never been able to accept the claims of gay activists that their behavior had innate causes. At all events, Aristotle can be cited in favor of the belief that in some forms, at least, homosexuality is inborn and unmodifiable.
The successors of Plato and Aristotle, the Stoics, are sometimes regarded as condemnatory of pederasty, but a closer examination of their texts shows that they approved of boy-love and engaged in it, but counseled their followers to practice it in moderation and with ethical concern for the interests of the younger partner [= Epicureans].”
“the pseudo-Aristotelian Problemata (IV, 26) claims that the propensity to take the passive role in anal intercourse is caused by an accumulation of semen in the rectum that stimulates activity to relieve the tension.”
“pangenesis – the belief that the semen incorporated major parts of the body in microscopic form; yet the belief that the male seed alone determines the formation of the embryo (only in the 19th century was the actual process of fertilization of the ovum observed and analyzed).”
“The Hippocratic treatise On Airs, Waters, and Places touched upon the effeminacy of the Scythians, the so-called nasos theleia, which it ascribed to climate – a view that was to recur in later centuries. The Greek adaptation of late Babylonian astrology created the individual horoscope – which included the factors determining sexual characterology. Such authors as Teucer of Babylon and Claudius Ptolemy of Alexandria named the planets whose conjunctions foretold that an individual would prefer his or her own sex or would be effeminate or viraginous. Because Greek religion and law did not condemn homosexual behavior, it fell into the category of an idiosyncrasy of temperament which the heavenly bodies had ordained, not of a pathological condition that entitled the bearer to reprieve from the severity of the law. Ptolemy taught, for example, that if the influence of Venus is joined to that of Mercury, the individuals affected <become restrained in their relations with women but more passionate for boys> (Tetrabiblos, III, 13). The astrological texts make it abundantly clear that the ancients were familiar with the whole range of sexual preferences – a knowledge that psychiatry was to recoup only in modern times.”
“The modern Greeks derived their sexual mores, like their music, cuisine, and dress, from their overlords the Turks rather than from ancient Greece. During the long Ottoman domination from the fall of Byzantium in 1453 to 1821 and in Macedonia and Crete until 1911, and in Anatolia and Cyprus even today, the descendants of the Byzantines who did not convert to Islam preserved their language and religion. Orthodox bishops were given wide political authority over their flocks whom they helped the Turks fleece. The black (monastic) clergy were forbidden to marry, and they were often inclined to homosexuality. Greeks, like Armenians, often rose in the hierarchy at the Sublime Porte, sometimes as eunuchs. Also they served as Janissaries in the Ottoman regiments which were taught to revere the Sultan as their father, the regiment as their family, and the barracks as their home. Forbidden to marry, they engaged in sodomy, particularly pederasty, and in such Ottoman vices as opium and bribery. Along with the Armenians, Greeks became the chief merchants of the Empire, especially dominating the relatively backward Balkan provinces where they congregated in the cities and towns as Jews did in the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth.”
Winckelmann e Byron morreram durante a guerra de independência da Grécia.
“The Greek Anthology is another name for the Palatine Anthology preserved in a unique manuscript belonging to the Palatine Library in Heidelberg. It was assembled in the 10th century by the Byzantine scholar Constantine Cephalas on the basis of 3 older collections: (1) the Garland of Meleager, edited at the beginning of the 1st century BC; (2) the Garland of Philippus, which probably dates from the reign of Augustus; and (3) the Cycle of Agathias, collected in the reign of Justinian (527-535) and including only contemporary works. But in addition Cephalas incorporated in his anthology the Musa Puerilis or <Boy-love Muse> of Strato of Sardis, who probably flourished under Hadrian (second quarter of the 2nd century). It is probable that the segregation of the poems on boy-love from the rest of the anthology (with the mistaken inclusion of some heterosexual pieces) reflects the Byzantine attitude, quite different from that of the pagan Meleager who indifferently set the two themes side by side. These poems, assembled in the 12th book of the Anthology (with others scattered elsewhere in the collection), are monuments of the passion of an adult male for an adolescent boy (never another adult, as some modern scholars have suggested; XII, 4 is the most explicit testimony on this matter) that was an integral part of Greek civilization. The verses frankly reveal the mores and values of Greek pederasty, exalting the beauty and charm of the beloved youth, sounding the intensity of the lover’s attachment, and no less skillfully describing the physical practices to which these liaisons led, so that it is not surprising that the complete set of these poems was not published until 1764.”
“This sexual practice involves the insertion of one partner’s hand – and sometimes much of the arm – into the rectum of the other. Before attempting such insertion the nails are pared and the hand lubricated. Sometimes alcohol and drags are used by the receptive partner as relaxants. This practice acquired a certain popularity – and notoriety under the name of fistfucking – in a sector of the gay male leather/S&M community in the 1970s. A few lesbians have also reported engaging in it. A medical term, apparently uncommon, has been proposed for handballing: brachiproctic eroticism.
It need scarcely be stressed that handballing is dangerous in all its variations, as puncturing of the rectal lining may lead to infection and even death. Although handballing does not directly expose the passive partner to AIDS or to sexually transmitted diseases, by scratching or scarring the rectal wall it may create tiny portals for the invasion of microbes during a subsequent penetration. With the new emphasis on safe sex in the 1980s, handballing has greatly declined, and it will probably be relegated to history as one of the temporary excesses of the sexual revolution.”
“It may be conjectured that the recent resort to the practice is due to medical knowledge of operations in which the anus is dilated, since the ordinary individual scarcely credits that such enlargement is possible or desirable. In a late Iranian version of the binding and riding of the god of darkness Ahriman by the hero Taxmoruw, the demonic figure breaks loose by means of a trick and swallows the hero; by pretending to be interested in anal intercourse the brother of Taxmoruw manages to insert his arm into Ahriman’s anus and retrieve the body from his belly. The brother’s arm – the one that entered the demon’s anus – becomes silvery white and stinking, and the brother has to exile himself voluntarily so that others will not become polluted. The myth is interesting as linking the forbidden sexual activity with stigmatization and outlawry of the perpetrator. There seems to have been no term for handballing in the Greek language, though siphniazein (from the island of Siphnos) has been defined as to <insert a finger in the anus>. This harmless practice has long been known, and it may have served as a kind of modest precedent.”
HELIOGABALUS / ELAGABALUS
O imperador teria vivido apenas 18 anos – como regente, 4!
“he reigned in a style of luxury and effeminacy unprecedented even in the history of Rome. He sent out agents to comb the city for particularly well-hung partners for his couch, whom he made his advisers and ministers. His life was an endless search for pleasure of every kind, and he had his body depilated so that he could arouse the lusts of the greatest number. His extant portraits on coins suggest a sensual, even African type evolving through late adolescence. The refinements which he innovated in the spheres of culinary pleasure and of sumptuous interior decoration and household furnishing are mentioned by the historians of his reign as having survived him and found emulators among the Roman aristocracy of later times. For what Veblen called <conspicuous consumption> he set a standard probably unequaled until the Islamic middle ages.
His sexual personality cannot be reduced to a mere formula of passive-effeminate homosexuality, although this aspect of his erotic pleasure-seeking is the one stressed by his ancient biographers. He loved the role of Venus at the theatre and the passive role in his encounters with other men, yet he was married several times and even violated a Vestal virgin, but remained childless.”
“As high priest of the Syrian deity Elagabal he sought to elevate the cult of the latter to the sole religion of the Empire, yet he did not persecute the Christians. Family intrigues ultimately cost him the favor of the soldiers who murdered him and his mother on March 11, 222. Unique as he was in the history of eroticism and of luxury, he has inspired writers from the 3rd century biographer Aelius Lampridius in the Scriptores Historiae Augustas through the later treatments of Jean Lombard, Louis Couperus, and Stefan George to Antonin Artaud and Alberto Arbasino.”
“The genocide of Jews and Gypsies in Nazi-occupied Europe has overshadowed the persecution and murder of male homosexuals, which is only now beginning to be recognized and analyzed from the few surviving documents and memoirs. Regrettably, in the immediate post-war period most of those who wrote about the concentration and extermination camps, and even courts which dealt with the staffs and inmates of the camps, treated those sent there for violating the laws against homosexual offenses as common criminals deserving the punishment meted out to them by the Third Reich. The final insult to the victims of Nazi intolerance was the decision of the Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court) in Karlsruhe on May 10, 1957, which not only upheld the constitutionality of the more punitive 1935 version of Paragraph 175 of the Penal Code because it <contained nothing specifically National-Socialist> and homosexual acts <unquestionably offended the moral feelings of the German people>, but even recommended doubling the maximum penalty – from 5 to 10 years. If any other victims of National-Socialism had been rebuffed in this manner by a West German court, there would have been outraged demonstrations around the globe; but this one went unprotested and ignored – above all by the psychiatrists who until recently never missed an opportunity to assert that <homosexuality is a serious disease> – for which ostracism and punishment were the best if not the only therapy. Until the late 1980s homosexuals, along with Gypsies, were denied compensation by the West German authorities for their suffering and losses under the Nazis.”
“Günther (1891-1968), professor of rural sociology and racial science first at Berlin and then at Freiburg im Breisgau, the chief authority on such matters in the Third Reich, held that the genetically inferior elements of the population should be given complete freedom to gratify their sexual urges in any manner that did not lead to reproduction because they would painlessly eliminate themselves from the breeding pool.”
“National-Socialism in Germany, like Marxism-Leninism in Russia, was a conspiracy of the 17th and the 19th centuries against the 18th-century Enlightenment” OK
“Among all modern states for which figures can be compiled, Nazi Germany offers the horrible example of suicides increasing rather than decreasing in wartime.”
“Although dramatically dated to Mycenean times, the late 2nd millennium BC, the epics sometimes refer to things that cannot predate 650 or even 570, because interpolations existed in one form or another when 7th century poets cited the epics.”
“It is difficult to detect all interpolations and changes, especially additions of Attic terms as high culture became increasingly centered in Athens, where the Peisistratids in the mid-6th century had the epics recited annually at a festival, and many believe the first texts written well over a century after the latest possible date for Homer’s death. A definitive text resulted only from the efforts of 2nd century editors in Alexandria. These texts became almost sacred to the Greeks, whose education was based on them even until the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453.”
“Homer failed to depict institutionalized pederasty, to which almost all subsequent writers referred, many making it central. Though poets and artists around 600 BC make the earliest unmistakable references to institutionalized pederasty, Homer mentioned Ganymede twice, <the loveliest born of the race of mortals, and therefore the gods caught him away to themselves, to be Zeus’ wine-pourer, for the sake of his beauty, so he might be among the immortals> (Iliad, 20, 233-35) and Zeus’ giving Tros, Ganymede’s father, <the finest of all horses beneath the sun and the daybreak> (Iliad, 5, 265ff.) as compensation for his son. Sir Moses Finley concluded that <the text of the poems offers no directly affirmative evidence at any point; even the two references to the elevation of Ganymede to Olympus speak only of his becoming cup-bearer to Zeus.>Sir Kenneth Dover denied that these passages implied pederasty: <It should not be impossible for us … to imagine that the gods on Olympus, like the souls of men in the Muslim paradise … simply rejoiced in the beauty of their servants as one ingredient of felicity.> However, the Abrahamic religions’ taboo on homosexuality did not exist in Hellenic and Etruscan antiquity. Societies that had the formula <eat, drink, and be merry> held that banquets should fittingly issue in sexual revelry. Anachronisms such as those of Finley and Dover should therefore be dismissed, even though Homer’s allusions to Ganymede may be pederastic interpolations like those ordered by the Peisistratids – successors of Solon, who introduced institutionalized pederasty into Athens – to antedate the cultural prominence of Athens.”
MAGNUM OPUS: Voyage aux regions equinoxiales du nouveau continent (30 vols.!)
Mas não só: Cosmos: Outline of a Physical Description of the World (5 vols.!) (1862)
O FIM DE UMA ERA: “It was the last attempt by a single individual to collect within the pages of a work of his own the totality of human knowledge of the universe; after his time the increasing specialization of the sciences and the sheer accumulation of data made such a venture impossible.” Embora Le Bon seja um respeitável polímata, outrossim.
“Through the accounts of his findings – models for all subsequent undertakings – he made significant contributions to oceanography, meteorology, climatology, and geography, and furthered virtually all the natural sciences of his time; but above all else he was responsible for major advances in the geographical and geological sciences.”
“The idea that sexual energy accumulates in the body until sufficient pressure is generated to require an outlet has over the centuries had considerable appeal. The notion acquires plausibility through observation of the wet dream, which eventually occurs in males if the semen is not evacuated through intercourse or masturbation.”
“The first statement of the doctrine is probably owing to the Roman philosopher-poet Lucretius who says that the semen gradually builds up in the body until it is discharged in any available body (On the Nature of Things, IV, 1.065).”
“As a device for relieving erotic tension, a homosexual outlet stands on the same plane as a heterosexual one. A curious attestation of the hydraulic concept comes from colonial America. In his reflections on an outbreak of <sodomy and buggery> in the Bay Colony, William Bradford (1590-1637) noted: <It may be in this case as it is with water when their streams are stopped or dammed up; when they get passage they flow with more violence and make more noise and disturbance, than when they are suffered to run quietly in their own channels.>”
“Some Victorians defended prostitution as a necessary evil. Without this safety valve, they held, the pent-up desires of men would be inflicted on decent women, whose security depends, ironically, on their <fallen> sisters. The Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler even extended this belief by analogy to hustlers and male homosexuals.”
“Despite its appeal, the metaphor is not unproblematic. The hydraulic idea rests upon materialist reductionism, identifying the accumulation of semen with the strengthening of sexual desire. Yet the two do not necessarily act in concert, as anyone knows who has visited some sexual resort such as a sauna and felt sexual desire far more frequently than the body is able to replenish its supply of semen.”
“This term refers not to literal incarceration or confinement but to an aspect of gender dysphoria – the idea that a human body can contain, locked within itself, a soul of the other gender. In their adhesion to this self-concept, many pre and post-operative transsexuals unknowingly echo a theme that has an age old, though recondite history.”
“Foreign as this idea is to the rationalistic Jew of the 20th century, and to the Biblical and Talmudic periods of Judaism as well, it is first mentioned by Saadiah Gaon (882-942), the spiritual leader of Babylonian Jewry, who rejected it as an alien doctrine that had found its way into Judaism from the Islamic cultural milieu.”
“The transmigration of a man’s soul into the body of a woman was considered by some Kabbalists a punishment for the commission of heinous sins, such as man’s refusing to give alms or to communicate his own wisdom to others.”
“In the Hollywood film Dog Day Afternoon (1975), which was based upon a real incident in Brooklyn a few years earlier, the character Leon asserts that <My psychiatrist told me I have a female soul trapped in a male body> (…) So a doctrine of medieval Jewish mysticism has entered the folklore of the gay subculture, and thence passed into the mainstream of American popular culture as a metaphor for a profound state of alienation.”
“The two thinkers increasingly diverged, particularly after Jung published his own ideas in a book entitled The Psychology of the Unconscious (1912), later renamed Symbols of Transformation. At the first meeting of the International Psychoanalytic Association in Munich in 1913, the rift between Jung and Freud turned to open hostility, and the two never met again. In April 1914 Jung resigned as President of the Association. Between 1913 and 1917 Jung went through a period of deep and intensive self-analysis; he now asserted that he had never been a Freudian, and set about creating his own school, which he dubbed analytical psychology in contrast to psychoanalysis.” Diferentão…
“his Collected Works amount to eighteen volumes.” “He treated not only psychology and psychotherapy, but also religion, mythology, social issues, art and literature, and such occult and mystical themes as alchemy, astrology, telepathy and clairvoyance, yoga, and spiritualism.”
“A polymath [raça resiliente!], Keynes cultivated many interests, from book collecting to probability theory. His real importance, however, stems from the epistemic break he achieved with the classical theory of economics, changing the landscape of that discipline for all time. Keynes was no ivory-tower theorist, and the 30-year boom in Western industrial countries (1945-75) has been called the Age of Keynes.”
“In the Apostles he met his lifelong friends Lytton Strachey and Leonard Woolf. Believing himself ugly, Keynes tended to be shy in the presence of the undergraduates he admired. In 1908, however, he began a serious affair with the painter Duncan Grant, whom he later said to be the only person in whom he found a truly satisfying combination of beauty and intelligence.”
“In 1908, however, he obtained a lecturer-ship in economics at King’s College, and the courses he gave there were the foundation of his later writings in the field. As editor of the Economic Journal he actively promoted new trends in the discipline outside of Cambridge. Yet he did not turn immediately to the core of the subject, as he spent a number of years writing a challenging Treatise on Probability, which was published in 1921.”
ESCASSEZ DE RECURSOS (GAYS) & SEMENTES DO NAZISMO: “Keynes elected to enter the Treasury where, despite the chronic disapproval of the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, he worked wonders in managing the wartime economy. During this period the homosexual members of Bloomsbury (Keynes included) found their supply of eligible young men cut off, and began to engage in flirtations and even liaisons with women. After the end of the war Keynes spent a frustrating period as an adviser at the Paris peace conference [for British to see!], trying to limit voracious Allied demands for reparations from defeated Germany. Returning to London, he set down his pungent reflections on the event in what became his most widely read book, The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919), which eroded the resolve of the Allies to enforce the Treaty of Versailles, at least in its financial provisions.
In 1925 Keynes, now famous, married the noted ballerina Lydia Lopokova. He became an adviser to government and business, consolidating his practical knowledge of economic affairs. These experiences contributed to his great book, General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936).”
[PET-ROYAL]TIES: “Economic difficulties after 1975 subjected Keynesian views, which had become orthodoxy, to contemporary reassessment.”
“Surprisingly, in the decades after the conviction of Oscar Wilde, his numerous affairs with young men never caused the slightest legal or even social trouble. This charmed life can be explained only by his combination of extreme personal brilliance, family and professional connections, and remarkable self-confidence.”
KLEIST HEINRICH VON (1777-1811)
“German playwright and short story writer, whose The Broken Pitcher is esteemed as possibly the greatest of (and among the few) German comedies. Overshadowed by his contemporary, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kleist’s significance came to light only after his suicide at age 34, a secretive joint pact made with a terminally ill female friend.
Kleist’s slim literary production (8 plays and 8 short stories) vividly and violently captures the historical break between Enlightenment rationalism and Romantic mysticism, often framed as either a psychological conflict (Das Käthchen von Heilbronn, Penthesilea) or a political one (Prinz Friedrich von Homburg, Die Hermannsschlacht). A profound sense of the irrational and absurd permeates Kleist’s works. In stories such as Michael Kohlhaas or Earthquake in Chile, individuals stand powerless before arbitrary circumstances. Kleist’s remarkable heroines, who bear uncanny resemblance to Kleist psychologically, act from the unconscious, for example when The Marquise of O. places a newspaper ad in hopes of discovering the gentleman responsible for her pregnant condition, or when Penthesilea’s confusion between love and war leads her, while intending to kiss her lover Achilles, instead to tear him from limb to limb with her bare hands and teeth.”
LAUTRÉAMONT, o Conde que faltava ao Marquês
“Ducasse [nome de batismo] certainly shows more strongly the influence of Baudelaire and Sade than does any other writer. Like Sade, he is rarely studied in universities.”
LAWRENCE, DAVID HERBERT (1885-1930)
“Born in a mining area of Nottinghamshire, Lawrence derived much of the problematic of his work from the tension between his coal-miner father, representing for him the physical and the elemental, and his mother, a former school-teacher, who stood for the world of higher culture, politeness, and civilization. Having attended a 2-year teacher training course in Nottingham (his only higher education), Lawrence wrote two early novels, The White Peacock (1911) and The Ties-passer (1912), while teaching at Croydon. In 1912 he eloped with the German-born Frieda von Richthofen Weekley, and the two led a bohemian life of wandering on the continent until the outbreak of World War I. During this period he wrote and published his first masterpiece, Sons and Lovers (1913), an intensely autobiographical novel [more so?].
“Women in Love(1921) [currently reading!] has, despite the title, an extraordinary emphasis on the male love affair (though it is non-genitally expressed [forçação de barra, i.m.o.]) between the wealthy Gerald Crich and the school-teacher Rupert Birkin. These aspects were further explored in the Prologue to the book [!], which Lawrence withheld from publication.”
“In the famous Residencia de Estudiantes, he met and collaborated with such future celebrities as Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, with the latter of whom he had an amorous relationship of several years’ duration.”
“An extensive literature exists concerning the mechanics of and motives for his death, which immediately became an international incident and a symbol of fascist stupidity and anti-intellectualism. Lorca’s leftist sympathies, friends, and relatives would be sufficient to explain his execution, but much evidence suggests that his sexual orientation, activities, and writings were at least as important.”
A CANALHA (ESPERO QUE NÃO CUIDEM DO MEU ESPÓLIO!): “The House of Bernarda Alba, suppressed by his family, in 1945.”
MCCARTHYISM (BOECHATISMO NO BRASIL CONTEMPORÂNEO)
“The political tactics of the United States Senator from Wisconsin Joseph R. McCarthy (1908-1957)(*) have since the 50s been labeled McCarthyism. They consisted in poorly founded but sensationally publicized charges against individuals in government service or public life whom McCarthy accused on the Senate floor of being Communists, security risks, or otherwise disloyal or untrustworthy. Senator McCarthy’s campaign did not spare <sex perverts in government>, and so it made homosexuality an issue in American political life for the first time since the founding of the republic.” Homossexualidade restrita ao Triângulo das Bermudas.
(*) Oxalá nosso expoente morresse tão jovem! (P.S.: Escrito antes de sua inesperada – hoho, que clichê – morte!)
“It is also noteworthy that the danger of blackmail which Magnus Hirschfeld and his Berlin Scientific-Humanitarian Committee had used as an argument for the repeal of Paragraph 175 was now turned against homosexuals to deny them employment in the name of <national security>. This factor and others worked so strongly in McCarthy’s favor that despite bitter opposition he was reelected in 1952 in the Eisenhower landslide that brought the Republican Party back to the White House after 20 years of Democratic rule.
Once the Republicans had become the majority party for a brief time, McCarthy’s tactics became a source of embarrassment to them [huhu, quantas semelhanças…], and in 1954 a campaign was launched against him in the Senate which included the (true) accusation that a young University of Wisconsin graduate employed in his office in 1947 to handle veterans’ affairs had been arrested as a homosexual and then promptly fired, and the (probably false) accusation that McCarthy himself was a homosexual, which Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont included in his denunciation. However, it was alleged that McCarthy’s marriage in 1953 at the age of 45 was motivated by his need to squelch the rumors of his own sexual deviation; the marriage remained childless, though the couple did adopt a little girl. What is significant in retrospect is that Roy Cohn, a young attorney who was one of McCarthy’s chief aidés [sponsored by him] during his heyday, was a lifelong homosexual who died of AIDS in 1986 [meme Cazuza de direita]. Censured by the Senate in 1954, McCarthy thereafter faded in political importance, and when he died in 1957 no great wave of emotion went through the ranks of either his friends or his enemies.”
“The policy of denying employment to homosexuals on moral grounds and as security risks, however, remained long after McCarthy himself.”
“In France, after André Gide published his negative reflections on his trip to the Soviet Union in 1936-37, he was attacked by his former Communist associates as a pédé (faggot).”
“The sexual aspect of McCarthyism has an ancestry going as far back as Aeschines, Cicero, and the Byzantine Emperor Justinian (r. 527-565), whose laws against sodomites forged the <crime of those to whom no crime could be imputed>, a weapon for political intimidation and blackmail that even the enlightened 20th century has not deprived of its cutting edge.”
“the term <p(a)edophilia> was first used in English only as recently as 1906, by Havelock Ellis. It had previously appeared as a specific form of sexual pathology in a German article of 1896 by Richard von Krafft-Ebing. Because the term <pedophilia> originated in a medical context and today connotes disease, efforts have been made to replace it. Pederasty is sometimes used as a synonym, or as a term restricted to post-pubescent adolescents, but in the present writers’ view, it should properly be restricted to the Greek custom it originally designated, which, though a form of pedophilia as we understand it, is not congruent with it.” “The earlier average age for puberty within the last century also means that classical texts (and even more recent ones) which speak of relations with mid-teenage boys were not necessarily referring to sexually mature individuals. (The term ephebophile has been used to describe erotic attraction to boys in their late teens, who are considered adults in many if not all cultures.)” “woman/girl (korophile)” “<Child molestation> or <abuse>, terms current in the media, and in psychological and legal discourse, are neither descriptive of the phenomenon, nor value-free, as academic discourse requires.
That variant of pedophilia occurring between men and boys – male homosexual pedophilia – will be the chief focus of this article. This choice is dictated by several considerations, including the context of the article, the dearth [escassez] of research on korophile relationships, and the fact that until very recently man/boy relationships were accepted as a part, and indeed were a major part, of male homosexuality.”
“pedophilia might be considered a remnant, more evident in some persons than others, of the instinct to nurture and protect the young of the species, which in human development has come to serve an educational (including sex-educational) or initiatory purpose in some societies. The attempt to root pedophilia in man’s biological inheritance is controversial, but a cross-cultural survey of man/boy pedophilia at least suggests that it is a universal phenomenon, which, when accepted by a society, generally carries a socially constructed meaning related to the acculturation process for boys.”
“Several of these societies (as the Melanesians) believe that without receiving the man’s semen through fellatio the boy cannot physically mature.”
TRANSIÇÃO GRÉCIA-ROMA: “As the function of same-sex relationships increasingly became hedonistic, the age limits broke down: we find increasing references to homosexuality between men (particularly in the satiric poets, who make it clear that this was still scorned) and, to a lesser extent, to the sexual use of very young children.”
“That Ganymede was more than an artistic convention is shown by the number of artists who were charged with sodomy with boys, especially their studio assistants. Histories of the Renaissance record similar charges involving popes, poets, and nobles.”
“Incarcerated pedophiles continue to be subject to coercive procedures to alter their sexual interest or reduce its level. Although surgical castration is no longer employed, chemical dosages and aversion therapy may be used without the subject’s consent.”
“Much of the <research> that exists on pedophilia today reflects a predetermination that adult-child sexual contacts are evil or pathological, and merely documents the point of view with which the authors began. There has been no lack of evidence by which such negative pre-suppositions could be supported, because in the same way that studies of homosexuality until quite recently were limited by the source of their research subjects, resulting in a portrayal of homosexuals as criminal, troubled, and unhappy, most studies of pedophilia examine only cases which have come before either courts or psychiatrists, precisely those where the subjects are most under stress or disturbed. In many countries, research into pedophile relationships under other circumstances is legally
impossible: if a researcher should find a healthy, quietly functioning relationship he or she would be required to report it for prosecution under <child protection> laws. These factors, plus the sensationalism surrounding the topic, assure that much of what is written on the subject is, and will continue to be, worthless.”
“Pedophile organizations have linked their arguments to support of the rights of children. While emphasizing that these rights most certainly include the power to say ‘no’ to any unwanted sexual contact as well as the opportunity to say ‘yes’ to contacts children desire, some groups go further than others in espousing a broad range of children’s liberation issues. Related to the question of legal rights for children is the issue of the child’s consent in pedophile relationships. Those speaking for the protection of children frequently assert that children are incapable of consenting to such sexual relationships, sometimes justifying this assertion by the child’s lack of experience or knowledge of long-range consequences of an act. It has been answered that children can and do consent, or at least are quite capable of rejecting experiences they find distasteful, and that the proper response is to empower children to be able to say ‘no’ effectively. This impasse raises the issue of what consent means – freedom to refuse, simple assent, or an <informed> consent that is probably not realized in most human relationships? Closely related to this is the issue of power, and the assertion that the power imbalance between the adult and the younger partner in a pedophile relationship is so great that it inevitably leads to coercion and exploitation. Various responses have been made: either that the power imbalance is not so clear-cut as the critics state, particularly citing the power of the child to terminate the relationship; or that while power imbalances are inherent in all human relationships, they do not necessarily lead to exploitation, but can be used for benevolent ends, and the real issue is not the power imbalance but the use of power.
Child pornography is the sharpest point of attack on pedophilia and pedophiles. Included in this attack are the imputation that children are always abused in the production of such images, and the fear that such images will stimulate the abuse of children. It has been shown that this issue has been exploited for political purposes, and the statistics on the amount of such material exaggerated beyond proportion. Despite rhetoric, it has not been demonstrated that any more connection exists between pedophilia and child pornography than between any other sexuality and its pornography: either to show that pedophiles are more likely to create or use pornography than other persons, or that child pornography encourages sexual contacts with children. Indeed, the Kutschinsky study of the Danish experience with pornography, which has never been refuted, demonstrated that sexual assaults on children declined with the availability of pornography. Pedophiles who have responded to this issue have noted that there is no reason that depictions of children nude or even engaged in sexual actions should be any more or less objectionable than such depictions of adults, and argue that the true issue, as with all pornography, is whether coercion actually is employed in making it. The issues of child prostitution and the sexual exploitation of children in Third World countries have also been used to attack pedophiles and, by implication, pedophilia. Once it is acknowledged that pedophiles are by no means the only persons who engage in <sex tourism> or patronize prostitutes, the debate again seems to resolve itself into issues of power and consent. A defense has been offered that the right of self-determination in sexual behavior for the individual choosing prostitution should apply here. Poverty, however, may diminish the individual freedom of choice in these situations.”
???, Men and Boys[“America’s first anthology of homosexual poetry”];
Bleibtreu-Ehrenberg, Tabu Homosexualität: Die Geschichte eines Vorurteils (The taboo of homosexuality: The history of a prejudice), 1978;
______., Mannbarkeitsriten: Zur institutionellen Päderastie bei Papuas und Melanesiern (Rites of passage into manhood: On institutional paederasty in Papuas and Melanesians), 1980;
______., Der Weibmann: Kultischer Geschlechtswechsel im Schamanismus, eine Studie zur Transvestition und Transsexualität bei Naturvölkern (Androgynous: Cultic sex change in shamanism, a study on transvestism and transsexualism in primitives), 1984;
______., Paidika 1/3 (The Journal of Paedophilia): Der pädophile Impuls: Wie lernt ein junger Mensch Sexualität? (The paedophile impulse: Toward the Development of an Aetiology of Child-Adult Sexual Contacts from an Ethological and Ethnological Viewpoint), 1988;
Cook & Howells, Adult Sexual Interest in Children, 1981;
Fraser, Death of Narcissus, 1976;
Mackay, Books of the Nameless Love, 1913(sécs. XIX-XX; o pai do “associacionismo pedofílico”);
Theo Sandfort, The sexual aspect of paedosexual relations: The experiences of 25 boys with men, 2000.
“Through a large inheritance from his father the celebrated misanthrope enjoyed financial independence so that he could devote his life completely to philosophy. Even today Schopenhauer’s ethic of compassion possesses great philosophical significance.”
“Schopenhauer’s teleologically oriented conception of nature therefore had to assume in male homosexual behavior – the only form he discussed – a <stratagem of nature> (in the words of Oskar Eichler). Referring to Aristotle he hypothesized that young men (supposedly boys just past puberty) and likewise men who are too old (the magic boundary is here the age of 54) are not capable of begetting healthy and strong offspring, because their semen is too inferior. As nature is interested in perfecting every species, in men older than 54 <a pédérastie tendency gradually and imperceptibly makes its appearance>. When he formulated this argument Schopenhauer himself was 71 years old, so that he could have harbored a homosexual tendency for some years.”
“Schopenhauer was himself the father of at least two illegitimate children and had many unhappy affairs with women. He passionately admired Lord Byron and like him came to the conclusion that women could be considered beautiful only by <the male intellect clouded by the sexual instinct>. In intellectual and aesthetic respects Schopenhauer had homosexual preferences. In a letter to his admirer Julius Frauenstadt he stressed that <even women’s faces are nothing alongside those of handsome boys>. Bryan Magee hypothesizes that the philosopher systematically suppressed his gay tendencies, a view shared by Oskar Eichler and others. Thirty years after the publication of the third edition ofThe World as Will and RepresentationOswald Oskar Hartmann adopted Schopenhauer’s teleological explanation of homosexuality, suggesting that the first champions of homosexual rights voluntarily followed Schopenhauer’s arguments.”
“In its strongest form, lesbian separatism means social, cultural, and physical separation from all who are not lesbians. As society is now constituted this option is possible only for a very few. Many lesbians who regard themselves as separatists seek to live and work in circumstances that are as far as possible <women’s space>, without insisting on the absolute exclusion of men.”
“Aristophanes’ play Lysistrata (411 BC) shows Athenian women seceding from their city in a <sex strike>, but only temporarily – until the men agree to make peace. Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935), a pioneering American socialist and feminist, wrote a novel, Herland (1915; reprinted 1979), depicting a Utopia in Africa populated only by women.”
“Outsiders tend to label lesbian separatists as <women who hate men>. In their defense, separatists often say that what they are opposed to are the domineering, aggressive aspects of male behavior, rather than men themselves. They wish to make a clear statement that will set them apart from the ambivalent stance of heterosexual women, even those who profess feminism. Separatists believe that such straight women enter too readily into complicity with the power structure of patriarchy; by continuing to meet the sexual and emotional needs of men, these women give aid and comfort to the enemy.
Some women choose to form communes on <women’s land>, setting themselves apart from all males, including male children and animals. In so doing they hold that they are creating liberated zones in which their natures can grow unhampered by the dictates of patriarchy.”
“Some women have entered lesbian separatism for a number of years as part of a process of personal growth, only to emerge later with a more complex position. This seems to have been the experience of a principal theorist of the movement, Charlotte Bunch, who remains a radical lesbian feminist.”
“Of tenant farmer stock and the son of a glover, Shakespeare was born in the provincial town of Stratford-upon-Avon in England; however, the very few facts known about his life are derived from various legal documents. In 1582, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had 3 children within the next 3 years; the following 5 years are unaccounted for, but by 1594 he was involved in the theatre world in London as both an actor and a playwright. He enjoyed an increasingly successful theatrical career until his retirement in 1612 and his return to Stratford.”
“Shakespeare’s prolonged separation from his wife and the stipulation in his will that she inherit his <second best bed> has sparked much debate about his sexuality.”
“Historically, theatrical companies of Shakespeare’s time did not employ women; instead, their roles were played by boys, apprentices to the companies. In adherence to the laws and sympathies of the times, the plays were, therefore, unable to display any overtly sexual behavior, but one of Shakespeare’s most frequent plot devices was to have his heroines disguise themselves as boys, particularly in the comedies. Thus, what in reality was a boy pretending to be a woman pretending to be a boy leads to some psychologically acute and complex scenes with homoerotic suggestions, such as the encounters between Rosalind (as Ganymede, a name rich in suggestiveness) and Orlando in As You Like It and Viola (as Caesario) and Orsino in Twelfth Night.
“For more substantive evidence, one must turn instead to Shakespeare’s sequence of 154 poems in the form of sonnets, published surreptitiously in 1609 and immediately protested by their author. Probably intended as a personal exercise for private circulation, the sonnets may be the works that reveal something of the man himself; in them, Shakespeare names the persona Will, an obviously personal and intimate diminution of William, and, as in most of the Renaissance sonnet sequences, their subject is erotic love. Dedicated to Mr. W.H., who has been variously identified as the Earl of Southampton, a boy actor named Willy Hewes, Shakespeare himself (in a misprint of his initials), someone unknown to history, or someone invented, the first 126 are clearly homoerotic, while most of the others concern a woman conventionally called <the Dark Lady>. Historically, those scholars who begrudgingly admit to their subject matter try to discount their message. Most claim that the attraction the persona feels for the fair young man is either platonic or unconsummated; others assert that the poems are only examples of the Renaissance male friendship tradition. Still others insist on the fallacy of equating the persona with the poet and confusing literature with autobiography.”
Joseph Pequigney, Such Is My Love: A Study of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985.
“In early life he was interested in the scientific philosophy of his time and is said to have associated with Archelaus the physicist, but in the period best known to posterity he had abandoned these interests and was concerned solely with the right conduct of life, a quest which he conducted by the so-called <Socratic> method of cross-examining the individuals whom he encountered. While serving in the army he gained a great reputation for bravery, and as one of the presidents of the Athenian Assembly at the trial of the generals after the battle of Arginusae, he courageously refused to put an illegal motion to the vote despite the fury of the multitude.”
“There has been considerable dispute over the precise meaning of the indictment, but the first part seems not to have been serious, while the second amounted to a charge that he had a <subversive> influence on the minds of the young, which was based on his known friendship with some of those who had been most prominent in their attacks on democracy in Athens. He made no attempt to placate the jury and was found guilty and sentenced to die by drinking a cup of hemlock.”
“He probably rejected the conventional Greek religious beliefs of his time, yet professed or created no heterodox religious doctrines. From time to time he had paranormal experiences, signs, or warnings which he interpreted as guideposts to his own conduct.
His sexual life, apart from the unhappy marriage, reflected the Greek custom of paiderasteia to the fullest. He was both the teacher of the young men who frequented his circle and the lover of at least some of them. As a boy of 17 he had been the favorite of Archelaus, because he was in the bloom of youthful sensuality, which later gave place to serious intellectual concerns.”
“he was never given to a coarse and purely sensual pederasty; if the beauty of the young Alcibiades made an intense and lasting impression on him, he never forgot his duty as a teacher to guide his youthful pupils toward perfection.” “As a bisexual Hellene, Socrates was always responsive to the beauty of the male adolescent and craved the companionship of young men; as a philosopher he practiced and taught the virtues of moderation and self-control. He endures as one of the outstanding examples in antiquity of a teacher for whom eros was an inspiration and a guide.
Because Socrates is a major figure in Western tradition, his sexual nature posed a continual problem. From Ficino to Johann Matthias Gesner (1691-1761) scholars sought to address the question discreetly. The Marquis de Sade was bolder, using socratiser as a verb meaning to sodomize. Even today, however, many classicists choose to evade the problem.”
SODOM AND GOMORRAH
“These legendary cities have been traditionally located in the vicinity of the Dead Sea, where they constituted two members of a pentapolis, the Cities of the Plain. According to the Old Testament account in Genesis 14, 18, and 19, God overthrew 4 of the 5 cities in a rain of brimstone and fire. The names of Sodom and Gomorrah, especially the former, have become proverbial. Echoes of the episode recur in the Bible and in the Koran, as well as in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic exegetical and homiletic writings. From the first city, Jewish Hellenistic Greek formed the derivative sodomites, from which medieval Latin obtained the noun of agent sodomita – as a result, the connection with male homosexuality is for many axiomatic. However the matter is more complex.”
“The ancient world’s rudimentary science of geology correctly related this barrenness to the circumstance that the water level of the Dead Sea had in prehistoric times been far higher; the sinking of the water level had exposed the previously inundated, now strikingly arid and sterile region to the gaze of the traveler.”
“to the Bedouin living east and south of the Dead Sea it suggested the etiological inference that at one time the area surrounding this salinized body of water had been a fruitful garden belt. Yet the inhabitants of the cities of the plain had even in the midst of their abundance and prosperity denied hospitality to the poverty-stricken and the wayfarer, while the luxury in which they wallowed led them inevitably into effeminacy and vice (the parallel in the Hellenistic world was the city of Sybaris, whose proverbial self-indulgence gave the English language the word sybaritic). For this reason they were punished by the destruction of their cities and the conversion of the whole area into a lifeless desert.”
“In Genesis 14:12 Lot is taken captive when Sodom is conquered by the 4 kings who have allied themselves against the Cities of the Plain; Abraham saves him by military intervention in the manner of a tribal sheikh with his retinue of 318 warriors. In 19:4-9 the Sodomites threaten Lot’s guests with gang rape, but are miraculously blinded and repelled, and in 19:13, 15 the angelic visitors warn Lot of the imminent destruction of the city so that he and his family can leave just in time to escape the rain of brimstone and fire. This underlying motif explains why Lot later <feared to dwell in Zoar> (19:30), even though God has spared the place as a reward for his model hospitality toward the 2 visitors. Over the centuries Sodom and Gomorrah, along with the Babylon of the Book of Revelation, came to symbolize the corruption and depravity of the big city as contrasted with the virtue and innocence of the countryside, a notion cherished by those who idealized rural life and is still present, though fading in 20th century America.”
“These volcanic eruptions, which have left traces still to be seen at the present day, inspired the <rain of brimstone and fire> (burning sulfur) of Genesis 19:24, which supplemented the notion that the 4 cities had been <overthrown> (destroyed by an earthquake) that figures in Genesis 19:25.” Sempre o nº 4!
+ Judges 19; Romans 1:18
“the currency in antiquity of world destruction legends, in which the earth is annihilated either by water (kataklysmos) or by fire (ekvyrosis). The story of Noah and the deluge is the rendering of the first in the book of Genesis, while the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is a localization of the second, in which the catastrophe is limited to 4 cities in the vicinity of the Dead Sea (Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim) even though the epilogue involving Lot and his daughters clearly derives from a universal conflagration myth.”
“If the human race were annihilated with the exception of a single family, the earth could be repeopled only by means of sexual unions ordinarily condemned as incestuous.”
“World destruction fantasies [are] associated in modern clinical experience with the early stages of schizophrenia.”
“Astrological literature supplied the ancients with an entire list of calamities that betokened divine wrath, as in Luke 21:11, all of which were later ascribed to retribution for <sodomy>. Fear of homosexual aggression plays a role in these paranoid fantasies, of the sort analyzed by Freud in the classic Schreber case.”
“The notion of sodomy is an innovation of Latin Christianity toward the end of the 12th century; it is not found in Jewish or Byzantine writings.” “In the late Middle Ages the tendency of the allegorizing mind to parallelism led to the notion that Gomorrah, the twin city of Sodom, had been a hotbed of lesbianism, even though there was nothing in either Testament that would suggest such a construction.”
TURING, ALAN (1912-1954)
“He seems to have been a brilliant, awkward boy whose latent genius went unnoticed by all his teachers; he also had no friends until his very last years at Sherborne. Then he fell in love with a fellow science enthusiast, Christopher Morcom: the Platonic friendship was returned, and Alan Turing was for the first time in his life a happy young man. He had dreams of joining Christopher at Trinity, to pursue science together – unfortunately, Christopher Morcom suddenly died (from a much earlier infection with bovine tuberculosis).”
“Turing spent two years in America, at Princeton University, and, on his return to Britain, was drafted into British cryptanalysis for the war effort. Turing was already unusual among mathematicians for his interest in machinery; it was not an interest in applied mathematics so much as something which did not really have a name yet – applied logic. His contribution to the design of code-breaking machines during the war led him deeper and deeper into the field of what would now be called computer programming, except that neither concept existed at the time. He and a colleague named Welshman designed the Bombe machines which were to prove decisive in breaking the main German Enigma ciphers. For his contribution to the Allied victory in World War II Turing was named an Officer of the British Empire (O.B.E.) in 1946. (…) He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1951.”
“The earliest inventor of such a device was the eccentric 19th century Charles Babbage, who could not obtain the necessary hardware to implement his ideas.”
“He was brought to trial and sentenced to a year’s probation under the care of a psychiatrist, who proceeded to administer doses of female hormone to his patient, this being the current <wonder-therapy> which replaced castration as an attempt to kill the sexual instinct. For the entire year, Turing underwent the humiliation of femininization (<I’m growing breasts!>, he confided to a friend), but emerged seemingly intact from the public ordeal. He committed suicide in 1954, by eating an apple he had laced with cyanide.”
A VIDA TEM DESSAS: “Often acclaimed as America’s greatest poet, Whitman, of working-class background, was self-taught, but as a printer, school teacher, journalist, and editor he contributed fiction and verse in the worst modes of the day to the best literary journals. There is no evidence of his genius until he suddenly began to write scraps of what was to become Leaves of Grassin his notebooks.”
“It has in fact been argued that Leaves is an inverted mystical experience. This work, which encompassed his complete poetic opus, was first published in 1855 with 12 poems (Song of Myself being rather lengthy); the second edition (1857) had 32, the third (1860) 156, and so on through various printings and editions until 1881. Beginning in 1860, Whitman not only added poems (including the homoerotic Calamus collection), but dropped them, changed them, and rearranged the order. He has often been criticized for making changes, but he clearly did not do so for purposes of concealment.”
“In his more programmatic poems, Whitman was always careful to say he and she, him and her. Women are permitted to have sexual lives, and he sympathizes with a prostitute, but they are generally thought of and idealized as perfect mothers for the new race of Americans.”
“It was his explicitness about male-female sex that shocked his early readers. Only a few homosexuals in England and some readers in Germany caught what is now obvious to any reader who can admit what he sees on the page. The 2nd and 3rd sections of Song of Myself are homosexual in their imagery, as is the subsequent discussion of the body and soul, which climaxes in the intercourse between body and soul in the 5th section. One might also cite the tremendous sweep of eroticism from section 24 to the climax of fulfillment in male intercourse in section 29.”
“He was not merely the poet of an idealized Jacksonian democracy nor of a new political structure, but of a culture bound together by love and religious faith in which each person could fulfill his or her own sexual nature.”
“Whitman, who was disappointed at his contemporary reception, would have been gratified by his reputation in the 20th century, which is too widespread to more than mention. He is the democratic poet and a progenitor of the development of poetry beyond traditional metrical practice in the United States and foreign countries. A remarkable number of modern poets have paid him tribute in prose or verse, among the most notable being Ezra Pound, Pablo Neruda, Federico García Lorca, Fernando Pessoa, and Allen Ginsberg.”
“Virginia Woolf was educated largely through reading books in the family library. Unlike her brothers, she did not go to university, and this perceived slight was later to sustain her feminist critique of discrimination against women. In 1912 she married Leonard Woolf, a brilliant Cambridge graduate who had served as a judge in Ceylon, and her sister Vanessa married the art critic Clive Bell. The two couples were major figures in the Bloomsbury group, which also included such male homosexual writers as E.M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes, and Lytton Strachey. Through much of her life Virginia suffered from severe spells of mental depression, and it was partly to provide work therapy that she and Leonard founded the Hogarth Press in 1917.”
“Virginia Woolf remained a virgin until her marriage, and found the idea of sex with a man repellent. At the time of their engagement she warned Leonard of this aversion, and their sexual relations seem to have been rare. Before marriage Virginia Stephen was closely attached to her sister Vanessa – loving her almost to the point of <thought-incest> –, and was deeply involved platonically with Madge Vaughan, a daughter of John Addington Symonds, and Violet Dickinson, to whom she wrote an enormous number of letters. Throughout her life, Woolf was to draw emotional sustenance from her intense relations with other women.
Her first novel, The Voyage Out (1915), concerns the trip of a young Englishwoman to South America, followed by her engagement and death there. While this novel was conventional in form, Jacob’s Room (1922) joined the mainstream of innovative modernism through its poetic impressionism and indirection of narrative development. After this work, which marks her real beginning as a literary artist, Woolf secured her place in modernism by a series of carefully wrought books. Mrs. Dalloway (1925) blends interior monologue with the sights and sounds of a single day in central London. To the Lighthouse (1927) explores the tensions of the male-female dyad in the form of a holiday trip of Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey. Its fantastic form notwithstanding, Orlando (1928) is of great personal significance, tracing the biography of the hero-heroine through 4 centuries of male and female existence. This book is a tribute to, and portrait of, her lover Vita Sackville-West, whom she had met in 1922. Woolf’s most ambitious novel is probably The Waves (1931) which presents the contrasting personalities of 6 characters through a series of <recitatives> in which their inner consciousness is revealed.
Shortly after completing her last book, Between the Acts (1941), she suffered a final bout of mental illness and drowned herself in a river near her country home. The posthumous publication of Virginia Woolf’s Letters and Diaries have revealed some unattractive aspects of her personality: she was xenophobic and snobbish, sometimes given to expressions of personal malice, as well as anti-Semitic and homophobic sides. Yet she participated wholeheartedly in the Bloomsbury ethic of individual fulfillment and social enlightenment. Her use of stream-of-consciousness techniques, and other sophisticated literary devices, places her very near the front rank – if not within it – of modernist writers in English.
With the general decline of the Bloomsbury ethos in the middle decades of the century, Woolf’s reputation seemed to fade. In the 1970s, however, feminist critics hailed her as a major champion of then-cause. There is no doubt that A Room of One’s Own (1929), and its sequel, Three Guineas (1938), are powerful pleas for women’s creative independence. Yet her own feminism was fluid and variable, and thus not easily accommodated to present-minded uses. Throughout her life she struggled valiantly against mental illness, succeeding in building up an imposing corpus of writings while expressing her own emotional feelings in her deep relationships with women.”
WORKING CLASS, EROTICIZATION OF
“One of the reasons why Walt Whitman had such an impact on English homosexuals of this period was that his praise of democracy was (mis)understood in large part as a veiled plea for such prince-and-pauper liaisons.”