ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HOMOSEXUALITY

PREFACE

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.

ACHILLES

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)

AESCHINES

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.

AESCHYLUS

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 paiderasteia in Greece toward the beginning of the sixth century before our era.”

(o artigo de William Percy foi transcrito na íntegra)

AFRICA, NORTH

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.

ALCIBIADES

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.

ANARCHISM

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.”

ANDROGYNY

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.

ANIMAL HOMOSEXUALITY

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.

ARISTOCRATIC VICE

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.”

ARISTOTLE

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.

ART, VISUAL

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.”

pe(re)nial tradition

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.”

BALZAC

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, ROLAND

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 force S/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.

BEAT GENERATION

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-[1997]) 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-[1997]), 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 Lunch became 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 Machine and The Ticket That Exploded to 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.”

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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.

BUDDHISM

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 [1972]. 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.”

BYRON

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.”

CAESAR

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;

Caesar, Gallic Wars (uma prosa bélica comemorativa cortante)

CAPOTE

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

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.”

caravaggio1

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.”

caravaggio2
Baco/Dionísio pelas mãos do pintor bissexual italiano.

CASTRATI

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

CATAMITE

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.”

CATULLUS

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 [1990].”

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)

CERVANTES

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 [1982], 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.

CHINA

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)

CHRISTIANITY

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

CHURCHES, GAY

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.”

CICERO

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 of Verres, 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.”

The term patientia used with reference to Verres implies the passivity in sexual relations that is degrading and unworthy of a free man, just as in the case of Mark Antony, charged with having <prostituted himself to all>, much like the Timarchus whom Aeschines had denounced centuries earlier in Athens for a like failing [op. cit. – para mais detalhes, vide seção OBRAS RECOMENDADAS em https://seclusao.art.blog/2019/09/28/do-espirito-das-leis-de-montesquieu-abreviado-na-traducao-de-jean-melville-com-comentarios-e-aprofundamentos-de-rafael-aguiar-indicacoes-de-leituras-durante-o-tratado-e-ao-final/].”

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”

CIRCUMCISION

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.

CLASS

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.

CLERGY, GAY

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.”

COCTEAU, JEAN

The Infernal Machine (peça)

COLETTE

A happy childhood is a bad preparation for contact with human beings.”

COLOR SYMBOLISM

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.”

COMICS

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).”

COMING OUT

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.”

CONTEST LITERATURE

Diálogos.

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.”

COUNTERCULTURE

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.”

CROWLEY, ALEISTER

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.

CRUISING

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!]

CUBA

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

DANDYISM

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.”

DANTE ALIGHIERI

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 1950 Andre 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.”

DIONYSUS

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.

DREAMS

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.”

DRUGS

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).

EGYPT

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.”

ELLIS, HAVELOCK

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.

EPHEBOPHILIA

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.”

EPICUREANISM

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.”

FAGGOT

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.

FASCISM

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 Marquis Cesare 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.

FILM

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’s Reflections 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.

FLAUBERT

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].”

FOUCAULT

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.”

FOURIER

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.”

FRANCE

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.”

FREE-MASONRY

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.”

FREUDIAN CONCEPTS

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>.”

FRIENDSHIP, MALE

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)

GAMES, GAY

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.”

GAY

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>.”

GAY STUDIES

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.”

GENET, JEAN

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.”

GERMANY

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.

GIDE, ANDRÉ

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)

GILGAMESH

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)

GOETHE

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).”

GREECE, ANCIENT

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.”

GREECE, MODERN

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.

GREEK ANTHOLOGY

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.

HANDBALLING

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.

HOLOCAUST, GAY

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.”

HOMER

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.

HUMBOLDT

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.”

HYDRAULIC METAPHOR

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.”

INCARCERATION MOTIF

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.”

JUNG

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.”

KEYNES

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.”

LORCA

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.”

PEDOPHILIA

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.

SCHOPENHAUER

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 of The World as Will and Representation Oswald Oskar Hartmann adopted Schopenhauer’s teleological explanation of homosexuality, suggesting that the first champions of homosexual rights voluntarily followed Schopenhauer’s arguments.”

SEPARATISM, LESBIAN

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.”

SHAKESPEARE

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.

SOCRATES

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.”

WHITMAN, WALT

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 Grass in 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.”

WOOLF, VIRGINIA

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.

LA(LES) FEMME(S) DE TRENTE ANS OU DA FRIGIDEZ E DA AUTO-REALIZAÇÃO NA MESMA ÁRVORE GENEALÓGICA – Balzac

“– L’on te croit ma femme, dit-il à l’oreille de la jeune personne en se redressant et marchant avec une lenteur qui la désespéra.

Il semblait avoir de la coquetterie pour sa fille et jouissait peut-être plus qu’elle des oeillades que les curieux lançaient sur ses petits pieds chaussés de brodequins en prunelle puce, sur une taille délicieuse dessinée par une robe à guimpe, et sur le cou frais qu’une collerette brodée ne cachait pas entièrement.”

Ce dimanche était le treizième de l’année 1813. Le surlendemain, Napoléon partait pour cette fatale campagne pendant laquelle il allait perdre successivement Bessières et Duroc, gagner les mémorables batailles de Lutzen et de Bautzen, se voir trahi par l’Autriche, la Saxe, la Bavière, par Bernadotte, et disputer la terrible bataille de Leipsick. La magnifique parade commandée par l’empereur devait être la dernière de celles qui excitèrent si longtemps l’admiration des Parisiens et des étrangers. La vieille garde allait exécuter pour la dernière fois les savantes manoeuvres dont la pompe et la précision étonnèrent quelquefois jusqu’à ce géant lui-même, qui s’apprêtait alors à son duel avec l’Europe. Un sentiment triste amenait aux Tuileries une brillante et curieuse population. Chacun semblait deviner l’avenir, et pressentait peut-être que plus d’une fois l’imagination aurait à retracer le tableau de cette scène, quand ces temps héroïques de la France contracteraient, comme aujourd’hui, des teintes presque fabuleuses.”

Son amour pour cette belle créature lui faisait autant admirer le présent que craindre l’avenir. Il semblait se dire : – Elle est heureuse aujourd’hui, le sera-telle toujours? Car les vieillards sont assez enclins à doter de leurs chagrins l’avenir des jeunes gens.

“– Restons, mon père. D’ici je puis encore apercevoir l’empereur. S’il périssait pendant la campagne, je ne l’aurais jamais vu.”

Le cordon de sentinelles, établi pour laisser un passage libre à l’empereur et à son état-major, avait beaucoup de peine à ne pas être débordé par cette foule empressée et bourdonnant comme un essaim.”

La France allait faire ses adieux à Napoléon, à la veille d’une campagne dont les dangers étaient prévus par le moindre citoyen. Il s’agissait, cette fois, pour l’Empire Français, d’être ou de ne pas être.” “Entre la plupart des assistants et des militaires, il se disait des adieux peut-être éternels ; mais tous les coeurs, même les plus hostiles à l’empereur, adressaient au ciel des voeux ardents pour la gloire de la patrie. Les hommes les plus fatigués de la lutte commencée entre l’Europe et la France avaient tous déposé leurs haines en passant sous l’arc de triomphe, comprenant qu’au jour du danger Napoléon était toute la France. L’horloge du château sonna une demi-heure. En ce moment les bourdonnements de la foule cessèrent, et le silence devint si profond, que l’on eût entendu la parole d’un enfant.”

Des cris de: Vive l’empereur! furent poussés par la multitude enthousiasmée. Enfin tout frissonna, tout remua, tout s’ébranla. Napoléon était monté à cheval. Ce mouvement avait imprimé la vie à ces masses silencieuses, avait donné une voix aux instruments, un élan aux aigles et aux drapeaux, une émotion à toutes les figures. Les murs des hautes galeries de ce vieux palais semblaient crier aussi: Vive l’empereur! Ce ne fut pas quelque chose d’humain, ce fut une magie, un simulacre de la puissance divine, ou mieux une fugitive image de ce règne si fugitif. L’homme entouré de tant d’amour, d’enthousiasme, de dévouement, de voeux, pour qui le soleil avait chassé les nuages du ciel, resta sur son cheval, à trois pas en avant du petit escadron doré qui le suivait, ayant le grand-maréchal à sa gauche, le maréchal de service à sa droite. Au sein de tant d’émotions excitées par lui, aucun trait de son visage ne parut s’émouvoir.”

Le colonel Victor d’Aiglemont à peine âgé de trente ans, était grand, bien fait, svelte; et ses heureuses proportions ne ressortaient jamais mieux que quand il employait sa force à gouverner un cheval dont le dos élégant et souple paraissait plier sous lui.”

Je pense, Julie, que vous avez des secrets pour moi. – Tu aimes, reprit vivement le vieillard en s’apercevant que sa fille venait de rougir. Ah! j’espérais te voir fidèle à ton vieux père jusqu’à sa mort, j’espérais te conserver près de moi heureuse et brillante! t’admirer comme tu étais encore naguère. En ignorant ton sort, j’aurais pu croire à un avenir tranquille pour toi ; mais maintenant il est impossible que j’emporte une espérance de bonheur pour ta vie, car tu aimes encore plus le colonel que tu n’aimes le cousin. Je n’en puis plus douter.

Julie, j’aimerais mieux te savoir amoureuse d’un vieillard que de te voir aimant le colonel. Ah! si tu pouvais te placer à dix ans d’ici dans la vie, tu rendrais justice à mon expérience. Je connais Victor: sa gaieté est une gaieté sans esprit, une gaieté de caserne, il est sans talent et dépensier. C’est un de ces hommes que le ciel a créés pour prendre et digérer quatre repas par jour, dormir, aimer la première venue et se battre. Il n’entend pas la vie. Son bon coeur, car il a bon coeur, l’entraînera peut-être à donner

sa bourse à un malheureux, à un camarade ; mais il est insouciant, mais il n’est pas doué de cette délicatesse de coeur qui nous rend esclaves du bonheur d’une femme ; mais il est ignorant, égoïste… Il y a beaucoup de mais.”

Mais, ma pauvre Julie, tu es encore trop jeune, trop faible, trop délicate pour supporter les chagrins et les tracas du mariage. D’Aiglemont a été gâté par ses parents, de même que tu l’as été par ta mère et par moi. Comment espérer que vous pourrez vous entendre tous deux avec des volontés différentes dont les tyrannies seront inconciliables? (…) Je connais les militaires, ma Julie; j’ai vécu aux armées. Il est rare que le coeur de ces gens-là puisse triompher des habitudes produites ou par les malheurs au sein desquels ils vivent, ou par les hasards de leur vie aventurière.

Épouse Victor, ma Julie. Un jour tu déploreras amèrement sa nullité, son défaut d’ordre, son égoïsme, son indélicatesse, son ineptie en amour, et mille autres chagrins qui te viendront par lui. Alors, souviens-toi que, sous ces arbres, la voix prophétique de ton vieux père a retenti vainement à tes oreilles!”

* * *

Un an après…

À travers le tendre feuillage des îles, au fond du tableau, Tours semble, comme Venise, sortir du sein des eaux.”

En plus d’un endroit il existe trois étages de maisons, creusées dans le roc et réunies par de dangereux escaliers taillés à même la pierre. Au sommet d’un toit, une jeune fille en jupon rouge court à son jardin. La fumée d’une cheminée s’élève entre les sarments et le pampre naissant d’une vigne. Des closiers labourent des champs perpendiculaires.”

Cette partie de la France, la seule que les armées étrangères ne devaient point troubler, était en ce moment la seule qui fût tranquille, et l’on eût dit qu’elle défiait l’Invasion.”

Julie d’Aiglemont ne ressemblait déjà plus à la jeune fille qui courait naguère avec joie et bonheur à la revue des Tuileries. Son visage, toujours délicat, était privé des couleurs roses qui jadis lui donnaient un si riche éclat. Les touffes noires de quelques cheveux défrisés par l’humidité de la nuit faisaient ressortir la blancheur mate de sa tête, dont la vivacité semblait engourdie. Cependant ses yeux brillaient d’un feu surnaturel; mais au-dessous de leurs paupières, quelques teintes violettes se dessinaient sur les joues fatiguées. Elle examina d’un oeil indifférent les campagnes du Cher, la Loire et ses îles, Tours et les longs rochers de Vouvray; puis, sans vouloir regarder la ravissante vallée de la Cise, elle se rejeta promptement dans le fond de la calèche, et dit d’une voix qui en plein air paraissait d’une extrême faiblesse: – Oui, c’est

admirable. Elle avait comme on le voit pour son malheur triomphé de son père.

Julie, n’aimerais-tu pas à vivre ici?

Oh! là ou ailleurs, dit-elle avec insouciance.

Souffres-tu? lui demanda le colonel d’Aiglemont.

Pas du tout, répondit la jeune femme avec une vivacité momentanée. Elle contempla son mari en souriant et ajouta : – J’ai envie de dormir.”

Elle eut un air aussi stupide que peut l’être celui d’un paysan breton écoutant le prône de son curé.”

Il y a beaucoup d’hommes dont le coeur est puissamment ému par la seule apparence de la souffrance chez une femme: pour eux la douleur semble être une promesse de constance ou d’amour.”

Chargé par l’empereur de porter des ordres au maréchal Soult, qui avait à défendre la France de l’invasion faite par les Anglais dans le Béarn, le colonel d’Aiglemont profitait de sa mission pour soustraire sa femme aux dangers qui menaçaient alors Paris, et la conduisait à Tours chez une vieille parente à lui.”

Ma Julie n’est ni coquette ni jalouse, elle a une douceur d’ange…”

il était bien difficile à une femme amie de Duclos et du maréchal de Richelieu de ne pas chercher à deviner le secret de ce jeune ménage.”

Après avoir échangé quelques mots avec cette tante, à laquelle elle avait écrit naguère une lettre de nouvelle mariée, elle resta silencieuse comme si elle eût écouté la musique d’un opéra.”

Ma chère petite, nous connaissons la douleur des veuves, répondit la tante.

Aussi, malgré l’envie qu’avait la vieille dame de promener orgueilleusement sa jolie nièce, finit-elle par renoncer à vouloir la mener dans le monde. La comtesse avait trouvé un prétexte à sa solitude et à sa tristesse dans le chagrin que lui avait causé la mort de son père, de qui elle portait encore le deuil. Au bout de huit jours, la douairière admira la douceur angélique, les grâces modestes, l’esprit indulgent de Julie, et s’intéressa, dès lors, prodigieusement à la mystérieuse mélancolie qui rongeait ce jeune coeur. (…) Un mois suffit pour établir entre elles une éternelle amitié.”

Elle devina que ni le souvenir paternel ni l’absence de Victor n’étaient la cause de la mélancolie profonde qui jetait un voile sur la vie de sa nièce; puis elle eut tant de mauvais soupçons, qu’il lui fut difficile de s’arrêter à la véritable cause du mal, car nous ne rencontrons peut-être le vrai que par hasard. Un jour, enfin, Julie fit briller aux yeux de sa tante étonnée un oubli complet du mariage, une folie de jeune fille étourdie, une candeur d’esprit, un enfantillage digne du premier âge, tout cet esprit délicat, et parfois si profond, qui distingue les jeunes personnes en France. Madame de Listomère résolut alors de sonder les mystères de cette âme dont le naturel extrême équivalait à une impénétrable dissimulation.”

La tante, bien convaincue que sa nièce n’aimait pas son neveu, fut stupéfaite en découvrant qu’elle n’aimait personne. Elle trembla d’avoir à reconnaître en Julie un coeur désenchanté, une jeune femme à qui l’expérience d’un jour, d’une nuit peut-être, avait suffi pour apprécier la nullité de Victor.”

Elle se proposait alors de convertir Julie aux doctrines monarchiques du siècle de Louis XV; mais, quelques heures plus tard, elle apprit, ou plutôt elle devina la situation assez commune dans le monde à laquelle la comtesse devait sa mélancolie.”

Confusão nesta edição entre os títulos de “comtesse” e “marquise”, que parecem se referir alternadamente à jovem “sobrinha” recém-casada com o coronel da era bonapartista e a “tia”, não de sangue, tia do coronel, a velha que a acolhe no campo devido à guerra estourando na capital. Erro de revisão ou de redação de Balzac?

Tu vas te marier, Louisa. Cette pensée me fait frémir. Pauvre petite, marie-toi; puis, dans quelques mois, un de tes plus poignants regrets viendra du souvenir de ce que nous étions naguère, quand un soir, à Écouen, parvenues toutes deux sous les plus grands chênes de la montagne, nous contemplâmes la belle vallée que nous avions à nos pieds, et que nous y admirâmes les rayons du soleil couchant dont les reflets nous enveloppaient. Nous nous assîmes sur un quartier de roche, et tombâmes dans un ravissement auquel succéda la plus douce mélancolie. Tu trouvas la première que ce soleil lointain nous parlait d’avenir. Nous étions bien curieuses et bien folles alors! Te souviens-tu de toutes nos extravagances? Nous nous embrassâmes comme deux amants, disions-nous. Nous nous jurâmes que la première mariée de nous deux raconterait fidèlement à l’autre ces secrets d’hyménée, ces joies que nos âmes enfantines nous peignaient si délicieuses. Cette soirée fera ton désespoir, Louisa. Dans ce temps, tu étais jeune, belle, insouciante, sinon heureuse; un mari te rendra, en peu de jours, ce que je suis déjà, laide, souffrante et vieille. Te dire combien j’étais fière, vaine et joyeuse d’épouser le colonel Victor d’Aiglemont, ce serait une folie! Et même comment te le dirai-je? je ne me souviens plus de moi-même. En peu d’instants mon enfance est devenue comme un songe. La contenance pendant la journée solennelle qui consacrait un lien dont l’étendue m’était cachée n’a pas été exempte de reproches. Mon père a plus d’une fois tâché de réprimer ma gaieté, car je témoignais des joies qu’on trouvait inconvenantes, et mes discours révélaient de la malice, justement parce qu’ils étaient sans malice. Je faisais mille enfantillages avec ce voile nuptial, avec cette robe et ces fleurs. Restée seule, le soir, dans la chambre où j’avais été conduite avec apparat, je méditai quelque espièglerie [faceirice] pour intriguer Victor ; et, en attendant qu’il vînt, j’avais des palpitations de coeur semblables à celles qui me saisissaient autrefois en ces jours solennels du 31 décembre, quand, sans être aperçue, je me glissais dans le salon où les étrennes [embrulhos de Natal] étaient entassées. Lorsque mon mari entra, qu’il me chercha, le rire étouffé que je fis entendre sous les mousselines qui m’enveloppaient a été le dernier éclat de cette gaieté douce qui anima les jeux de notre enfance…

depuis Ève jusqu’à nous, le mariage a paru chose si excellente – Vous n’avez plus de mère?”

Parfois ne pensez-vous point que l’amour légitime est plus dur à porter que ne le serait une passion criminelle?”

Enfin, mon ange, vous adorez Victor, n’est-ce pas? mais vous aimeriez mieux être sa soeur que sa femme, et le mariage enfin ne vous réussit point.

Hé! bien, oui, ma tante. Mais pourquoi sourire?”

“– Enfim, meu anjo, você adora o Victor, não é? mas você amaria ainda mais ser sua irmã que sua mulher, e o casamento, portanto, em nada lhe apraz!

É… é isso mesmo, minha tia! Mas por que a gargalhada?”

Sous le règne de notre bien-aimé Louis XV, une jeune femme qui se serait trouvée dans la situation où vous êtes aurait bientôt puni son mari de se conduire en vrai lansquenet. L’égoïste ! Les militaires de ce tyran impérial sont tous de vilains ignorants. Ils prennent la brutalité pour de la galanterie, ils ne connaissent pas plus les femmes qu’ils ne savent aimer; ils croient que d’aller à la mort le lendemain les dispense d’avoir, la veille, des égards et des attentions pour nous. Autrefois, l’on savait aussi bien aimer que mourir à propos. Ma nièce, je vous le formerai. Je mettrai fin au triste désaccord, assez naturel, qui vous conduirait à vous haïr l’un et l’autre, à souhaiter un divorce, si toutefois vous n’étiez pas morte avant d’en venir au désespoir.” “Sob o reinado de nosso adorado Luís XV, uma jovem na sua situação cedo saberia punir seu marido por agir como um militarzinho destemperado¹. O egoísta! Os militares desse tirano imperial são todos uns vilães ignorantes. Confundem brutalidade com charme, são incapazes de compreender as mulheres, não sabem mais amá-las; eles crêem piamente que por terem, em média, uma vida curta, devotada ao campo de batalha, isso lhes dá licença de, antes de partirem deste mundo, ser prestativos e atenciosos. Antigamente, sabia-se tanto morrer pelo seu país quanto amar dignamente. Ah, sobrinha, eu tomarei os cuidados de formá-la! Porei fim a esse triste desacordo, tão natural, afinal, que condu-la, e ao seu marido, ao mútuo ódio e desprezo; se não ao divórcio, à morte precoce, de tanta tristeza, ou quem sabe à loucura, principalmente da fêmea, a sofredora-mor.”

¹ Escolha difícil de tradução. Lansquenet se refere, de modo geral, a três significados diferentes: 1. soldado alemão, de onde veio a palavra; 2. soldado de infantaria francês; 3. tornou-se, ainda, um jogo de azar (de cartas). O termo adquiriu ar pejorativo na França, conotando “brutalidade”, “falta de espírito”. Poderíamos dizer que um lansquenet é um mero tratante. É conhecida a rivalidade histórica entre a França e a Alemanha. Um lansquenet da época de Napoleão, para quem vive na era pós-napoleônica, sintetiza tudo de repulsivo que havia na classe militar do tempo imperial; arrogantes como o mestre das guerras Napoleão Bonaparte, seu venerado chefe militar, esta(s) geração(ões) de soldados se transformou(aram) em homens absolutamente faltos de caráter e incapazes de constituir uma família feliz nos tempos de paz. Ou seja, a tia admoesta a sobrinha: antigamente, quando havia os valores aristocratas, as mulheres saberiam maltratar um mau marido, devolver o tratamento na mesma moeda. E os maus maridos eram escassos. Hoje, que os valores estão degenerados, falta às esposas o vigor, e quase todos os maridos militares são uns pulhas insensíveis.

“– Soyez ma mère! La tante ne pleura pas, car la Révolution a laissé aux femmes de

l’ancienne monarchie peu de larmes dans les yeux.” Seja minha mãe! A tia não chorou, porque a Revolução deixou às mulheres da antiga monarquia poucas, quase nada de lágrimas nos olhos.”

Ne serait-ce pas lui donner à penser qu’il est dangereux? Et d’ailleurs pouvez-vous empêcher un homme d’aller et venir où bon lui semble? Demain nous ne mangerons plus dans cette salle; quand il ne nous y verra plus, le jeune gentilhomme discontinuera de vous aimer par la fenêtre. Voilà, ma chère enfant, comment se comporte une femme qui a l’usage du monde.

Victor, qui avait quitté l’empereur, annonçait à sa femme la chute du régime impérial, la prise de Paris, et l’enthousiasme qui éclatait en faveur des Bourbons sur tous les points de la France; mais ne sachant comment pénétrer jusqu’à Tours, il la priait de venir en toute hâte à Orléans où il espérait se trouver avec des passeports pour elle. Ce valet de chambre, ancien militaire, devait accompagner Julie de Tours à Orléans, route que Victor croyait libre encore.

Madame, vous n’avez pas un instant à perdre, dit le valet de chambre, les Prussiens, les Autrichiens et les Anglais vont faire leur jonction à Blois ou à Orléans…”

Comme la plupart des jeunes femmes réellement innocentes et sans expérience, elle voyait une faute dans un amour involontairement inspiré à un homme. Elle ressentait une terreur instinctive, que lui donnait peut-être la conscience de sa faiblesse devant une si audacieuse agression. Une des plus fortes armes de l’homme est ce pouvoir terrible d’occuper de lui-même une femme dont l’imagination naturellement mobile s’effraie ou s’offense d’une poursuite.

Cependant, au milieu des fêtes qui marquèrent le retour des Bourbons, un malheur bien profond, et qui devait influer sur sa vie, assaillit la pauvre Julie : elle perdit la comtesse de Listomère-Landon. La vieille dame mourut de joie et d’une goutte remontée au coeur, en revoyant à Tours le duc d’Angoulême. Ainsi, la personne à laquelle son âge donnait le droit d’éclairer Victor, la seule qui, par d’adroits conseils, pouvait rendre l’accord de la femme et du mari plus parfait, cette personne était morte.”

Ne se rencontre-t-il pas beaucoup d’hommes dont la nullité profonde est un secret pour la plupart des gens qui les connaissent? Un haut rang, une illustre naissance, d’importantes fonctions, un certain vernis de politesse, une grande réserve dans la conduite, ou les prestiges de la fortune sont, pour eux, comme des gardes qui empêchent les critiques de pénétrer jusqu’à leur intime existence. Ces gens ressemblent aux rois dont la véritable taille, le caractère et les moeurs ne peuvent jamais être ni bien connus ni justement appréciés, parce qu’ils sont vus de trop loin ou de trop près. Ces personnages à mérite factice interrogent au lieu de parler, ont l’art de mettre les autres en scène pour éviter de poser devant eux; puis, avec une heureuse adresse, ils tirent chacun par le fil de ses passions ou de ses intérêts, et se jouent ainsi des hommes qui leur sont réellement supérieurs, en font des marionnettes et les croient petits pour les avoir rabaissés jusqu’à eux. Ils obtiennent alors le triomphe naturel d’une pensée mesquine, mais fixe, sur la mobilité des grandes pensées. Aussi pour juger ces têtes vides, et peser leurs valeurs négatives, l’observateur doit-il posséder un esprit plus subtil que supérieur, plus de patience que de portée dans la vue, plus de finesse et de tact que d’élévation et grandeur dans les idées. Néanmoins, quelque habileté que déploient ces usurpateurs en détendant leurs côtés faibles, il leur est bien difficile de tromper leurs femmes, leurs mères, leurs enfants ou l’ami de la maison; mais ces personnes leur gardent presque toujours le secret sur une chose qui touche, en quelque sorte, à l’honneur commun; et souvent même elles les aident à en imposer au monde. (…) Songez maintenant au rôle que doit jouer une femme d’esprit et de sentiment en présence d’un mari de ce genre, n’apercevez-vous pas des existences pleines de douleurs et de dévouement dont rien ici-bas ne saurait récompenser certains coeurs pleins d’amour et de délicatesse?”

Tant que Napoléon resta debout, le comte d’Aiglemont, colonel comme tant d’autres, bon officier d’ordonnance, excellant à remplir une mission dangereuse, mais incapable d’un commandement de quelque importance n’excita nulle envie, passa pour un des braves que favorisait l’empereur, et fut ce que les militaires nomment vulgairement un bon enfant. La Restauration, qui lui rendit le titre de marquis, ne le trouva pas ingrat: il suivit les Bourbons à Gand.” itálicos: mistério dos títulos esclarecidos; conde ‘ilegítimo’ cassado pela nobreza, devolveram-lhe um biscoito, bom consolo, à meia-altura.

son instinct si délicatement féminin lui disait qu’il est bien plus beau d’obéir à un homme de talent que de conduire un sot, et qu’une jeune épouse, obligée de penser et d’agir en homme, n’est ni femme ni homme, abdique toutes les grâces de son sexe en en perdant les malheurs, et n’acquiert aucun des privilèges que nos lois ont remis aux plus forts. Son existence cachait une bien amère dérision. N’était-elle pas obligée d’honorer une idole creuse, de protéger son protecteur, pauvre être qui, pour salaire d’un dévouement continu, lui jetait l’amour égoïste des maris, ne voyait en elle que la femme, ne daignait ou ne savait pas, injure toute aussi profonde, s’inquiéter de ses plaisirs, ni d’où venaient sa tristesse et son dépérissement?”

La marquise, chargée de tous les malheurs de cette triste existence, devait sourire encore à son maître imbécile, parer de fleurs une maison de deuil, et afficher le bonheur sur un visage pâli par de secrets supplices. Cette responsabilité d’honneur, cette abnégation magnifique donnèrent insensiblement à la jeune marquise une dignité de femme, une conscience de vertu qui lui servirent de sauvegarde contre les dangers du monde. (…) elle attendit avec résignation la fin de ses peines en espérant mourir jeune.” “souffrance élégante d’ailleurs, maladie presque voluptueuse en apparence, et qui pouvait passer aux yeux des gens superficiels pour une fantaisie de petite maîtresse. Les médecins avaient condamné la marquise à rester couchée sur un divan, où elle s’étiolait au milieu des fleurs qui l’entouraient, en se fanant comme elle. Sa faiblesse lui interdisait la marche et le grand air; elle ne sortait qu’en voiture fermée. Sans cesse environnée de toutes les merveilles de notre luxe et de notre industrie modernes, elle ressemblait moins à une malade qu’à une reine indolente. Quelques amis, amoureux peut-être de son malheur et de sa faiblesse, sûrs de toujours la trouver chez elle, et spéculant sans doute aussi sur sa bonne santé future, venaient lui apporter les nouvelles et l’instruire de ces mille petits événements qui rendent à Paris l’existence si variée. Sa mélancolie, quoique grave et profonde, était donc la mélancolie de l’opulence. La marquise d’Aiglemont ressemblait à une belle fleur dont la racine est rongée par un insecte noir.”

Son mari n’aimait pas la musique. Enfin, elle se trouvait presque toujours gênée dans les salons où sa beauté lui attirait des hommages intéressés. Sa situation y excitait une sorte de compassion cruelle, une curiosité triste. Elle était atteinte d’une inflammation assez ordinairement mortelle, que les femmes se confient à l’oreille, et à laquelle notre néologie n’a pas encore su trouver de nom. Malgré le silence au sein duquel sa vie s’écoulait, la cause de sa souffrance n’était un secret pour personne. Toujours jeune fille, en dépit du mariage, les moindres regards la rendaient honteuse. Aussi, pour éviter de rougir, n’apparaissait-elle jamais que riante, gaie; elle affectait une fausse joie, se disait toujours bien portante, ou prévenait les questions sur sa santé par de pudiques mensonges. Cependant, en 1817, un événement contribua beaucoup à modifier l’état déplorable dans lequel Julie avait été plongée jusqu’alors. Elle eut une fille, et voulut la nourrir. Pendant deux années, les vives distractions et les inquiets plaisirs que donnent les soins maternels lui firent une vie moins malheureuse. Elle se sépara nécessairement de son mari. Les médecins lui pronostiquèrent une meilleure santé ; mais la marquise ne crut point à ces présages hypothétiques. Comme toutes les personnes pour lesquelles la vie n’a plus de douceur, peut-être voyait-elle dans la mort un heureux dénouement.”

Quoiqu’elle fût certaine de conserver un grand empire sur Victor et d’avoir obtenu son estime pour toujours, elle craignait l’influence des passions sur un homme si nul et si vaniteusement irréfléchi.”

Les prévoyantes paroles de son père retentissaient derechef à son oreille”

Dans le tableau que sa mémoire lui traçait du passé, la candide figure d’Arthur s’y dessinait chaque jour plus pure et plus belle, mais rapidement; car elle n’osait s’arrêter à ce souvenir. Le silencieux et timide amour du jeune Anglais était le seul événement qui, depuis le mariage, eût laissé quelques doux vestiges dans ce coeur sombre et solitaire.”

dores latentes e lactantes

À qui se serait-elle plainte? de qui pouvait-elle être entendue? Puis, elle avait cette extrême délicatesse de la femme, cette ravissante pudeur de sentiment qui consiste à taire une plainte inutile, à ne pas prendre un avantage quand le triomphe doit humilier le vainqueur et le vaincu. Julie essayait de donner sa capacité, ses propres vertus à monsieur d’Aiglemont, et se vantait de goûter le bonheur qui lui manquait. Toute sa finesse de femme était employée en pure perte à des ménagements ignorés de celui-là même dont ils perpétuaient le despotisme. Par moments, elle était ivre de malheur, sans idée, sans frein ; mais, heureusement, une piété vraie la ramenait toujours à une espérance suprême: elle se réfugiait dans la vie future, admirable croyance qui lui faisait accepter de nouveau sa tâche douloureuse. Ces combats si terribles, ces déchirements intérieurs étaient sans gloire, ces longues mélancolies étaient inconnues; nulle créature ne recueillait ses regards ternes, ses larmes amères jetées au hasard et dans la solitude.”

Quand deux époux se connaissent parfaitement et ont pris une longue habitude d’eux-mêmes, lorsqu’une femme sait interpréter les moindres gestes d’un homme et peut pénétrer les sentiments ou les choses qu’il lui cache, alors des lumières soudaines éclatent souvent après des réflexions ou des remarques précédentes, dues au hasard, ou primitivement faites avec insouciance. Une femme se réveille souvent tout à coup sur le bord ou au fond d’un abîme. Ainsi la marquise, heureuse d’être seule depuis quelques jours, devina le secret de sa solitude. Inconstant ou lassé, généreux ou plein de pitié pour elle, son mari ne lui appartenait plus. En ce moment, elle ne pensa plus à elle, ni à ses souffrances, ni à ses sacrifices; elle ne fut plus que mère, et vit la fortune, l’avenir, le bonheur de sa fille; sa fille, le seul être d’où lui vînt quelque félicité; son Hélène, seul bien qui l’attachât à la vie.”

Jusqu’alors, sûre d’être aimée par Victor, autant qu’il pouvait aimer, elle s’était dévouée à un bonheur qu’elle ne partageait pas; mais, aujourd’hui, n’ayant plus la satisfaction de savoir que ses larmes faisaient la joie de son mari, seule dans le monde, il ne lui restait plus que le choix des malheurs. Au milieu du découragement qui, dans le calme et le silence de la nuit, détendit toutes ses forces; au moment où, quittant son

divan et son feu presque éteint, elle allait, à la lueur d’une lampe, contempler sa fille d’un oeil sec, monsieur d’Aiglemont rentra plein de gaieté. Julie lui fit admirer le sommeil d’Hélène; mais il accueillit l’enthousiasme de sa femme par une phrase banale.

À cet âge, dit-il, tous les enfants sont gentils.”

Elle n’eut plus aucun remords de lui imposer une vie difficile. D’un seul bond, elle s’élança dans les froids calculs de l’indifférence. Pour sauver sa fille, elle devina tout à coup les perfidies, les mensonges des créatures qui n’aiment pas, les tromperies de la coquetterie, et ces ruses atroces qui font haïr si profondément la femme chez qui les hommes supposent alors des corruptions innées. À l’insu de Julie, sa vanité féminine, son intérêt et un vague désir de vengeance s’accordèrent avec son amour maternel pour la faire entrer dans une voie où de nouvelles douleurs l’attendaient. Mais elle avait l’âme trop belle, l’esprit trop délicat, et surtout trop de franchise pour être longtemps complice de ces fraudes. Habituée à lire en elle-même, au premier pas dans le vice, car ceci était du vice, le cri de sa conscience devait étouffer celui des passions et de l’égoïsme. En effet, chez une jeune femme dont le coeur est encore pur, et où l’amour est resté vierge, le sentiment de la maternité même est soumis à la voix de la pudeur. La pudeur n’est-elle pas toute la femme? Mais Julie ne voulut apercevoir aucun danger, aucune faute dans sa nouvelle vie. Elle vint chez madame de Sérizy. Sa rivale comptait voir une femme pâle, languissante; la marquise avait mis du rouge, et se présenta dans tout l’éclat d’une parure qui rehaussait encore sa beauté.”

Lorsque Julie se leva pour aller au piano chanter la romance de Desdémone, les hommes accoururent de tous les salons pour entendre cette célèbre voix, muette depuis si longtemps, et il se fit un profond silence. La marquise éprouva de vives émotions en voyant les têtes pressées aux portes et tous les regards attachés sur elle. Elle chercha son mari, lui lança une oeillade pleine de coquetterie, et vit avec plaisir qu’en ce moment son amour-propre était extraordinairement flatté. Heureuse de ce triomphe, elle ravit l’assemblée dans la première partie d’al piu salice. Jamais ni la Malibran, ni la Pasta n’avaient fait entendre des chants si parfaits de sentiment et d’intonation; mais, au moment de la reprise, elle regarda dans les groupes, et aperçut Arthur dont le regard fixe ne la quittait pas. Elle tressaillit vivement, et sa voix s’altéra.” “Elle lut sur le visage presque féminin du jeune anglais les pensées profondes, les mélancolies douces, les résignations douloureuses dont elle-même était la victime. Elle se reconnut en lui.”

La malade et son médecin marchaient du même pas sans être étonnés d’un accord qui paraissait avoir existé dès le premier jour où ils marchèrent ensemble, ils obéissaient à une même volonté, s’arrêtaient, impressionnés par les mêmes sensations, leurs regards, leurs paroles correspondaient à des pensées mutuelles.”

Oh! Mon Dieu, combien j’aime ce pays, répéta Julie avec un enthousiasme croissant et naïf. Vous l’avez habité longtemps ? reprit-elle après une pause.

À ces mots, lord Grenville tressaillit.

C’est là, répondit-il avec mélancolie en montrant un bouquet de noyers sur la route, là que prisonnier je vous vis pour la première fois…

Les femmes ont un inimitable talent pour exprimer leurs sentiments sans employer de trop vives paroles; leur éloquence est surtout dans l’accent, dans le geste, l’attitude et les regards. Lord Grenville se cacha la tête dans ses mains, car des larmes roulaient dans ses yeux. Ce remerciement était le premier que Julie lui fît depuis leur départ de Paris. Pendant une année entière, il avait soigné la marquise avec le dévouement le plus entier. Secondé par d’Aiglemont, il l’avait conduite aux eaux d’Aix, puis sur les bords de la mer à La Rochelle. Épiant à tout moment les changements que ses savantes et simples prescriptions produisaient sur la constitution délabrée de Julie, il l’avait cultivée comme une fleur rare peut l’être par un horticulteur passionné. La marquise avait paru recevoir les soins intelligents d’Arthur avec tout l’égoïsme d’une Parisienne habituée aux hommages, ou avec l’insouciance d’une courtisane qui ne sait ni le coût des choses ni la valeur des hommes, et les prise au degré d’utilité dont ils lui sont. L’influence exercée sur l’âme par les lieux est une chose digne de remarque. Si la mélancolie nous gagne infailliblement lorsque nous sommes au bord des eaux, une autre loi de notre nature impressible fait que, sur les montagnes, nos sentiments s’épurent: la passion y gagne en profondeur ce qu’elle paraît perdre en vivacité. L’aspect du vaste bassin de la Loire, l’élévation de la jolie colline où les deux amants s’étaient assis, causaient peut-être le calme délicieux dans lequel ils savourèrent d’abord le bonheur qu’on goûte à deviner l’étendue d’une passion cachée sous des paroles insignifiantes en apparence. Au moment où Julie achevait la phrase qui avait si vivement ému lord Grenville, une brise caressante agita la cime des arbres, répandit la fraîcheur des eaux dans l’air, quelques nuages couvrirent le soleil, et des ombres molles laissèrent voir toutes les beautés de cette jolie nature. Julie détourna la tête pour dérober au jeune lord la vue des larmes qu’elle réussit à retenir et à sécher, car l’attendrissement d’Arthur l’avait promptement gagnée. Elle n’osa lever les yeux sur lui dans la crainte qu’il ne lût trop de joie dans ce regard. Son instinct de femme lui faisait sentir qu’à cette heure dangereuse elle devait ensevelir son amour au fond de son coeur. Cependant le silence pouvait être également redoutable. En s’apercevant que lord Grenville était hors d’état de prononcer une parole, Julie reprit d’une voix douce : – Vous êtes touché de ce que je vous ai dit, milord. Peut-être cette vive expansion est-elle la manière que prend une âme gracieuse et bonne comme l’est la vôtre pour revenir sur un faux jugement. Vous m’aurez crue ingrate en me trouvant froide et réservée, ou moqueuse et insensible pendant ce voyage qui heureusement va bientôt se terminer. Je n’aurais pas été digne de recevoir vos soins, si je n’avais su les apprécier. Milord, je n’ai rien oublié. Hélas! je n’oublierai rien, ni la sollicitude qui vous faisait veiller sur moi comme une mère veille sur son enfant, ni surtout la noble confiance de nos entretiens fraternels, la délicatesse de vos procédés; séductions contre lesquelles nous sommes toutes sans armes. Milord, il est hors de mon pouvoir de vous récompenser…

À ce mot, Julie s’éloigna vivement, et lord Grenville ne fit aucun mouvement pour l’arrêter, la marquise alla sur une roche à une faible distance, et y resta immobile; leurs émotions furent un secret pour eux-mêmes; sans doute ils pleurèrent en silence ; les chants des oiseaux, si gais, si prodigues d’expressions tendres au coucher du soleil, durent augmenter la violente commotion qui les avait forcés de se séparer: la nature se chargeait de leur exprimer un amour dont ils n’osaient parler.”

L’oiseau n’oisais pas parler

J’ai plusieurs fois calculé trop habilement les moyens de tuer cet homme pour pouvoir y toujours résister, si je restais près de vous.”

Les lois du monde, reprit-elle, exigent que je lui rende l’existence heureuse, j’y obéirai; je serai sa servante; mon dévouement pour lui sera sans bornes, mais d’aujourd’hui je suis veuve. Je ne veux être une prostituée ni à mes yeux ni à ceux du monde; si je ne suis point à monsieur d’Aiglemont, je ne serai jamais à un autre. Vous n’aurez de moi que ce que vous m’avez arraché. Voilà l’arrêt que j’ai porté sur moi-même, dit-elle en regardant Arthur avec fierté. Il est irrévocable, milord. Maintenant, apprenez que si vous cédiez à une pensée criminelle, la veuve de monsieur d’Aiglemont entrerait dans un cloître, soit en Italie, soit en Espagne. Le malheur a voulu que nous ayons parlé de notre amour. Ces aveux étaient inévitables peut-être; mais que ce soit pour la dernière fois que nos coeurs aient si fortement vibré. Demain, vous feindrez de recevoir une lettre qui vous appelle en Angleterre, et nous nous quitterons pour ne plus nous revoir.”

“– Voici, certes, le plus beau site que nous ayons vu, dit-elle. Je ne l’oublierai jamais. Voyez donc, Victor, quels lointains, quelle étendue et quelle variété. Ce pays me fait concevoir l’amour.

Riant d’un rire presque convulsif, mais riant de manière à tromper son mari, elle sauta gaiement dans les chemins creux, et disparut.”

La noble et délicate conduite que lord Grenville tenait pendant ce voyage avait détruit les soupçons du marquis, et depuis quelque temps il laissait sa femme libre, en se confiant à la foi punique du lord-docteur.”

Telle femme incapable de se rappeler les événements les plus graves, se souviendra pendant toute sa vie des choses qui importent à ses sentiments. Aussi, Julie eut-elle une parfaite souvenance de détails même frivoles. Elle reconnut avec bonheur les plus légers accidents de son premier voyage, et jusqu’à des pensées qui lui étaient venues à certains endroits de la route. Victor, redevenu passionnément amoureux de sa femme depuis qu’elle avait recouvré la fraîcheur de la jeunesse et toute sa beauté, se serra près d’elle à la façon des amants. Lorsqu’il essaya de la prendre dans ses bras, elle se dégagea doucement, et trouva je ne sais quel prétexte pour éviter cette innocente caresse. Puis, bientôt, elle eut horreur du contact de Victor de qui elle sentait et partageait la chaleur, par la manière dont ils étaient assis. Elle voulut se mettre seule sur le devant de la voiture; mais son mari lui fit la grâce de la laisser au fond. Elle le remercia de cette attention par un soupir auquel il se méprit, et cet ancien séducteur de garnison, interprétant à son avantage la mélancolie de sa femme, la mit à la fin du jour dans l’obligation de lui parler avec une fermeté qui lui imposa.”

Mais qui donc oserait blâmer les femmes? Quand elles ont imposé silence au sentiment exclusif qui ne leur permet pas d’appartenir à deux hommes, ne sont-elles pas comme des prêtres sans croyance?”

* * *

Deux ans se passèrent, pendant lesquels monsieur et madame d’Aiglemont menèrent la vie des gens du monde, allant chacun de leur côté, se rencontrant dans les salons plus souvent que chez eux; élégant divorce par lequel se terminent beaucoup de mariages dans le grand monde.”

Madame de Wimphen était cette Louisa à laquelle jadis madame d’Aiglemont voulait conseiller le célibat. Les deux femmes se jetèrent un regard d’intelligence qui prouvait que Julie avait trouvé dans son amie une confidente de ses peines, confidente précieuse et charitable, car madame de Wimphen était très heureuse en mariage ; et, dans la situation opposée où elles étaient, peut-être le bonheur de l’une faisait-il une garantie de son dévouement au malheur de l’autre. En pareil cas, la dissemblance des

destinées est presque toujours un puissant lien d’amitié.”

Je suis une femme très vertueuse selon les lois: je lui rends sa maison agréable, je ferme les yeux sur ses intrigues, je ne prends rien sur sa fortune, il peut en gaspiller les revenus à son gré, j’ai soin seulement d’en conserver le capital. À ce prix, j’ai la paix. Il ne s’explique pas, ou ne veut pas s’expliquer mon existence.”

Croirais-tu, ma chère, que je lis les journaux anglais, dans le seul espoir de voir son nom imprimé.”

Ceci est un secret, répondit la marquise en laissant échapper un geste de naïveté presque enfantine. Écoute. Je prends de l’opium. L’histoire de la duchesse de…, à Londres, m’en a donné l’idée. Tu sais, Mathurin en a fait un roman. Mes gouttes de laudanum sont très faibles. Je dors. Je n’ai guère que sept heures de veille, et je les donne à ma fille…

Un mari, nous pouvons l’abandonner même quand il nous aime. Un homme est un être fort, il a des consolations. Nous pouvons mépriser les lois du monde. Mais un enfant sans mère!

Vous épousez une jolie femme, elle enlaidit; vous épousez une jeune fille pleine de santé, elle devient malingre; vous la croyez passionnée, elle est froide; ou bien, froide en apparence, elle est réellement si passionnée qu’elle vous tue ou vous déshonore. Tantôt la créature la plus douce est quinteuse, et jamais les quinteuses ne deviennent douces; tantôt, l’enfant que vous avez eue niaise et faible, déploie contre vous une volonté de fer, un esprit de démon. Je suis las du mariage.”

À propos, veux-tu venir à Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin avec moi voir l’enterrement de lord Grenville?”

Il lui était si difficile de supporter le moindre bruit que toute voix humaine, même celle de son enfant, l’affectait désagréablement. Les gens du pays s’occupèrent beaucoup de ces singularités; puis, quand toutes les suppositions possibles furent faites, ni les petites villes environnantes, ni les paysans ne songèrent plus à cette femme malade.

La marquise, laissée à elle-même, put donc rester parfaitement silencieuse au milieu du silence qu’elle avait établi autour d’elle, et n’eut aucune occasion de quitter la chambre tendue de tapisseries où mourut sa grand-mère, et où elle était venue pour y mourir doucement, sans témoins, sans importunités, sans subir les fausses démonstrations des égoïsmes fardés d’affection qui, dans les villes, donnent aux mourants une double agonie. Cette femme avait 26 ans. À cet âge, une âme encore pleine de poétiques illusions aime à savourer la mort, quand elle lui semble bienfaisante. Mais la mort a de la coquetterie pour les jeunes gens; pour eux, elle s’avance et se retire, se montre et se cache; sa lenteur les désenchante d’elle, et l’incertitude que leur cause son lendemain finit par les rejeter dans le monde où ils rencontreront la douleur, qui, plus impitoyable que ne l’est la mort, les frappera sans se laisser attendre. Or, cette femme qui se refusait à vivre allait éprouver l’amertume de ces retardements au fond de sa solitude, et y faire, dans une agonie morale que la mort ne terminerait pas, un terrible apprentissage d’égoïsme qui devait lui déflorer le coeur et le façonner au monde.

La marquise souffrait véritablement pour la première et pour la seule fois de sa vie peut-être. En effet, ne serait-ce pas une erreur de croire que les sentiments se reproduisent? Une fois éclos, n’existent-ils pas toujours au fond du coeur? Ils s’y apaisent et s’y réveillent au gré des accidents de la vie ; mais ils y restent, et leur séjour modifie nécessairement l’âme. Ainsi, tout sentiment n’aurait qu’un grand jour, le jour plus ou moins long de sa première tempête. Ainsi, la douleur, le plus constant de nos sentiments, ne serait vive qu’à sa première irruption; et ses autres atteintes iraient en s’affaiblissant, soit par notre accoutumance à ses crises, soit par une loi de notre nature qui, pour se maintenir vivante, oppose à cette force destructive une force égale mais inerte, prise dans les calculs de l’égoïsme. La perte des parents est un chagrin auquel la nature a préparé les hommes; le mal physique est passager, n’embrasse pas l’âme; et s’il persiste, ce n’est plus un mal, c’est la mort. Qu’une jeune femme perde un nouveau-né, l’amour conjugal lui a bientôt donné un successeur. Cette affliction est passagère aussi. Enfin, ces peines et beaucoup d’autres semblables sont, en quelque sorte, des coups, des blessures; mais aucune n’affecte la vitalité dans son essence, et il faut qu’elles se succèdent étrangement pour tuer le sentiment qui nous porte à chercher le bonheur. La grande, la vraie douleur serait donc un mal assez meurtrier pour étreindre à la fois le passé, le présent et l’avenir, ne laisser aucune partie de la vie dans son intégrité, dénaturer à jamais la pensée, s’inscrire inaltérablement sur les lèvres et sur le front, briser ou détendre les ressorts du plaisir, en mettant dans l’âme un principe de dégoût pour toute chose de ce monde. Encore, pour être immense, pour ainsi peser sur l’âme et sur le corps, ce mal devrait arriver en un moment de la vie où toutes les forces de l’âme et du corps sont jeunes, et foudroyer un coeur bien vivant.”

O TRISTE CREPÚSCULO DA DOR DE VIVER

Os novos sofrimentos são apenas lembranças dos dias concretamente pungentes. Vivo apenas na nostalgia de euforias e lutos já para mim perdidos, em perpétuo déjà vu à l’écran. Ainda que seja uma tela que dá para a alma, não passa de uma tela, de um sofrimento mediado no tempo e no espaço, indireto. Reflexo do reflexo do reflexo da coisa em si, paredes de espelhos infinitos sem quinas nem esquinas nem inclinações, perfeitamente paralelos e reluzentes. Mas é um corredor particular, cerrado ao público.

et nul être ne peut sortir de cette maladie sans quelque poétique changement : ou il prend la route du ciel, ou, s’il demeure ici-bas, il rentre dans le monde pour mentir au monde, pour y jouer un rôle; il connaît dès lors la coulisse où l’on se retire pour calculer, pleurer, plaisanter. Après cette crise solennelle, il n’existe plus de mystères dans la vie sociale qui dès lors est irrévocablement jugée. Chez les jeunes femmes qui ont l’âge de la marquise, cette première, cette plus poignante de toutes les douleurs, est toujours causée par le même fait. La femme et surtout la jeune femme, aussi grande par l’âme qu’elle l’est par la beauté, ne manque jamais à mettre sa vie là où la nature, le sentiment et la société la poussent à la jeter tout entière. Si cette vie vient à lui faillir et si elle reste sur terre, elle y expérimente les plus cruelles souffrances, par la raison qui rend le premier amour le plus beau de tous les sentiments. Pourquoi ce malheur n’a-t-il jamais eu ni peintre ni poète? Mais peut-il se peindre, peut-il se chanter? Non, la nature des douleurs qu’il engendre se refuse à l’analyse et aux couleurs de l’art. D’ailleurs, ces souffrances ne sont jamais confiées: pour en consoler une femme, il faut savoir les deviner; car, toujours amèrement embrassées et religieusement ressenties, elles demeurent dans l’âme comme une avalanche qui, en tombant dans une vallée, y dégrade tout avant de s’y faire une place.”

Un homme aimé, jeune et généreux, de qui elle n’avait jamais exaucé les désirs afin d’obéir aux lois du monde, était mort pour lui sauver ce que la société nomme l’honneur d’une femme.”

Non, cette pauvre affligée ne pouvait pleurer à son aise que dans un désert, y dévorer sa souffrance ou être dévorée par elle, mourir ou tuer quelque chose en elle, sa conscience peut-être.”

Il y avait en elle une femme qui raisonnait et une femme qui sentait, une femme qui souffrait et une femme qui ne voulait plus souffrir. Elle se reportait aux joies de son enfance, écoulée sans qu’elle en eût senti le bonheur, et dont les limpides images revenaient en foule comme pour lui accuser les déceptions d’un mariage convenable aux yeux du monde, horrible en réalité. À quoi lui avaient servi les belles pudeurs de sa jeunesse, ses plaisirs réprimés et les sacrifices faits au monde?”

Sa beauté même lui était insupportable, comme une chose inutile. Elle entrevoyait avec horreur que désormais elle ne pouvait plus être une créature complète.”

Neuf neuves

Après l’enfance de la créature vient l’enfance du coeur. Or, son amant avait emporté dans la tombe cette seconde enfance. Jeune encore par ses désirs, elle n’avait plus cette entière jeunesse d’âme qui donne à tout dans la vie sa valeur et sa saveur.”

Puis, en soulevant toutes les questions, en remuant tous les ressorts des différentes existences que nous donnent les natures sociale, morale et physique, elle relâchait si bien les forces de l’âme, qu’au milieu des réflexions les plus contradictoires elle ne pouvait rien saisir. Aussi parfois, quand le brouillard tombait, ouvrait-elle sa fenêtre, en y restant sans pensée, occupée à respirer machinalement l’odeur humide et terreuse épandue dans les airs, debout, immobile, idiote en apparence, car les bourdonnements [murmúrios] de sa douleur la rendaient également sourde aux harmonies de la nature et aux charmes de la pensée.”

La marquise avait perdu sa mère en bas âge, et son éducation fut naturellement influencée par le relâchement qui, pendant la révolution, dénoua les liens religieux en France. La piété est une vertu de femme que les femmes seules se transmettent bien, et la marquise était un enfant du dix-huitième siècle dont les croyances philosophiques furent celles de son père. Elle ne suivait aucune pratique religieuse. Pour elle, un prêtre était un fonctionnaire public dont l’utilité lui paraissait contestable. Dans la situation où elle trouvait, la voix de la religion ne pouvait qu’envenimer ses maux; puis, elle ne croyait guère aux curés de village, ni à leurs lumières, elle résolut donc de mettre le sien à sa place, sans aigreur, et de s’en débarrasser à la manière des riches, par un bienfait. Le curé vint, et son aspect ne changea pas les idées de la marquise. Elle vit un gros petit homme à ventre saillant, à figure rougeaude, mais vieille et ridée, qui affectait de sourire et qui souriait mal; son crâne chauve et transversalement sillonné de rides nombreuses retombait en quart de cercle sur son visage et le rapetissait; quelques cheveux blancs garnissaient le bas de la tête au-dessus de la nuque et revenaient en avant vers les oreilles. Néanmoins, la physionomie de ce prêtre avait été celle d’un homme naturellement gai. Ses grosses lèvres, son nez légèrement retroussé, son menton, qui disparaissait dans un double pli de rides, témoignaient d’un heureux caractère. La marquise n’aperçut d’abord que ces traits principaux; mais, à la première parole que lui dit le prêtre, elle fut frappée par la douceur de cette voix; elle le regarda plus attentivement, et remarqua sous ses sourcils grisonnants des yeux qui avaient pleuré; puis le contour de sa joue, vue de profil, donnait à sa tête une si auguste expression de douleur, que la marquise trouva un homme dans ce curé.”

Nous périssons moins par les effets d’un regret certain que par ceux des espérances trompées. J’ai connu de plus intolérables, de plus terribles douleurs qui n’ont pas donné la mort.”

Puis elle éprouva cette espèce de satisfaction qui réjouit le prisonnier quand, après avoir reconnu la profondeur de sa solitude et la pesanteur de ses chaînes, il rencontre un voisin qui frappe à la muraille en lui faisant rendre un son par lequel s’expriment des pensées communes.”

Le mariage, institution sur laquelle s’appuie aujourd’hui la société, nous en fait sentir à nous seules tout le poids: pour l’homme la liberté, pour la femme des devoirs. Nous vous devons toute notre vie, vous ne nous devez de la vôtre que de rares instants. Enfin l’homme fait un choix là où nous nous soumettons aveuglément. Oh! monsieur, à vous je puis tout dire. Hé bien, le mariage, tel qu’il se pratique aujourd’hui, me semble être une prostitution légale. De là sont nées mes souffrances. Mais moi seule parmi les malheureuses créatures si fatalement accouplées je dois garder le silence! moi seule suis l’auteur du mal, j’ai voulu mon mariage.”

Monsieur, rien de rien ou rien pour rien est une des plus justes lois de la nature et morale et physique.” “Il existe deux maternités, monsieur. J’ignorais jadis de telles distinctions; aujourd’hui je les sais. Je ne suis mère qu’à moitié, mieux vaudrait ne pas l’être du tout. Hélène n’est pas de lui! Oh! ne frémissez pas! Saint-Lange est un abîme où se sont engloutis bien des sentiments faux, d’où se sont lancées de sinistres lueurs, où se sont écroulés les frêles édifices des lois antinaturelles. J’ai un enfant, cela suffit; je suis mère, ainsi le veut la loi. (…) S’il ne tient pas à toutes les fibres du corps comme à toutes les tendresses du coeur; s’il ne rappelle pas de délicieuses amours, les temps, les lieux où ces deux êtres furent heureux, et leur langage plein de musiques humaines, et leurs suaves idées, cet enfant est une création manquée. Oui, pour eux, il doit être une ravissante miniature où se retrouvent les poèmes de leur double vie secrète; il doit leur offrir une source d’émotions fécondes, être à la fois tout leur passé, tout leur avenir. Ma pauvre petite Hélène est l’enfant de son père, l’enfant du devoir et du hasard”

l’amour m’a fait rêver une maternité plus grande, plus complète. J’ai caressé dans un songe évanoui l’enfant que les désirs ont conçu avant qu’il ne fût engendré, enfin cette délicieuse fleur née dans l’âme avant de naître au jour.”

Pour moi le jour est plein de ténèbres, la pensée est un glaive, mon coeur est une plaie, mon enfant est une négation. Oui, quand Hélène me parle, je lui voudrais une autre voix; quand elle me regarde, je lui voudrais d’autres yeux. Elle est là pour m’attester tout ce qui devrait être et tout ce qui n’est pas. Elle m’est insupportable! Je lui souris, je tâche de la dédommager des sentiments que je lui vole. Je souffre! oh! monsieur, je souffre trop pour pouvoir vivre. Et je passerai pour être une femme vertueuse! Et je n’ai pas commis de fautes! Et l’on m’honorera! J’ai combattu l’amour involontaire auquel je ne devais pas céder; mais, si j’ai gardé ma foi physique, ai-je conservé mon coeur? Ceci, dit-elle en appuyant la main droite sur son sein, n’a jamais été qu’à une seule créature. (…) Parfois je tremble de trouver en elle un tribunal où je serai condamnée sans être entendue. Fasse le ciel que la haine ne se mette pas un jour entre nous! Grand Dieu! ouvrez-moi plutôt la tombe, laissez-moi finir à Saint-Lange! Je veux aller dans le monde où je retrouverai mon autre âme, où je serai tout à fait mère! oh ! pardon, monsieur, je suis folle. Ces paroles m’étouffaient, je les ai dites. Ah! vous pleurez aussi! vous ne me mépriserez pas. – Hélène ! Hélène ! ma fille, viens! s’écria-t-elle avec une sorte de désespoir en entendant son enfant qui revenait de sa promenade.”

Le sourire est l’apanage, la langue, l’expression de la maternité. La marquise ne pouvait pas sourire. Elle rougit en regardant le prêtre: elle avait espéré se montrer mère, mais ni elle ni son enfant n’avaient su mentir. En effet, les baisers d’une femme sincère ont un miel divin qui semble mettre dans cette caresse une âme, un feu subtil par lequel le coeur est pénétré. Les baisers dénués de cette onction savoureuse sont âpres et secs. Le prêtre avait senti cette différence: il put sonder l’abîme qui se trouve entre la maternité de la chair et la maternité du coeur.”

Mon corps a été lâche quand mon âme était forte, et quand ma main ne tremblait plus, mon âme vacillait! J’ignore le secret de ces combats et de ces alternatives. Je suis sans doute bien tristement femme, sans persistance dans mes vouloirs, forte seulement pour aimer. Je me méprise! Le soir, quand mes gens dormaient, j’allais à la pièce d’eau courageusement; arrivée au bord, ma frêle nature avait horreur de la destruction. Je vous confesse mes faiblesses. Lorsque je me retrouvais au lit, j’avais honte de moi, je redevenais courageuse. Dans un de ces moments j’ai pris du laudanum; mais j’ai souffert et ne suis pas morte. J’avais cru boire tout ce que contenait le flacon et je m’étais arrêtée à moitié.”

Quel sera le sort d’Hélène? le mien sans doute. Quels moyens ont les mères d’assurer à leurs filles que l’homme auquel elles les livrent sera un époux selon leur coeur? Vous honnissez de pauvres créatures qui se vendent pour quelques écus à un homme qui passe, la faim et le besoin absolvent ces unions éphémères; tandis que la société tolère, encourage l’union immédiate bien autrement horrible d’une jeune fille candide et d’un homme qu’elle n’a pas vu trois mois durant; elle est vendue pour toute sa vie. Il est vrai que le prix est élevé! Si en ne lui permettant aucune compensation à ses douleurs vous l’honoriez; mais non, le monde calomnie les plus vertueuses d’entre nous! Telle est notre destinée, vue sous ses deux faces: une prostitution publique et la honte, une prostitution secrète et le malheur. Quant aux pauvres filles sans dot, elles deviennent folles, elles meurent; pour elles aucune pitié ! La beauté, les vertus ne sont pas des valeurs dans votre bazar humain et vous nommez Société ce repaire d’égoïsme. Mais exhérédez les femmes! au moins accomplirezvous ainsi une loi de nature en choisissant vos compagnes en les épousant au gré des voeux du coeur.”

Le philosophisme et l’intérêt personnel ont attaqué votre coeur; vous êtes sourde à la voix de la religion comme le sont les enfants de ce siècle sans croyance! Les plaisirs du monde n’engendrent que des souffrances. Vous allez changer de douleurs voilà tout.

Je ferai mentir votre prophétie, dit-elle en souriant avec amertume, je serai fidèle à celui qui mourut pour moi.

La douleur, répondit-il, n’est viable que dans les âmes préparées par la religion.”

* * *

Quatre ans après…

les jouissances de Paris, à cette vie rapide, à ce tourbillon de pensées et de plaisirs que l’on calomnie assez souvent, mais auquel il est si doux de s’abandonner. Habitué depuis trois ans à saluer les capitales européennes, et à les déserter au gré des caprices de sa destinée diplomatique, Charles de Vandenesse avait cependant peu de chose à regretter en quittant Paris. Les femmes ne produisaient plus aucune impression sur lui, soit qu’il regardât une passion vraie comme tenant trop de place dans la vie d’un homme politique, soit que les mesquines occupations d’une galanterie superficielle lui parussent trop vides pour une âme forte. Nous avons tous de grandes prétentions à la force d’âme. En France, nul homme, fût-il médiocre, ne consent à passer pour simplement spirituel. Ainsi, Charles, quoique jeune (à peine avait-il trente ans), s’était déjà philosophiquement accoutumé à voir des idées, des résultats, des moyens, là où les hommes de son âge aperçoivent des sentiments, des plaisirs et des illusions. Il refoulait la chaleur et l’exaltation naturelle aux jeunes gens dans les profondeurs de son âme que la nature avait créée généreuse. Il travaillait à se faire froid, calculateur; à mettre en manières, en formes aimables, en artifices de séduction, les richesses morales qu’il tenait du hasard; véritable tâche d’ambitieux; rôle triste, entrepris dans le but d’atteindre à ce que nous nommons aujourd’hui une belle position. Il jetait un dernier coup d’oeil sur les salons où l’on dansait. Avant de quitter le bal, il voulait sans doute en emporter l’image, comme un spectateur ne sort pas de sa loge à l’opéra sans regarder le tableau final. Mais aussi, par une fantaisie facile à comprendre, monsieur de Vandenesse étudiait l’action tout française, l’éclat et les riantes figures de cette fête parisienne, en les rapprochant par la pensée des physionomies nouvelles, des scènes pittoresques qui l’attendaient à Naples, où il se proposait de passer quelques jours avant de se rendre à son poste. Il semblait comparer la France si changeante et sitôt étudiée à un pays dont les moeurs et les sites ne lui étaient connus que par des ouï-dires contradictoires, ou par des livres, mal faits pour la plupart. Quelques réflexions assez poétiques, mais devenues aujourd’hui très vulgaires, lui passèrent alors par la tête, et répondirent, à son insu peut-être, aux voeux secrets de son coeur, plus exigeant que blasé, plus inoccupé que flétri.

Voici, se disait-il, les femmes les plus élégantes, les plus riches, les plus titrées de Paris. Ici sont les célébrités du jour, renommées de tribune, renommées aristocratiques et littéraires: là, des artistes; là, des hommes de pouvoir. Et cependant je ne vois que de petites intrigues, des amours mort-nés, des sourires qui ne disent rien, des dédains sans cause, des regards sans flamme, beaucoup d’esprit, mais prodigué sans but. Tous ces visages blancs et roses cherchent moins le plaisir que des distractions. Nulle émotion n’est vraie. Si vous voulez seulement des plumes bien posées, des gazes fraîches, de jolies toilettes, des femmes frêles; si pour vous la vie n’est qu’une surface à effleurer, voici votre monde. Contentez-vous de ces phrases insignifiantes, de ces ravissantes grimaces, et ne demandez pas un sentiment dans les coeurs. Pour moi, j’ai horreur de ces plates intrigues qui finiront par des mariages, des sous-préfectures, des recettes générales, ou, s’il s’agit d’amour, par des arrangements secrets, tant l’on a honte d’un semblant de passion. Je ne vois pas un seul de ces visages éloquents qui vous annonce une âme abandonnée à une idée comme à un remords. Ici, le regret ou le malheur se cachent honteusement sous des plaisanteries. Je n’aperçois aucune de ces femmes avec lesquelles j’aimerais à lutter, et qui vous entraînent dans un abîme. Où trouver de l’énergie à Paris? Un poignard est une curiosité que l’on y suspend à un clou doré, que l’on pare d’une jolie gaine. Femmes, idées, sentiments, tout se ressemble. Il n’y existe plus de passions, parce que les individualités ont disparu. Les rangs, les esprits, les fortunes ont été nivelés, et nous avons tous pris l’habit noir comme pour nous mettre en deuil de la France morte. Nous n’aimons pas nos égaux. Entre deux amants, il faut des différences à effacer, des distances à combler. Ce charme de l’amour s’est évanoui en 1789! Notre ennui, nos moeurs fades sont le résultat du système politique. Au moins, en Italie, tout y est tranché. Les femmes y sont encore des animaux malfaisants, des sirènes dangereuses, sans raison, sans logique autre que celle de leurs goûts, de leurs appétits, et desquelles il faut se défier comme on se défie des tigres…”

Le mérite d’une rêverie est tout entier dans son vague, n’est-elle pas une sorte de vapeur intellectuelle?”

Une femme de qui vous vous êtes, certes, entretenu plus d’une fois pour la louer ou pour en médire, une femme qui vit dans la solitude, un vrai mystère.

Si vous avez jamais été clémente dans votre vie, de grâce, dites-moi son nom?

La marquise d’Aiglemont.

Je vais aller prendre des leçons près d’elle: elle a su faire d’un mari bien médiocre un pair de France, d’un homme nul une capacité politique. Mais, dites-moi, croyez-vous que lord Grenville soit mort pour elle, comme quelques femmes l’ont prétendu?

Peut-être.

C’est quelque chose, à Paris, qu’une constance de quatre ans.”

Quatro anos sem trair o marido em plena Paris é um feito e tanto.”

Charles resta pendant un moment immobile, le dos légèrement appuyé sur le chambranle de la porte, et tout occupé à examiner une femme devenue célèbre sans que personne pût rendre compte des motifs sur lesquels se fondait sa renommée. Le monde offre beaucoup de ces anomalies curieuses. La réputation de madame d’Aiglemont n’était pas, certes, plus extraordinaire que celle de certains hommes toujours en travail d’une oeuvre inconnue: statisticiens tenus pour profonds sur la foi de calculs qu’ils se gardent bien de publier; politiques qui vivent sur un article de journal; auteurs ou artistes dont l’oeuvre reste toujours en portefeuille; gens savants avec ceux qui ne connaissent rien à la science, comme Sganarelle est latiniste avec ceux qui ne savent pas le latin; hommes auxquels on accorde une capacité convenue sur un point, soit la direction des arts, soit une mission importante. Cet admirable mot: c’est une spécialité, semble avoir été créé pour ces espèces d’acéphales politiques ou littéraires. Charles demeura plus longtemps en contemplation qu’il ne le voulait, et fut mécontent d’être si fortement préoccupé par une femme; mais aussi la présence de cette femme réfutait les pensées qu’un instant auparavant le jeune diplomate avait conçues à l’aspect du bal.”

MULHER CENTRÍPETA

centopéia

fugaz

tout homme supérieur se sentait-il curieusement attiré vers cette femme douce et silencieuse. Si l’esprit cherchait à deviner les mystères de la perpétuelle réaction qui se faisait en elle du présent vers le passé, du monde à sa solitude, l’âme n’était pas moins intéressée à s’initier aux secrets d’un coeur en quelque sorte orgueilleux de ses souffrances. En elle, rien d’ailleurs ne démentait les idées qu’elle inspirait tout d’abord. Comme presque toutes les femmes qui ont de très longs cheveux, elle était pâle et parfaitement blanche.”

ces sortes de cous sont les plus gracieux, et donnent aux têtes de femmes de vagues affinités avec les magnétiques ondulations du serpent. S’il n’existait pas un seul des mille indices par lesquels les caractères les plus dissimulés se révèlent à l’observateur, il lui suffirait d’examiner attentivement les gestes de la tête et les torsions du cou, si variées, si expressives, pour juger une femme. Chez madame d’Aiglemont, la mise était en harmonie avec la pensée qui dominait sa personne.”

À un certain âge seulement, certaines femmes choisies savent seules donner un langage à leur attitude. Est-ce le chagrin, est-ce le bonheur qui prête à la femme de trente ans, à la femme heureuse ou malheureuse, le secret de cette contenance éloquente? Ce sera toujours une vivante énigme que chacun interprète au gré de ses désirs, de ses espérances ou de son système.”

l’insouciance de sa pose, ses mouvements pleins de lassitude, tout révélait une femme sans intérêt dans la vie, qui n’a point connu les plaisirs de l’amour (…) une femme inoccupée qui prend le vide pour le néant.”

vocação: vazio:

voto: de silêncio

em branco

paz

silêncio

branco chiado

O que eu não obtive não existe!

Ass: Napoleão,

que nega a Europa.

NA VELOCIDADE DA MEDULA ESPINHAL (OU DE UM METEORO SENTIMENTAL): “Une conversation s’établit alors entre la marquise et le jeune homme, qui, suivant l’usage, abordèrent en un moment une multitude de sujets: la peinture, la musique, la littérature, la politique, les hommes, les événements et les choses. Puis ils arrivèrent par une pente insensible au sujet éternel des causeries françaises et étrangères, à l’amour, aux sentiments et aux femmes.

Nous sommes esclaves.

Vous êtes reines.

Les phrases plus ou moins spirituelles dites par Charles et la marquise pouvaient se réduire à cette simple expression de tous les discours présents et à venir tenus sur cette matière. Ces deux phrases ne voudront-elles pas toujours dire dans un temps donné : – Aimez-moi. – Je vous aimerai.”

Il existe des pensées auxquelles nous obéissons sans les connaître: elles sont en nous à notre insu. Quoique cette réflexion puisse paraître plus paradoxale que vraie, chaque

personne de bonne foi en trouvera mille preuves dans sa vie. En se rendant chez la marquise, Charles obéissait à l’un de ces textes préexistants dont notre expérience et les conquêtes de notre esprit ne sont, plus tard, que les développements sensibles.”

L’une [la jeune femme] cède, l’autre choisit.”

en se donnant, la femme expérimentée semble donner plus qu’elle-même”

Pour qu’une jeune fille soit la maîtresse, elle doit être trop corrompue, et on l’abandonne alors avec horreur; tandis qu’une femme a mille moyens de conserver tout à la fois son pouvoir et sa dignité. L’une, trop soumise, vous offre les tristes sécurités du repos; l’autre perd trop pour ne pas demander à l’amour ses mille métamorphoses. L’une se déshonore toute seule, l’autre tue à votre profit une famille

entière. La jeune fille n’a qu’une coquetterie, et croit avoir tout dit quand elle a quitté son vêtement; mais la femme en a d’innombrables et se cache sous mille voiles; enfin elle caresse toutes les vanités, et la novice n’en flatte qu’une. Il s’émeut d’ailleurs des indécisions, des terreurs, des craintes, des troubles et des orages chez la femme de trente ans, qui ne se rencontrent jamais dans l’amour d’une jeune fille. Arrivée à cet âge, la femme demande à un jeune homme de lui restituer l’estime qu’elle lui a sacrifiée; elle ne vit que pour lui, s’occupe de son avenir, lui veut une belle vie, la lui ordonne glorieuse; elle obéit, elle prie et commande, s’abaisse et s’élève, et sait consoler en mille occasions, où la jeune fille ne sait que gémir. Enfin, outre tous les avantages de sa position, la femme de trente ans peut se faire jeune fille, jouer tous les rôles, être pudique, et s’embellir même d’un malheur. Entre elles deux se trouve l’incommensurable différence du prévu à l’imprévu, de la force à la faiblesse.”

La sainteté des femmes est inconciliable avec les devoirs et les libertés du monde. Émanciper les femmes, c’est les corrompre. En accordant à un étranger le droit d’entrer dans le sanctuaire du ménage, n’est-ce pas se mettre à sa merci? mais qu’une femme l’y attire, n’est-ce pas une faute, ou, pour être exact, le commencement d’une faute? Il faut accepter cette théorie dans toute sa rigueur, ou absoudre les passions. Jusqu’à présent, en France, la Société a su prendre un mezzo termine: elle se moque des malheurs. Comme les Spartiates qui ne punissaient que la maladresse, elle semble admettre le vol. Mais peut-être ce système est-il très sage. Le mépris général constitue le plus affreux de tous les châtiments, en ce qu’il atteint la femme au coeur.” “La plus corrompue d’entre elles exige, même avant tout, une absolution pour le passé, en vendant son avenir, et tâche de faire comprendre à son amant qu’elle échange contre d’irrésistibles félicités, les honneurs que le monde lui refusera.”

Brunne marquise-né

Mais la marquise prit bientôt cet air affectueux, sous lequel les femmes s’abritent contre les interprétations de la vanité.”

Les femmes se tiennent alors aussi longtemps qu’elles le veulent dans cette position équivoque, comme dans un carrefour qui mène également au respect, à l’indifférence, à l’étonnement ou à la passion. À trente ans seulement une femme peut connaître les ressources de cette situation. Elle y sait rire, plaisanter, s’attendrir sans se compromettre. Elle possède alors le tact nécessaire pour attaquer chez un homme toutes les cordes sensibles, et pour étudier les sons qu’elle en tire. Son silence est aussi dangereux que sa parole. Vous ne devinez jamais si, à cet âge, elle est franche ou fausse, si elle se moque ou si elle est de bonne foi dans ses aveux. Après vous avoir donné le droit de lutter avec elle, tout à coup, par un mot, par un regard, par un de ces gestes dont la puissance leur est connue, elles ferment le combat, vous abandonnent, et restent maîtresses de votre secret, libres de vous immoler par une plaisanterie, libres de s’occuper de vous, également protégées par leur faiblesse et par votre force. Quoique la marquise se plaçât, pendant cette première visite, sur ce terrain neutre, elle sut y conserver une haute dignité de femme. Ses douleurs secrètes planèrent toujours sur sa gaieté factice comme un léger nuage qui dérobe imparfaitement le soleil. Vandenesse sortit après avoir éprouvé dans cette conversation des délices inconnus; mais il demeura convaincu que la marquise était de ces femmes dont la conquête coûte trop cher pour qu’on puisse entreprendre de les aimer.”

En France l’amour-propre mène à la passion. Charles revint chez madame d’Aiglemont et crut s’apercevoir qu’elle prenait plaisir à sa conversation. Au lieu de se livrer avec naïveté au bonheur d’aimer, il voulut alors jouer un double rôle. Il essaya de paraître passionné, puis d’analyser froidement la marche de cette intrigue, d’être amant et diplomate; mais il était généreux et jeune, cet examen devait le conduire à un amour sans bornes; car, artificieuse ou naturelle, la marquise était toujours plus forte que lui. Chaque fois qu’il sortait de chez madame d’Aiglemont, Charles persistait dans sa méfiance et soumettait les situations progressives par lesquelles passait son âme à une sévère analyse, qui tuait ses propres émotions.

Or, je ne suis ni son frère ni son confesseur, pourquoi m’a-t-elle confié ses chagrins? Elle m’aime.”

L’amour prend la couleur de chaque siècle. En 1822 il est doctrinaire. Au lieu de se prouver, comme jadis, par des faits, on le discute, on le disserte, on le met en discours de tribune. Les femmes en sont réduites à trois moyens: d’abord elles mettent en question notre passion, nous refusent le pouvoir d’aimer autant qu’elles aiment. Coquetterie! véritable défi que la marquise m’a porté ce soir. Puis elles se font très malheureuses pour exciter nos générosités naturelles ou notre amour-propre. Un jeune homme n’est-il pas flatté de consoler une grande infortune? Enfin elles ont la manie de la virginité! Elle a dû penser que je la croyais toute neuve. Ma bonne foi peut devenir une excellente spéculation.

elle vivait dans une solitude profonde, et dévorait en silence des chagrins qu’elle laissait à peine deviner par l’accent plus ou moins contraint d’une interjection. Dès ce moment Charles prit un vif intérêt à madame d’Aiglemont. Cependant, en venant à un rendez-vous habituel qui leur était devenu nécessaire l’un à l’autre, heure réservée par un mutuel instinct, Vandenesse trouvait encore sa maîtresse plus habile que vraie, et sondernier mot était : – Décidément, cette femme est très adroite. Il entra, vit la marquise dans son attitude favorite, attitude pleine de mélancolie; elle leva les yeux sur lui sans faire un mouvement, et lui jeta un de ces regards pleins qui ressemblent à un sourire. Madame d’Aiglemont exprimait une confiance, une amitié vraie, mais point d’amour. Charles s’assit et ne put rien dire. Il était ému par une de ces sensations pour lesquelles il manque un langage.

Qu’avez-vous? lui dit-elle d’un son de voix attendrie.”

elle n’imaginait pas que le bonheur pût apporter deux fois à une femme ses enivrements, car elle ne croyait pas seulement à l’esprit, mais à l’âme, et, pour elle, l’amour n’était pas une séduction, il comportait toutes les séductions nobles. En ce moment Charles redevint jeune homme, il fut subjugué par l’éclat d’un si grand caractère, et voulut être initié dans tous les secrets de cette existence flétrie par le hasard plus que par une faute.”

Si je n’ai pas su mourir, je dois être au moins fidèle à mes souvenirs.”

les larmes d’un deuil de trois ans fascinèrent Vandenesse qui resta silencieux et petit devant cette grande et noble femme: il n’en voyait plus les beautés matérielles si exquises, si achevées, mais l’âme si éminemment sensible. Il rencontrait enfin cet être idéal si fantastiquement rêvé, si vigoureusement appelé par tous ceux qui mettent la vie dans une passion, la cherchent avec ardeur, et souvent meurent sans avoir pu jouir de tous ses trésors rêvés.”

Raisonner là où il faut sentir est le propre des âmes sans portée.”

à ce bel âge de trente ans, sommité poétique de la vie des femmes, elles peuvent en embrasser tout le cours et voir aussi bien dans le passé que dans l’avenir. Les femmes connaissent alors tout le prix de l’amour et en jouissent avec la crainte de le perdre: alors leur âme est encore belle de la jeunesse qui les abandonne, et leur passion va se renforçant toujours d’un avenir qui les effraie.”

Cette triste réflexion, due au découragement et à la crainte de ne pas réussir, par lesquels commencent toutes les passions vraies, fut le dernier calcul de sa diplomatie expirante. Dès lors il n’eut plus d’arrière-pensées, devint le jouet de son amour et se perdit dans les riens de ce bonheur inexplicable qui se repaît d’un mot, d’un silence, d’un vague espoir. Il voulut aimer platoniquement, vint tous les jours respirer l’air que respirait madame d’Aiglemont, s’incrusta presque dans sa maison et l’accompagna partout avec la tyrannie d’une passion qui mêle son égoïsme au dévouement le plus absolu. L’amour a son instinct, il sait trouver le chemin du coeur comme le plus faible insecte marche à sa fleur avec une irrésistible volonté qui ne s’épouvante de rien. Aussi, quand un sentiment est vrai, sa destinée n’est-elle pas douteuse.”

Or, il est impossible à une femme, à une épouse, à une mère, de se préserver contre l’amour d’un jeune homme ; la seule chose qui soit en sa puissance est de ne pas continuer à le voir au moment où elle devine ce secret du coeur qu’une femme devine toujours. Mais ce parti semble trop décisif pour qu’une femme puisse le prendre à un âge où le mariage pèse, ennuie et lasse, où l’affection conjugale est plus que tiède, si déjà même son mari ne l’a pas abandonnée. Laides, les femmes sont flattées par un amour qui les fait belles; jeunes et charmantes, la séduction doit être à la hauteur de leurs séductions, elle est immense; vertueuses, un sentiment terrestrement sublime les porte à trouver je ne sais quelle absolution dans la grandeur même des sacrifices qu’elles font à leur amant et de la gloire dans cette lutte difficile. Tout est piège. Aussi nulle leçon n’est-elle trop forte pour de si fortes tentations. La réclusion ordonnée autrefois à la femme en Grèce, en orient, et qui devient de mode en Angleterre, est la seule sauvegarde de la morale domestique; mais, sous l’empire de ce système, les agréments du monde périssent: ni la société, ni la politesse, ni l’élégance des moeurs ne sont alors possibles. Les nations devront choisir.”

Não há sociedade, não há etiqueta, não há modos, não há chifres.

Avait-elle pris les idées de Vandenesse, ou Vandenesse avait-il épousé ses moindres caprices? elle n’examina rien. Déjà saisie par le courant de la passion, cette adorable femme se dit avec la fausse bonne foi de la peur: – Oh! non! je serai fidèle à celui qui mourut pour moi.”

Pascal a dit: Douter de Dieu, c’est y croire. De même, une femme ne se débat que quand elle est prise. Le jour où la marquise s’avoua qu’elle était aimée, il lui arriva de flotter entre mille sentiments contraires. Les superstitions de l’expérience parlèrent leur langage. Serait-elle heureuse? pourrait-elle trouver le bonheur en dehors des lois dont la Société fait, à tort ou à raison, sa morale? Jusqu’alors la vie ne lui avait versé que de l’amertume. Y avait-il un heureux dénouement possible aux liens qui unissent deux êtres séparés par des convenances sociales? Mais aussi le bonheur se paie-t-il jamais trop cher? Puis ce bonheur si ardemment voulu, et qu’il est si naturel de chercher, peut-être le rencontrerait-elle enfin! La curiosité plaide toujours la cause des amants. Au milieu de cette discussion secrète, Vandenesse arriva. Sa présence fit évanouir le fantôme métaphysique de la raison. Si telles sont les transformations successives par lesquelles passe un sentiment même rapide chez un jeune homme et chez une femme de trente ans, il est un moment où les nuances se fondent, où les raisonnements s’abolissent en un seul, en une dernière réflexion qui se confond dans un désir et qui le corrobore. Plus la résistance a été longue, plus puissante alors est la voix de l’amour.”

A curiosidade sempre ajuda a causa dos amantes.

Je suis déjà vieille, dit-elle, rien ne m’excuserait donc de ne pas continuer à souffrir comme par le passé. D’ailleurs il faut aimer, dites-vous? Eh! bien, je ne le dois ni ne le puis. Hors vous, dont l’amitié jette quelques douceurs sur ma vie, personne ne me plaît, personne ne saurait effacer mes souvenirs. J’accepte un ami, je fuirais un amant.

Ces paroles, empreintes d’une horrible coquetterie, étaient le dernier effort de la sagesse.

S’il se décourage, eh! bien, je resterai seule et fidèle. Cette pensée vint au coeur de cette femme, et fut pour elle ce qu’est la branche de saule trop faible que saisit un nageur avant d’être emporté par le courant.”

…Essas palavras, impregnadas de um charme horrendo, foram o esforço final da sabedoria.

– Bem, se ele se desencoraja agora, seguirei, como sempre, solitária e fiel! Esse foi o pensamento que iluminou o coração dessa mulher, comparável a um nadador na forte correnteza, que agarra inutilmente um galho fraco, sem poder se prender ao próprio tronco, na iminência da perdição.”

La passion fait un progrès énorme chez une femme au moment où elle croit avoir agi peu généreusement, ou avoir blessé quelque âme noble. Jamais il ne faut se défier des sentiments mauvais en amour, ils sont très salutaires, les femmes ne succombent que sous le coup d’une vertu. L’enfer est pavé de bonnes intentions n’est pas un paradoxe de prédicateur.”

Le ciel et l’enfer sont deux grands poèmes qui formulent les deux seuls points sur lesquels tourne notre existence: la joie ou la douleur. Le ciel n’est-il pas, ne sera-t-il pas

toujours une image de l’infini de nos sentiments qui ne sera jamais peint que dans ses détails, parce que le bonheur est un, et l’enfer ne représente-t-il pas les tortures infinies de nos douleurs dont nous pouvons faire oeuvre de poésie, parce qu’elles sont toutes dissemblables?”

En ce moment le général d’Aiglemont entra.

Le ministère est changé, dit-il. Votre oncle fait partie du nouveau cabinet. Ainsi, vous avez de bien belles chances pour être ambassadeur, Vandenesse.”

Pour moi, je ne connais maintenant rien de plus horrible qu’une pensée de vieillard sur un front d’enfant le blasphème aux lèvres d’une vierge est moins monstrueux encore. Aussi l’attitude presque stupide de cette fille déjà pensive, la rareté de ses gestes, tout m’intéressa-t-il. Je l’examinai curieusement. Par une fantaisie naturelle aux observateurs, je la comparais à son frère, en cherchant à surprendre les rapports et les différences qui se trouvaient entre eux. La première avait des cheveux bruns, des yeux noirs et une puissance précoce qui formaient une riche opposition avec la blonde chevelure, les yeux vert de mer et la gracieuse faiblesse du plus jeune. L’aînée pouvait avoir environ sept à huit ans, l’autre six à peine. Ils étaient habillés de la même manière.”

Le beau jeune homme, blond comme lui, le faisait danser dans ses bras, et l’embrassait en lui prodiguant ces petits mots sans suite et détournés de leur sens véritable que nous adressons amicalement aux enfants. La mère souriait à ces jeux, et, de temps à autre, disait, sans doute à voix basse, des paroles sorties du coeur; car son compagnon s’arrêtait, tout heureux, et la regardait d’un oeil bleu plein de feu, plein d’idolâtrie. Leurs voix mêlées à celle de l’enfant avaient je ne sais quoi de caressant. Ils

étaient charmants tous trois. Cette scène délicieuse, au milieu de ce magnifique paysage, y répandait une incroyable suavité. Une femme, belle, blanche, rieuse, un enfant d’amour, un homme ravissant de jeunesse, un ciel pur, enfin toutes les harmonies de la nature s’accordaient pour réjouir l’âme. Je me surpris à sourire, comme si ce bonheur était le mien.”

En voyant son frère sur le penchant du talus, Hélène lui lança le plus horrible regard qui jamais ait allumé les yeux d’un enfant, et le poussa par un mouvement de rage. Charles glissa sur le versant rapide, y rencontra des racines qui le rejetèrent violemment sur les pierres coupantes du mur; il s’y fracassa le front; puis, tout sanglant, alla tomber dans les eaux boueuses de la rivière.” “L’eau noire bouillonnait sur un espace immense. Le lit de la Bièvre a, dans cet endroit, dix pieds de boue. L’enfant devait y mourir, il était impossible de le secourir. À cette heure, un dimanche, tout était en repos. La Bièvre n’a ni bateaux ni pêcheurs. Je ne vis ni perches pour sonder le ruisseau puant, ni personne dans le lointain. Pourquoi donc aurais-je parlé de ce sinistre accident, ou dit le secret de ce malheur? Hélène avait peut-être vengé són père. Sa jalousie était sans doute le glaive [épée] de Dieu.”

L’enfance a le front transparent, le teint diaphane; et le mensonge est, chez elle, comme une lumière qui lui rougit même le regard.”

Le père était parti sans attendre le dessert, tant sa fille et son fils l’avaient tourmenté pour arriver au spectacle avant le lever du rideau.”

O Vale da Torrente

Foi d’homme d’honneur, dit le notaire, les auteurs de nos jours sont à moitié fous! La

Vallée du torrent! Pourquoi pas le Torrent de la vallée? il est possible qu’une vallée n’ait pas de torrent, et en disant le Torrent de la vallée, les auteurs auraient accusé quelque chose de net, de précis, de caractérisé, de compréhensible. Mais laissons cela. Maintenant comment peut-il se rencontrer un drame dans un torrent et dans une vallée? Vous me répondrez qu’aujourd’hui le principal attrait de ces sortes de spectacles gît dans les décorations, et ce titre en indique de fort belles. Vous êtes-vous bien amusé, mon petit compère? ajouta-t-il en s’asseyant devant l’enfant.

Au moment où le notaire demanda quel drame pouvait se rencontrer au fond d’un torrent, la fille de la marquise se retourna lentement et pleura. La mère était si violemment contrariée qu’elle n’aperçut pas le mouvement de sa fille.”

Il y avait dans la pièce un petit garçon bien gentil qu’était seul au monde, parce que son papa n’avait pas pu être son père. Voilà que, quand il arrive en haut du pont qui est sur le torrent, un grand vilain barbu, vêtu tout en noir, le jette dans l’eau. Hélène s’est mise alors à pleurer, à sangloter; toute la salle a crié après nous, et mon père nous a bien vite, bien vite emmenés…

Monsieur de Vandenesse et la marquise restèrent tous deux stupéfaits, et comme saisis par un mal qui leur ôta la force de penser et d’agir.

Gustave, taisez-vous donc, cria le général. Je vous ai défendu de parler sur ce qui s’est passé au spectacle, et vous oubliez déjà mês recommandations.”

Assez, Hélène, lui dit-elle, allez sécher vos larmes dans le boudoir.

Qu’a-t-elle donc fait, cette pauvre petite? dit le notaire, qui voulut calmer à la fois la colère de la mère et les pleurs de la fille. Elle est si jolie que ce doit être la plus sage créature du monde; je suis bien sûr, madame, qu’elle ne vous donne que des jouissances; pas vrai, ma petite?

Hélène regarda sa mère en tremblant, essuya ses larmes, tâcha de se composer un visage calme, et s’enfuit dans le boudoir.

Et certes, disait le notaire en continuant toujours, madame, vous êtes trop bonne mère pour ne pas aimer également tous vos enfants. Vous êtes d’ailleurs trop vertueuse pour avoir de ces tristes préférences dont les funestes effets se révèlent plus particulièrement à nous autres notaires. La société nous passe par les mains. Aussi en voyons-nous les passions sous leur forme la plus hideuse, l’intérêt. Ici, une mère veut déshériter les enfants de son mari au profit des enfants qu’elle leur préfère; tandis que, de son côté, le mari veut quelquefois réserver as fortune à l’enfant qui a mérité la haine de la mère. Et c’est alors des combats, des craintes, des actes, des contre-lettres, des ventes simulées, des fidéicommis; enfin, un gâchis pitoyable, ma parole d’honneur, pitoyable! Là, des pères passent leur vie à déshériter leurs enfants em volant le bien de leurs femmes… Oui, volant est le mot. Nous parlions de drame, ah! je vous assure que si nous pouvions dire le secret de certaines donations, nos auteurs pourraient en faire de terribles tragédies bourgeoises. Je ne sais pas de quel pouvoir usent les femmes pour faire ce qu’elles veulent: car, malgré les apparences et leur faiblesse, c’est toujours elles qui l’emportent. Ah! par exemple, elles ne m’attrapent pas, moi. Je devine toujours la raison de ces prédilections que dans le monde on qualifie poliment d’indéfinissables! Mais les maris ne la devinent jamais, c’est une justice à leur rendre. Vous me répondrez à cela qu’il y a des grâces d’ét…–

Un ancien officier d’ordonnance de Napoléon, que nous appellerons seulement le marquis ou le général, et qui sous la restauration fit une haute fortune, était venu passer les beaux jours à Versailles, où il habitait une maison de campagne située entre l’église et la barrière de Montreuil, sur le chemin qui conduit à l’avenue de Saint-Cloud. Son service à la cour ne lui permettait pas de s’éloigner de Paris.”

Il contemplait le plus petit de ses enfants, un garçon à peine âgé de cinq ans, qui, demi-nu, se refusait à se laisser déshabiller par sa mère.” “La petite Moïna, son aînée de deux ans, provoquait par des agaceries déjà féminines d’interminables rires, qui partaient comme des fusées et semblaient ne pas avoir de cause”

Âgée d’environ trente-six ans, elle conservait encore une beauté due à la rare perfection des lignes de son visage, auquel la chaleur, la lumière et le bonheur prêtaient en ce moment un éclat surnaturel.”

N’y a-t-il pas toujours un peu d’amour pour l’enfance chez les soldats qui ont assez expérimenté les malheurs de la vie pour avoir su reconnaître les misères de la force et les privilèges de la faiblesse? Plus loin, devant une table ronde éclairée par des lampes astrales dont les vives lumières luttaient avec les lueurs pâles des bougies placées sur la cheminée, était un jeune garçon de treize ans qui tournait rapidement les pages d’un gros livre. (…) Il restait immobile, dans une attitude méditative, un coude sur la table et la tête appuyée sur l’une de ses mains, dont les doigts blancs tranchaient au moyen d’une chevelure brune.” “Entre cette table et la marquise, une grande et belle jeune fille travaillait, assise devant un métier à tapisserie sur lequel se penchait et d’où s’éloignait alternativement sa tête, dont les cheveux d’ébène artistement lissés réfléchissaient la lumière. À elle seule Hélène était un spectacle.” “Les deux aînés étaient en ce moment complètement oubliés par le mari et par la femme.”

La vie conjugale est pleine de ces heures sacrées dont le charme indéfinissable est dû peut-être à quelque souvenance d’un monde meilleur. Des rayons célestes jaillissent sans doute sur ces sortes de scènes, destinées à payer à l’homme une partie de ses chagrins, à lui faire accepter l’existence. Il semble que l’univers soit là, devant nous, sous une forme enchanteresse, qu’il déroule ses grandes idées d’ordre, que la vie sociale plaide pour ses lois en parlant de l’avenir.

          Cependant, malgré le regard d’attendrissement jeté par Hélène sur Abel et Moïna quand éclatait une de leurs joies; malgré le bonheur peint sur sa lucide figure lorsqu’elle contemplait furtivement son père, un sentiment de profonde mélancolie était empreint dans ses gestes, dans son attitude, et surtout dans ses yeux voilés par de longues paupières.” “Ces deux femmes se comprirent alors par un regard terne, froid, respectueux chez Hélène, sombre et menaçant chez la mère. Hélène baissa promptement sa vue sur le métier, tira l’aiguille avec prestesse, et de longtemps ne releva sa tête, qui semblait lui être devenue trop lourde à porter. La mère était-elle trop sévère pour sa fille, et jugeait-elle cette sévérité nécessaire? Était-elle jalouse de la beauté d’Hélène, avec qui elle pouvait rivaliser encore, mais en déployant tous les prestiges de la toilette? Ou la fille avait-elle surpris, comme beaucoup de filles quand elles deviennent clairvoyantes, des secrets que cette femme, en apparence si religieusement fidèle à ses devoirs, croyait avoir ensevelis dans son coeur aussi profondément que dans une tombe?”

Dans certains esprits, les fautes prennent les proportions du crime; l’imagination réagit alors sur la conscience; souvent alors les jeunes filles exagèrent la punition en raison de l’étendue qu’elles donnent aux forfaits. Hélène paraissait ne se croire digne de personne. Un secret de sa vie antérieure, un accident peut-être, incompris d’abord, mais développé par les susceptibilités de son intelligence sur laquelle influaient les idées religieuses, semblait l’avoir depuis peu comme dégradée romanesquement à ses propres yeux. Ce changement dans sa conduite avait commencé le jour où elle avait lu, dans la récente traduction des théâtres étrangers, la belle tragédie de Guillaume Tell, par Schiller.” “Devenue humble, pieuse et recueillie, Hélène ne souhaitait plus d’aller au bal. Jamais elle n’avait été si caressante pour son père, surtout quand la marquise n’était pas témoin de ses cajoleries de jeune fille. Néanmoins, s’il existait du refroidissement dans l’affection d’Hélène pour sa mère, il était si finement exprimé, que le général ne devait pas s’en apercevoir, quelque jaloux qu’il pût être de l’union qui régnait dans sa famille. Nul homme n’aurait eu l’oeil assez perspicace pour sonder la profondeur de ces deux coeurs féminins: l’un jeune et généreux, l’autre sensible et fier; le premier, trésor d’indulgence; le second, plein de finesse et d’amour. Si la mère contristait sa fille par un adroit despotisme de femme, il n’était sensible qu’aux yeux de la victime. Au reste, l’événement seulement fit naître ces conjectures toutes insolubles. Jusqu’à cette nuit, aucune lumière accusatrice ne s’était échappée de ces deux âmes; mais entre elles et Dieu certainement il s’élevait quelque sinistre mystère.

Gustave, ajouta-t-il en se tournant vers son fils, je ne t’ai donné ce livre qu’à la condition de le quitter à dix heures; tu aurais dû le fermer toi-même à l’heure dite et t’aller coucher comme tu me l’avais promis. Si tu veux être un homme remarquable, il faut faire de ta parole une seconde religion, et y tenir comme à ton honneur. Fox, un des plus grands orateurs de l’Angleterre, était surtout remarquable par la beauté de son caractère. La fidélité aux engagements pris est la principale de ses qualités.”

(…) Je ne reconnais à personne le droit de me plaindre, de m’absoudre ou de me condamner. Je dois vivre seul. Allez, mon enfant, ajouta-t-il avec un geste de souverain, je reconnaîtrais mal le service que me rend le maître de cette maison, si je laissais une seule des personnes qui l’habitent respirer le même air que moi. Il faut me soumettre aux lois du monde.

Cette dernière phrase fut prononcée à voir basse. En achevant d’embrasser par sa profonde intuition les misères que réveilla cette idée mélancolique, il jeta sur Hélène un regard de serpent, et remua dans le coeur de cette singulière jeune fille un monde de pensées encore endormi chez elle. Ce fut comme une lumière qui lui aurait éclairé des pays inconnus. Son âme fut terrassée, subjuguée, sans qu’elle trouvât la force de se défendre contre le pouvoir magnétique de ce regard, quelque involontairement lancé qu’il fût.

Honteuse et tremblante, elle sortit et ne revint au salon qu’un instant avant le retour de son père, en sorte qu’elle ne put rien dire à sa mère.

Le marquis et sa fille, certains d’avoir enfermé l’assassin de monsieur de Mauny, attribuèrent ces mouvements à une des femmes, et ne furent pas étonnés d’entendre

ouvrir les portes de la pièce qui précédait le salon. Tout à coup le meurtrier apparut au milieu d’eux. La stupeur dans laquelle le marquis était plongé, la vive curiosité de la mère et l’étonnement de la fille lui ayant permis d’avancer presque au milieu du salon, il dit au général d’une voix singulièrement calme et mélodieuse: – Monseigneur, les deux heures vont expirer.”

Au mot d’assassin, la marquise jeta un cri. Quant à Hélène, ce mot sembla décider de sa vie, son visage n’accusa pas le moindre étonnement. Elle semblait avoir attendu cet homme. Ses pensées si vastes eurent un sens. La punition que le ciel réservait à ses fautes éclatait. Se croyant aussi criminelle que l’était cet homme, la jeune fille le regarda d’un oeil serein : elle était sa compagne, sa soeur. Pour elle, un commandement de Dieu se manifestait dans cette circonstance. Quelques années plus tard, la raison aurait fait justice de ses remords ; mais en ce moment ils la rendaient insensée. L’étranger resta immobile et froid. Un sourire de dédain se peignit dans ses traits et sur ses larges lèvres rouges.”

Ah ! ma fille?… dit la marquise à voix basse mais de manière à ce que son mari l’entendît. Hélène, vous mentez à tous les principes d’honneur, de modestie, de vertu, que j’ai tâché de développer dans votre coeur. Si vous n’avez été que mensonge jusqu’à cette heure fatale, alors vous n’êtes point regrettable. Est-ce la perfection morale de cet inconnu qui vous tente? serait-ce l’espèce de puissance nécessaire aux gens qui commettent un crime?… Je vous estime trop pour supposer…

Oh! supposez tout, madame, répondit Hélène d’un ton froid.

(…) Voyons, es-tu jalouse de notre affection pour tes frères ou ta jeune soeur? As-tu dans l’âme un chagrin d’amour? Es-tu malheureuse ici? Parle? explique-moi les raisons qui te poussent à laisser ta famille, à l’abandonner, à la priver de son plus grand charme, à quitter ta mère, tes frères, ta petite soeur.

Mon père, répondit-elle, je ne suis ni jalouse ni amoureuse de personne, pas même de votre ami le diplomate, monsieur de Vandenesse.”

Savons-nous jamais, dit-elle en continuant, à quel être nous lions nos destinées? Moi, je crois en cet homme.

Enfant, dit le général en élevant la voix, tu ne songes pas à toutes les souffrances qui vont t’assaillir.

Je pense aux siennes…

Quelle vie! dit le père.

Une vie de femme, répondit la fille en murmurant.

Vous êtes bien savante, s’écria la marquise en retrouvant la parole.

Madame, les demandes me dictent les réponses ; mais, si vous le désirez, je parlerai plus clairement.

Dites tout, ma fille, je suis mère. Ici la fille regarda la mère, et ce regard fit faire une pause à la marquise.

Soit! mon père, répondit-elle avec un calme désespérant, j’y mourrai. Vous n’êtes comptable de ma vie et de son âme qu’à Dieu.

Que seja, papai!, respondeu Helèna, com uma calma que soava desesperante para seus pais: eu definharei. Você não é responsável por minha vida nem pela alma dele senão perante o Senhor.

L’hospitalité que je vous ai donnée me coûte cher, s’écria le général en se levant. Vous n’avez tué, tout à l’heure, qu’un vieillard; ici, vous assassinez toute une famille. Quoi qu’il arrive, il y aura du malheur dans cette maison.

Et si votre fille est heureuse? demanda le meurtrier en regardant fixement le militaire.

Vous qu’un meurtrier n’épouvante pas, ange de miséricorde, dit-il, venez, puisque vous persistez à me confier votre destinée.

Par où vont-ils? s’écria le général en écoutant les pas des deux fugitifs. – Madame, reprit-il en s’adressant à sa femme, je crois rêver: cette aventure me cache un mystère. Vous devez le savoir.

La marquise frissonna.

À sept heures du matin, les recherches de la gendarmerie, du général, de ses gens et des voisins avaient été inutiles. Le chien n’était pas revenu. Harassé de fatigue, et déjà vieilli par le chagrin, le marquis rentra dans son salon, désert pour lui, quoique ses trois autres enfants y fussent.”

* * *

La terrible nuit de Noël, pendant laquelle le marquis et sa femme eurent le malheur de perdre leur fille aînée sans avoir pu s’opposer à l’étrange domination exercée par son ravisseur involontaire, fut comme un avis que leur donna la fortune. La faillite d’un agent de change ruina le marquis. Il hypothéqua les biens de sa femme pour tenter une spéculation dont les bénéfices devaient restituer à sa famille toute sa première fortune; mais cette entreprise acheva de le ruiner. Poussé par son désespoir à tout tenter, le général s’expatria. Six ans s’étaient écoulés depuis son départ. Quoique sa famille eût rarement reçu de ses nouvelles, quelques jours avant la reconnaissance de l’indépendance des républiques américaines par l’Espagne, il avait annoncé son retour.”

Un beau jour, un vent frais, la vue de la patrie, une mer tranquille, un bruissement mélancolique, un joli brick solitaire, glissant sur l’océan comme une femme qui vole à un rendez-vous, c’était un tableau plein d’harmonies, une scène d’où l’âme humaine pouvait embrasser d’immuables espaces, en partant d’un point où tout était mouvement. Il y avait une étonnante opposition de solitude et de vie, de silence et de bruit, sans qu’on pût savoir où était le bruit et la vie, le néant et le silence; aussi pas une voix humaine ne rompait-elle ce charme céleste. Le capitaine espagnol, ses matelots, les Français restaient assis ou debout, tous plongés dans une extase religieuse pleine de souvenirs.” “Cependant, de temps en temps, le vieux passager, appuyé sur le bastingage, regardait l’horizon avec une sorte d’inquiétude. Il y avait une défiance du sort écrite dans tous ses traits, et il semblait craindre de ne jamais toucher assez vite la terre de France. Cet homme était le marquis. La fortune n’avait pas été sourde aux cris et aux efforts de son désespoir. Après 5 ans de tentatives et de travaux pénibles, il s’était vu possesseur d’une fortune considérable. Dans son impatience de revoir son pays et d’apporter le bonheur à sa famille, il avait suivi l’exemple de quelques négociants français de la Havane, en s’embarquant avec eux sur un vaisseau espagnol en charge pour Bordeaux. Néanmoins son imagination, lassée de prévoir le mal, lui traçait les images les plus délicieuses de son bonheur passé. En voyant de loin la ligne brune décrite par la terre, il croyait contempler sa femme et ses enfants. Il était à sa place, au foyer, et s’y sentait pressé, caressé. Il se figurait Moïna, belle, grandie, imposante comme une jeune fille. Quand ce tableau fantastique eut pris une sorte de réalité, des larmes roulèrent dans ses yeux; alors, comme pour cacher son trouble, il regarda l’horizon humide, opposé à la ligne brumeuse qui annonçait la terre.

C’est lui, dit-il, il nous suit.

Qu’est-ce? s’écria le capitaine espagnol.

Un vaisseau, reprit à voix basse le général.

Je l’ai déjà vu hier, répondit le capitaine Gomez. Il contempla le Français comme pour l’interroger. – Il nous a toujours donné la chasse, dit-il alors à l’oreille du général.

Et je ne sais pas pourquoi il ne nous a jamais rejoints, reprit le vieux militaire, car il est meilleur voilier que votre damné Saint-Ferdinand.

Il aura eu des avaries, une voie d’eau.

Il nous gagne, s’écria le Français.

C’est un corsaire colombien, lui dit à l’oreille le capitaine. Nous sommes encore à 6 lieues de terre, et le vent faiblit.

Il ne marche pas, il vole, comme s’il savait que dans 2 heures sa proie lui aura échappé. Quelle hardiesse!

Lui? s’écria le capitaine. Ah! il ne s’appelle pas l’Othello sans raison. Il a dernièrement coulé bas une frégate espagnole, et n’a cependant pas plus de 30 canons! Je n’avais peur que de lui, car je n’ignorais pas qu’il croisait dans les Antilles… – Ah! ah! reprit-il après une pause pendant laquelle il regarda les voiles de son vaisseau, le vent s’élève, nous arriverons. Il le faut, le Parisien serait impitoyable.

Lui aussi arrive! répondit le marquis.”

Pourquoi vous désoler? reprit le général. Tous vos passagers sont Français, ils ont frété votre bâtiment. Ce corsaire est un Parisien, dites=vous; hé bien, hissez pavillon blanc, et…

Et il nous coulera, répondit le capitaine. N’est-il pas, suivant les circonstances, tout ce qu’il faut être quand il veut s’emparer d’une riche proie?

Ah! si c’est un pirate!

Pirate! dit le matelot d’un air farouche. Ah! il est toujours en règle, ou sait s’y mettre.

Le Saint-Ferdinand portait en piastres 4 millions, qui composaient la fortune de 5 passagers, et celle du général était de 1,1 million francs. Enfin l’Othello, qui se trouvait alors à 10 portées de fusil, montra distinctement les gueules menaçantes de 12 canons prêts à faire feu.”

Il avait sur la tête, pour se garantir du soleil, un chapeau de feutre à grands bords, dont l’ombre lui cachait le visage.”

Le général se croyait sous la puissance d’un songe, quand il se trouva les mains liées et jeté sur un ballot comme s’il eût été lui-même une marchandise. Une conférence avait lieu entre le corsaire, son lieutenant et l’un des matelots qui paraissait remplir les fonctions de contremaître. Quand la discussion, qui dura peu, fut terminée, le matelot

siffla ses hommes, sur un ordre qu’il leur donna, ils sautèrent tous sur le Saint-Ferdinand, grimpèrent dans les cordages, et se mirent à le dépouiller de ses vergues, de ses voiles, de ses agrès, avec autant de prestesse qu’un soldat déshabille sur le champ de bataille un camarade mort dont les souliers et la capote étaient l’objet de sa convoitise.”

Les corsaires regardaient avec une curiosité malicieuse les différentes manières dont ces hommes tombaient, leurs grimaces, leur dernière torture; mais leurs visages ne trahissaient ni moquerie, ni étonnement, ni pitié. C’était pour eux un événement tout simple, auquel ils semblaient accoutumés.”

Ah! brigands, vous ne jetterez pas à l’eau comme une huître un ancien troupier de Napoléon.

En ce moment le général rencontra l’oeil fauve du ravisseur de sa fille. Le père et le gendre se reconnurent tout à coup.”

C’est le père d’Hélène, dit le capitaine d’une voix claire et ferme. Malheur à qui ne le respecterait pas!

Enfin Hélène semblait être la reine d’un grand empire au milieu du boudoir dans lequel son amant couronné aurait rassemblé les choses les plus élégantes de la terre.”

Écoutez, mon père, répondit-elle, j’ai pour amant, pour époux, pour serviteur, pour maître, un homme dont l’âme est aussi vaste que cette mer sans bornes, aussi fertile en douceur que le ciel, un dieu enfin! Depuis sept ans, jamais il ne lui est échappé une parole, un sentiment, un geste, qui pussent produire une dissonance avec la divine harmonie de ses discours, de ses caresses et de son amour. Il m’a toujours regardée en ayant sur les lèvres un sourire ami et dans les yeux un rayon de joie. Là-haut sa voix tonnante domine souvent les hurlements de la tempête ou le tumulte des combats; mais ici elle est douce et mélodieuse comme la musique de Rossini, dont les oeuvres m’arrivent. Tout ce que le caprice d’une femme peut inventer, je l’obtiens. Mes désirs sont même parfois surpassés. Enfin je règne sur la mer, et j’y suis obéie comme peut l’être une souveraine. – Oh! heureuse! reprit-elle en s’interrompant elle-même, heureuse n’est pas un mot qui puisse exprimer mon bonheur. J’ai la part de toutes les femmes! Sentir un amour, un dévouement immense pour celui qu’on aime, et rencontrer dans son coeur, à lui, un sentiment infini où l’âme d’une femme se perd, et toujours! dites, est-ce un bonheur? j’ai déjà dévoré mille existences. Ici je suis seule, ici je commande. Jamais une créature de mon sexe n’a mis le pied sur ce noble vaisseau, où Victor est toujours à quelques pas de moi. – Il ne peut pas aller plus loin de moi que de la poupe à la proue, reprit-elle avec une fine expression de malice. Sept ans! un amour qui résiste pendant sept ans à cette perpétuelle joie, à cette épreuve de tous les instants, est-ce l’amour? Non! oh! non, c’est mieux que tout ce que je connais de la vie… le langage humain manque pour exprimer un bonheur céleste.

Un torrent de larmes s’échappa de ses yeux enflammés. Les quatre enfants jetèrent alors un cri plaintif, accoururent à elle comme des poussins à leur mère, et l’aîné frappa le général en le regardant d’un air menaçant.

Abel, dit-elle, mon ange, je pleure de joie.

(…)

Tu ne t’ennuies pas? s’écria le général étourdi par la réponse exaltée de sa fille.

Si, répondit-elle, à terre quand nous y allons; et encore ne quitté-je jamais mon mari.

Mais tu aimais les fêtes, les bals, la musique!

La musique, c’est sa voix; mes fêtes, c’est les parures que j’invente pour lui. Quand une toilette lui plaît, n’est-ce pas comme si la terre entière m’admirait! Voilà seulement pourquoi je ne jette pas à la mer ces diamants, ces colliers, ces diadèmes de pierreries, ces richesses, ces fleurs, ces chefs-d’oeuvre des arts qu’il me prodigue en me disant: – Hélène, puisque tu ne vas pas dans le monde, je veux que le monde vienne à toi.

Mais sur ce bord il y a des hommes, des hommes audacieux, terribles, dont les passions…

Je vous comprends, mon père, dit-elle em souriant. Rassurez-vous. Jamais impératrice n’a été environnée de plus d’égards que l’on ne m’en prodigue. Ces gens-là sont superstitieux, ils croient que je suis le génie tutélaire de ce vaisseau, de leurs entreprises, de leurs succès. Mais c’est lui qui est leur dieu! Un jour, une seule fois, un matelot me manqua de respect… em paroles, ajouta-t-elle en riant. Avant que Victor eût pu l’apprendre, les gens de l’équipage le lancèrent à la mer malgré le pardon que je lui accordais. Ils m’aiment comme leur bon ange, je les soigne dans leurs maladies, et j’ai eu le bonheur d’en sauver quelques-uns de la mort em les veillant avec une persévérance de femme. Ces pauvres gens sont à la fois des géants et des enfants.

(…)

Et tes enfants?

Ils sont fils de l’Océan et du danger, ils partagent la vie de leurs parents… Notre existence est une, et ne se scinde pas. Nous vivons tous de la même vie, tous inscrits sur la même page, portés par le même esquif, nous le savons.

Le vieux militaire sentit toutes ces choses, et comprit aussi que sa fille n’abandonnerait jamais une vie si large, si féconde en contrastes, remplie par un amour si vrai; puis, si elle avait une fois goûté le péril sans en être effrayée, elle ne pouvait plus revenir aux petites scènes d’un monde mesquin et borné.”

Général, dit le corsaire d’une voix profonde, je me suis fait une loi de ne jamais rien distraire du butin. Mais il est hors de doute que ma part sera plus considérable que ne l’était votre fortune. Permettez-moi de vous la restituer en autre monnaie…

Il prit dans le tiroir du piano une masse de billets de banque, ne compta pas les paquets, et présenta un million au marquis.”

Or, à moins que vous ne soyez séduit par les dangers de notre vie bohémienne, par les scènes de l’Amérique méridionale, par nos nuits des tropiques, par nos batailles, et par le plaisir de faire triompher le pavillon d’une jeune nation, ou le nom de Simon Bolivar, il faut nous quitter… Une chaloupe et des hommes dévoués vous attendent. Espérons une troisième rencontre plus complètement heureuse…

Victor, je voudrais voir mon père encore un moment, dit Hélène d’un ton boudeur.”

Hélène, reprit le vieillard en la regardant avec attention, ne dois-je plus te revoir? Ne saurai-je donc jamais à quel motif ta fuite est due?

Ce secret ne m’appartient pas, dit-elle d’un ton grave. J’aurais le droit de vous l’apprendre, peut-être ne vous le dirais-je pas encore. J’ai souffert pendant dix ans des maux inouïs…

Soyez toujours heureux! s’écria le grandpère en s’élançant sur le tillac.

L’Othello était loin; la chaloupe s’approchait de terre; le nuage s’interposa entre cette frêle embarcation et le brick. La dernière fois que le général aperçut sa fille, ce fut à travers une crevasse de cette fumée ondoyante. Vision prophétique! Le mouchoir blanc, la robe se détachaient seuls sur ce fond de bistre. Entre l’eau verte et le ciel bleu, le brick ne se voyait même pas. Hélène n’était plus qu’un point imperceptible, une ligne déliée, gracieuse, un ange dans le ciel, une idée, un souvenir.”

* * *

Et aussitôt la marquise monta chez l’inconnue sans penser au mal que sa vue pouvait faire à cette femme dans un moment où on la disait mourante, car elle était encore en deuil. La marquise pâlit à l’aspect de la mourante. Malgré les horribles souffrances qui avaient altéré la belle physionomie d’Hélène, elle reconnut sa fille aînée. À l’aspect d’une femme vêtue de noir, Hélène se dressa sur son séant, jeta un cri de terreur, et retomba lentement sur son lit, lorsque, dans cette femme, elle retrouva sa mère.

Ma fille! dit madame d’Aiglemont, que vous faut-il? Pauline!… Moïna!…

elle oublia qu’Hélène était un enfant conçu jadis dans les larmes et le désespoir, l’enfant du devoir, un enfant qui avait été cause de ses plus grands malheurs; elle s’avança doucement vers sa fille aînée, en se souvenant seulement qu’Hélène la première lui avait fait connaître les plaisirs de la maternité. Les yeux de la mère étaient pleins de larmes; et, em embrassant sa fille, elle s’écria: – Hélène! ma fille…”

Exaspérée par le malheur, la veuve du marin, qui venait d’échapper à un naufrage en ne sauvant de toute sa belle famille qu’un enfant, dit d’une voix horrible à sa mère: – Tout ceci est votre ouvrage! si vous eussiez été pour moi ce que…”

Tout est inutile, reprit Hélène. Ah! pourquoi ne suis-je pas morte à seize ans, quand je voulais me tuer! Le bonheur ne se trouve jamais en dehors des lois…

* * *

LA FEMME DE SOIXANTE ANS (Epílogo)

La vieille dame si matinale était la marquise d’Aiglemont, mère de madame de Saint-Héreen, à qui ce bel hôtel appartenait. La marquise s’en était privée pour sa fille, à qui elle avait donné toute sa fortune, en ne se réservant qu’une pension viagère. La comtesse Moïna de Saint-Héreen était le dernier enfant de madame d’Aiglemont. Pour lui faire épouser l’héritier d’une des plus illustres maisons de France, la marquise avait tout sacrifié. Rien n’était plus naturel: elle avait successivement perdu deux fils; l’un, Gustave marquis d’Aiglemont, était mort du choléra; l’autre, Abel, avait succombé devant Constantinople. Gustave laissa des enfants et une veuve. Mais l’affection assez tiède que madame d’Aiglemont avait portée à ses deux fils s’était encore affaiblie en passant à ses petitsenfants. Elle se comportait poliment avec madame d’Aiglemont la jeune: mais elle s’en tenait au sentiment superficiel que le bon goût et les convenances nous prescrivent de témoigner à nos proches. La fortune de ses enfants morts ayant été parfaitement réglée, elle avait réservé pour sa chère Moïna ses économies et ses biens propres. Moïna, belle et ravissante depuis son enfance, avait toujours été pour madame d’Aiglemont l’objet d’une de ces prédilections innées ou involontaires chez les mères de famille; fatales sympathies qui semblent inexplicables, ou que les observateurs savent trop bien expliquer. La charmante figure de Moïna, le son de voix de cette fille chérie, ses manières, sa démarche, sa physionomie, ses gestes, tout en elle réveillait chez la marquise les émotions les plus profondes qui puissent animer, troubler ou charmer le coeur d’une mère. Le principe de sa vie présente, de sa vie du lendemain, de sa vie passée, était dans le coeur de cette jeune femme, où elle avait jeté tous ses trésors. Moïna avait heureusement survécu à 4 enfants, ses aînés. Madame d’Aiglemont avait en effet perdu, de la manière la plus malheureuse, disaient les gens du monde, une fille charmante dont la destinée était presque inconnue, et un petit garçon, enlevé à cinq ans par une horrible catastrophe [pas Gustave?].

Le monde aurait pu demander à la marquise un compte sévère de cette insouciance et de cette prédilection; mais le monde de Paris est entraîné par un tel torrent d’événements, de modes, d’idées nouvelles, que toute la vie de madame d’Aiglemont devait y être en quelque sorte oubliée. Personne ne songeait à lui faire un crime d’une froideur, d’un oubli qui n’intéressait personne, tandis que sa vive tendresse pour Moïna intéressait beaucoup de gens, et avait toute la sainteté d’un préjugé.”

que ne pardonne-t-on pas aux vieillards lorsqu’ils s’effacent comme des ombres et ne veulent plus être qu’un souvenir?”

Enfin, peut-être ne doit-on jamais prononcer qui a tort ou raison de l’enfant ou de la mère. Entre ces deux coeurs, il n’y a qu’un seul juge possible. Ce juge est Dieu! Dieu qui, souvent, assied sa vengeance au sein des familles, et se sert éternellement des enfants contre les mères, des pères contre les fils, des peuples contre les rois, des princes contre les nations, de tout contre tout; remplaçant dans le monde moral les sentiments par les sentiments comme les jeunes feuilles poussent les vieilles au printemps; agissant en vue d’un ordre immuable, d’un but à lui seul connu. Sans doute, chaque chose va dans son sein, ou, mieux encore, elle y retourne.”

Elle était un de ces types qui, entre mille physionomies dédaignées parce qu’elles sont sans caractère, vous arrêtent un moment, vous font penser (…) Le visage glacé de madame d’Aiglemont était une de ces poésies terribles, une de ces faces répandues par milliers dans la divine Comédie de Dante Alighieri.”

La figure d’une jeune femme a le calme, le poli, la fraîcheur de la surface d’un lac. La physionomie des femmes ne commence qu’à trente ans.”

une tête de vieille femme n’appartient plus alors ni au monde qui, frivole, est effrayé d’y apercevoir la destruction de toutes les idées d’élégance auxquelles il est habitué ni aux artistes vulgaires qui n’y découvrent rien; mais aux vrais poètes, à ceux qui ont le sentiment d’un beau indépendant de toutes les conventions sur lesquelles reposent tant de préjugés en fait d’art et de beauté.”

Les peintres ont des couleurs pour ces portraits, mais les idées et les paroles sont impuissantes pour les traduire fidèlement”

Ces souffrances sans cesse refoulées avaient produit à la longue je ne sais quoi de morbide en cette femme. Sans doute quelques émotions trop violentes avaient physiquement altéré ce coeur maternel, et quelque maladie, un anévrisme peut-être, menaçait lentement cette femme à son insu. Les peines vraies sont en apparence si tranquilles dans le lit profond qu’elles se sont fait, où elles semblent dormir, mais où elles continuent à corroder l’âme comme cet épouvantable acide qui perce le cristal! En ce moment deux larmes sillonnèrent les joues de la marquise, et elle se leva comme si quelque réflexion plus poignante que toutes les autres l’eût vivement blessée. Elle avait sans doute jugé l’avenir de Moïna. Or, en prévoyant les douleurs qui attendaient sa fille, tous les malheurs de as propre vie lui étaient retombés sur le coeur.

          La situation de cette mère sera comprise em expliquant celle de sa fille.”

Elle savait d’avance que Moïna n’écouterait aucun de ses sages avertissements; elle n’avait aucun pouvoir sur cette âme, de fer pour elle et toute moelleuse pour les autres. Sa tendresse l’eût portée à s’intéresser aux malheurs d’une passion justifiée par les nobles qualités du séducteur, mais sa fille suivait un mouvement de coquetterie; et la marquise méprisait le comte Alfred de Vandenesse, sachant qu’il était homme à considérer sa lutte avec Moïna comme une partie d’échecs.” “le marquis de Vandenesse, père d’Alfred”

Le sentiment maternel est si large dans les coeurs aimants qu’avant d’arriver à l’indifférence une mère doit mourir ou s’appuyer sur quelque grande puissance, la religion ou l’amour.”

Ce sourire prouvait à cette jeune parricide que le coeur d’une mère est un abîme au fond duquel se trouve toujours un pardon.”

14 anos investidos no livro

UM FRAGMENTO DA COMÉDIA HUMANA – Honoré de Balzac (A VENDETA + A PAZ CONJUGAL)

Tradução de William Lagos, L&PM, 2006.

Comentários da edição inseridos após trechos das duas obras de Ivan Pinheiro Machado.

GLOSSÁRIO

ritornelo: “Do italiano ritornello, <estribilho> ou <pequeno retorno>. Passagem musical curta e recorrente no meio de uma composição maior, no caso uma suíte de danças.”

A VENDETA

(*) “O Palácio do Louvre transformou-se em museu em 1791, mas sua construção só foi completada sob Napoleão III.

Mas a fonte da bondade fugidia que caracteriza os parisienses se esgotava de imediato. Tão logo o desconhecido percebia ser objeto da atenção de qualquer transeunte, encarava-o com um ar tão feroz que o desocupado mais corajoso apressava o passo como se tivesse pisado em uma serpente.”

As pessoas que desejam intensamente alguma coisa são quase sempre bem atendidas pelo destino.”

Esse costume da vendeta é um preconceito que ainda vai impedir por muito tempo a aplicação das leis na Córsega”

Se você começar a brandir o punhal por estas bandas, não deverá esperar por qualquer misericórdia. Aqui a lei se destina a proteger todos os cidadãos e ninguém tem o direito de fazer justiça por suas próprias mãos.”

(*) “Os Cem Dias: O período entre o retorno de Napoleão da Ilha de Elba (no Meditarrâneo), em março de 1815, e sua abdicação definitiva a 18 de julho daquele ano, quando foi desterrado para a ilha de Santa Helena, no oceano Atlântico, ao largo da África, onde morreu, em 1821.”

As crianças, as mocinhas e os velhos compartilhavam da febre monárquica que dominava o governo.” “Incapaz de renegar sua fé política, até mesmo disposto a proclamá-la, o velho barão de Piombo permanecera em Paris no meio de seus inimigos. A própria Ginevra de Piombo poderia ser perfeitamente colocada na lista das pessoas suspeitas, porque ela não fazia o menor mistério da tristeza que a Segunda Restauração causava a sua família. Talvez as únicas lágrimas que ela havia derramado em sua vida até então lhe houvessem sido arrancadas pela dupla notícia do cativeiro de Bonaparte no Bellérophon e da prisão de Labédoyère.”

Por mesquinha e insignificante que pudesse parecer hoje em dia a iniciativa de Amélie Thirion, era então uma expressão de ódio perfeitamente natural.”

todos os artistas têm um lugar preferido para seu trabalho.”

O único defeito daquela criatura verdadeiramente poética derivava da própria pujança de uma beleza que se desenvolvera tanto: ela era claramente uma mulher. Até então ela se recusara a casar, por amor a seu pai e sua mãe e porque sentia que sua companhia lhes era necessária em sua velhice. Seu gosto pela pintura havia tomado o lugar das emoções que em geral manifestam as mulheres.”

Não existe nada mais mortificante para um bando de moças maldosas, como de resto para todo o mundo, do que perceber que uma picuinha, um insulto ou um gracejo de mau gosto não fizeram o menor efeito sobre a vítima pretendida, que, muito pelo contrário, mostra a maior indiferença. Segundo parece, o ódio contra um inimigo aumenta quanto mais ele demonstra estar acima de nosso rancor.” “os exemplos que ela dera anteriormente sobre sua natureza vingativa e sua firmeza em cobrar sempre uma retribuição por qualquer ofensa já haviam deixado uma impressão profunda no espírito de suas companheiras.”

girodet endymion

Endimião, como fôra representado na obra-prima de Girodet” (*) “Endimião é um personagem mitológico de grande beleza, um pastor por quem Selene, deusa da Lua, apaixonou-se. Ela o contemplava todas as noites enquanto ele dormia. A deusa conseguiu de Zeus a graça de que o rapaz conservasse eternamente sua beleza, ainda que mergulhado em um sono eterno. Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy, chamado Girodet-Trioson (1767-1824), foi um pintor neoclássico francês.

nada escapa aos olhos aguçados pelo ódio”

Quando alguém se decide a morrer, o melhor é vender sua cabeça ao carrasco.”

a doce piedade que as mulheres encontram em seus corações pelos desgraçados que não trazem em si nada de ignóbil havia obscurecido no coração de Ginevra qualquer outro tipo de afeição; mas escutar um juramento de vingança, descobrir naquele proscrito uma alma italiana, um devotamento por Napoleão, de fato, uma alma de corso? Isso já era demais, e ela contemplou o jovem oficial com uma emoção cheia de respeito, mas que lhe agitava fortemente o coração.”

O Dio! Che non vorrei vivere dopo averla veduta!”

Ó, Deus!… Quem não quereria viver, depois de tê-la visto?…”

(*) “A frase está redigida em italiano, mas, somente na Córsega, existem 14 dialetos, e dificilmente dois corsos conversariam entre si no toscano da Itália central, que originou o italiano moderno.”

Durante um momento bastante curto, ela pareceu estar sonhando, como se estivesse imersa em um pensamento infinito”

O pobre soldado contou seus sofrimentos durante a derrota de Moscou, a forma como ele descobriu, depois da passagem do rio Berezina(*) e com apenas dezenove anos, ser o único sobrevivente de seu regimento, depois de ter visto morrer todos os seus camaradas de armas, os únicos homens que já haviam demonstrado interesse por um órfão.” (*) “Cenário de uma das maiores catástrofes da retirada de Napoleão da Rússia. A ponte sobre o rio Berezina fôra destruída sem conhecimento dos franceses, mas o passo implacável do Grande Exército forçou batalhões inteiros a se precipitarem nas águas geladas do rio, antes que finalmente conseguissem fazer parar as tropas, cujo avanço os empurrava para a morte sem perceber. A vanguarda inteira, composta por dezenas de milhares de soldados, morreu afogada ou congelada nessa ocasião.”

Nesse mesmo dia, ela ficou sabendo que o nome dele era Luigi.” (*) “Balzac chama o personagem alternadamente de <Luigi> e <Louis>, respectivamente, a forma italiana e francesa do mesmo nome.”

Logo Mlle. Roguin, a filha do porteiro do gabinete do rei, começou a achar que era pouco conveniente freqüentar o ateliê de um pintor cujas opiniões traziam uns respingos de patriotismo ou de <bonapartismo>, coisas que, naquela época, pareciam uma só e, desse modo, ela parou de ir às aulas de Servin.” “Um dia, Mathilde Roguin não apareceu mais; na lição seguinte, faltava outra moça; finalmente, 3 ou 4 garotas, que eram as últimas remanescentes freqüentando as aulas, pararam de ir também. Ginevra e mademoiselle Laure, sua amiga, foram durante 2 ou 3 dias de aulas as únicas habitantes do ateliê, agora deserto.”

Se as paixões somente nascem e crescem sob a influência de causas românticas, jamais tantas circunstâncias concorreram para ligar entre si 2 seres pelos laços do mesmo sentimento. A amizade de Ginevra por Louis e de Louis por ela fez assim maiores progressos em um único mês do que uma amizade normal se desenvolve durante dez anos de encontros em salões de festas. Pois não é a adversidade a pedra de toque que forja o caráter?” “Mais velha que Louis, Ginevra encontrou uma grande doçura em ver-se cortejada por um homem já tão grandioso, que já fôra provado tantas vezes pela sorte, mas que juntava ainda à experiência de um homem a graça de um adolescente. Do seu lado, Louis sentia um prazer indescritível em se deixar aparentemente proteger por uma jovem de 25 anos. Não era isso uma prova de amor a mais? A união da doçura com a ferocidade ou da força com a fraqueza demonstrava em Ginevra uma atração irresistível, a um ponto em que Louis sentiu-se inteiramente subjugado por ela.”

– A vida é longa e nos reencontraremos: as jovens acabam se casando… – disse Ginevra.”

Apesar das delicadas missões financeiras que confiavam à sua discrição, que alcançavam grande sucesso e se mostravam muito lucrativas, ele não possuía mais que 30 mil libras de renda em fundos de valores da bolsa. Se fosse comparadas com as grandes fortunas acumuladas sob o Império, caso se recordasse a liberalidade de Napoleão para aqueles de seus fiéis que sabiam pedir, é fácil perceber que o barão de Piombo era um homem de probidade severa.” “Bartholoméo sempre professou um ódio implacável pelos traidores e que se cercara Napoleão, que acreditava poder-lhes conquistar a fidelidade à força de vitória.” “A partir do retorno dos Bourbons, Bartholoméo deixou de usar a condecoração da Legião de Honra. Nunca outro homem ofereceu tão bela imagem dessas velhos republicanos, amigos incorruptíveis do Império, que permaneceram como destroços vivos dos dois governos mais enérgicos que o mundo já conheceu. Se o barão de Piombo desagradava a alguns dos cortesãos, seus amigos eram Daru, Drouot e Carnot.” (*) “Lazare-Nicolas-Marguerite, conde de Carnot (1753-1823), general e matemático francês.” Não se trata do Carnot da termodinâmica, um pouco mais jovem.

O mobiliário do tempo de Louis XIV era perfeitamente adequado a Bartholoméo e sua esposa, personagens dignos da Antiguidade. Sob o Império e durante os Cem Dias, ao exercer funções muito bem remuneradas, o velho corso mantivera muitos criados, mais com o objetivo de fazer honrar seu cargo do que pelo desejo de brilhar. Sua vida e a vida de sua esposa eram tão frugais e tranqüilas que sua modesta fortuna bastava para atender a suas necessidades. Para os dois, sua filha Ginevra valia mais que todas as riquezas do mundo. Desse modo, em maio de 1814, quando o barão de Piombo deixou seu cargo, demitindo igualmente a maior parte de seus criados e fechando as portas de sua estrebaria, Ginevra, simples e sem luxos, tal como seus pais, não sentiu a menor lástima: a exemplo das grandes almas, ela se revestia do luxo que vinha da força dos sentimentos, do mesmo modo que colocava sua felicidade na solidão e no trabalho. Além disso, esses 3 seres se amavam demais uns aos outros para que as coisas exteriores da existência tivessem qualquer valor a seus olhos. Freqüentemente, sobretudo depois da segunda e assustadora queda de Napoleão, Bartholoméo e sua esposa passavam noites deliciosas escutando Ginevra tocar piano ou cantar. Existia para eles um imenso prazer secreto na presença e na menor palavra da filha; eles a seguiam com os olhos, com uma preocupação cheia de ternura, e escutavam seus passos no pátio, por mais silenciosos que fossem. Do mesmo modo que amantes, eles podiam ficar os 3 em silêncio durante horas inteiras, assim escutando melhor a eloqüência de suas almas do que por meio de palavras. Esse sentimento profundo, que era a própria vida dos dois velhos, animava todos os seus pensamentos. Não eram três existências, mas uma única que, semelhante às chamas da lareira, divisava-se em três labaredas de fogo.”

Ginevra jogava-se inteira em qualquer coisa que lhe desse vontade, era tão vingativa e impulsiva como Bartholoméo havia sido em sua juventude.” “Mas, uma vez que esse aprendizado de vingança só podia ser realizado no interior do lar paterno, Ginevra nunca perdoava nada a seu pai, e era inevitável que ele cedesse perante ela.” “era quando se ameaçavam mutuamente que estavam mais perto de se abraçarem aos beijos.” “Ginevra vivia com seu pai e sua mãe um relacionamento de igualdade, o que sempre é funesto. Para terminar o relato de todas as mudanças que ocorreram a esses 3 personagens depois de sua chegada a Paris, Piombo e sua mulher, gente sem instrução, haviam deixado Ginevra estudar segundo sua própria vontade. Deixada ao léu de seus caprichos de mocinha, ela tinha aprendido um pouco de tudo e deixado de lado um pouco de tudo, retomando e abandonando de novo cada intenção uma após a outra, até que a pintura se transformou em sua paixão dominante; ela teria sido perfeita, caso sua mãe tivesse sido capaz de orientar seus estudos, de elucidar e harmonizar os dons que lhe dera a natureza: seus defeitos provinham da funesta educação que o velho corso sentira prazer em lhe transmitir.

(*) “Sra. Shandy: Mãe de Tristram Shandy, personagem fictício do escritor irlandês Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), cuja obra A vida e as opiniões do cavaleiro Tristram Shandy é citada com freqüência por Balzac.”

– Aqui está ela, Ginevra, Ginevrettina, Ginevrina, Ginevrola, Ginevretta, Ginevra bella!…

– Pai, o senhor está me machucando!…”

Os dois velhos ofereciam naquele momento a imagem exata dessas plantas sofredoras e sequiosas a que um pouco de água devolve a vida após um longo período de seca.

– Vamos jantar, vamos jantar!… – exclamou o Barão, oferecendo a mão larga a Ginevra, que chamou de signora Piombellina(*), um outro sintoma de felicidade a que sua filha respondeu com um sorriso.”

(*) “Senhora Chumbinho, trocadilho feito com o sobrenome Piombo, ou <chumbo>. Em italiano no original.”

Você está agindo mal, minha filha: é muito feio amar outro homem além de seu pai…”

Elisa – acrescentou ele, olhando para a esposa, que permanecera imóvel durante todo o tempo –, nós não temos mais filha: ela quer se casar!…”

Se ele te ama tanto quanto você merece ser amada, então vou me matar; mas se ele não te amar assim, então o apunhalarei!…”

– Vou viver por muito mais tempo que você!… Os filhos que não honram seus pais morrem em seguida!… – gritou seu pai, que havia chegado ao último grau da exasperação.

– Razão de sobra então para que eu me case em seguida e seja feliz, nem que seja por pouco tempo!… – gritou ela.”

– Este Noturno é a duas vozes: falta uma voz masculina!…

Ela era italiana, e não é preciso dizer mais nada.”

Era a segunda vez que o pobre oficial saía de seu esconderijo. As solicitações insistentes que Ginevra fizera ao duque de Feltre, na época ministro da Guerra, tinham sido coroadas de pleno sucesso. Louis acabara de ser reintegrado no exército, embora seu nome fosse incluído na relação dos oficiais da Reserva.” “Este homem tão corajoso em face da adversidade, tão bravo no campo de batalha, tremia só de pensar em sua entrada no salão dos Piombo.”

– Mas você está pálido!

– Ah, Ginevra! Pois minha vida inteira não depende disso?…”

– A semelhança do cavalheiro com Nina Porta é impressionante. Você não acha que o cavalheiro traz todos os traços fisionômicos dos Porta?

– Nada de mais natural – respondeu o jovem, sobre quem os olhos chamejantes do velho se fixaram. – Nina era minha irmã…

– Então você é Luigi Porta?… – indagou o velho.

– Sim.”

A EURÍDICE MODERNA: “Luigi Porta, estupefato, olhou para Ginevra, que ficou tão branca como uma estátua de mármore, mantendo os olhos fixos na porta por onde seu pai e sua mãe tinham desaparecido.”

– Meu pai – respondeu ela – nunca me falou de nossa deplorável história, e eu era pequena demais quando saímos da Córsega para saber como foi.

– Nós estaríamos em vendeta, então? – indagou Luigi, tremendo.

– Sim, é verdade. Perguntando a minha mãe, fiquei sabendo que os Porta tinham matado meus irmãos e queimado nossa casa. Em vingança, meu pai massacrou toda a sua família. Como foi que você conseguiu sobreviver? Meu pai pensou que o havia amarrado firmemente às colunas de uma cama, antes de pôr fogo à casa…”

– Vá embora, vá embora, Luigi – gritou Ginevra. – Não, não é possível, tenho de ir com você. Enquanto permanecer dentro da casa de meu pai, não terá nada a temer; mas assim que sair, tenha o maior cuidado!… Você vai sair de um perigo para cair noutro!… Meu pai tem dois empregados corsos e, se não for ele mesmo a ameaçar sua vida, então será um dos dois.”

Horror ao alimento é um dos sintomas que demonstram as grandes crises da alma.”

– Terá de escolher entre ele e nós. Nossa vendeta é parte de nós mesmos. Quem não ajuda em minha vingança, não faz parte de minha família.”

– …tenho um punhal e não sinto o menor temor da justiça dos homens. Nós, os corsos, só damos explicações a Deus.

– Pois eu sou Ginevra di Piombo e declaro que, dentro de 6 meses, serei esposa de Luigi Porta. O senhor não passa de um tirano, meu pai – acrescentou ela, calmamente, depois de uma pausa assustadora.”

Na verdade, o velho sentia-se cruelmente ressentido por aquela ofensa tácita, colhendo naquele instante um dos frutos amargos que a educação dada por ele mesmo à filha produzira. O respeito é uma barreira que protege tanto um pai ou mãe quanto seus filhos, evitando àqueles as tristezas e a estes os remorsos.”

Ceará, a Córsega Tropical

Não era difícil, nem mesmo para ela, adivinhar que jamais poderia gozar inteiramente de uma felicidade que causava tristeza a seus pais. Todavia, tanto em Bartholoméo como em sua filha, todas as irresoluções causadas pela bondade natural de suas almas eram logo afastadas pela ferocidade herdada do rancor particular dos corsos. Sua cólera mútua dava coragem à raiva sentida pelo outro e ambos fechavam os olhos para o futuro. Talvez ambos ainda se iludissem de que um dos dois acabaria por ceder.

Acostumados a fingir um grande interesse pelas pessoas com quem falam, os escrivães acabam por colar ao rosto uma espécie de careta, uma máscara que colocam e retiram como seu pallium(*) oficial.” (*) “Espécie de manto usado pelos magistrados.”

o instrumento público torna nula a resistência paterna… por meio de seu registro… além de que… conforme consta dos requisitos da lei civil… afirma-se que todo homem sensato… após expressar uma última exprobração a seu descendente… deve conceder-lhe liberdade para…”

Uma transformação extraordinária ocorrera na fisionomia de Bartholoméo: todas as suas rugas se haviam aprofundado, o que lhe dava um ar de crueldade indefinível, enquanto ele lançava sobre o notário o olhar de um tigre a ponto de dar o bote.”

– Existem ainda na França leis que destroem o poder paterno? – indagou o corso.”

Nada é mais horrível que o firme controle e o raciocínio legalmente exato dos notários públicos em meio às cenas apaixonadas em que eles estão acostumados a intervir.”

– Fuja, então!… – disse ele. – A mulher de Luigi Porta não poderá mais ser uma Piombo. (…) Minha Ginevra Piombo está enterrada aqui – gritou com voz profunda, apertando o peito à altura do coração.”

A alegria só se pode manifestar plenamente entre pessoas que se sentem iguais. O acaso determinou então que tudo fosse sombrio e grave ao redor dos noivos. Nada refletia a felicidade deles. Nem a igreja, nem a Prefeitura em que se localizava o cartório ficavam muito distantes do hotel. Os dois corsos, seguidos pelas 4 testemunhas que eram exigidas por lei, decidiram ir a pé, em uma simplicidade que despojou de qualquer pompa aquela grande cena da vida social.” “ali estavam, sozinhos no meio da multidão, tal como seria durante a vida que tinham pela frente.” “De um lado, a ostentação grosseira do prazer; do outro, o silêncio delicado das almas felizes: a terra e o céu.”

o mundo lhe reclamava a ausência de seus pais. Era como se a maldição paterna a perseguisse.”

O ódio entre os Porta e o Piombo e suas terríveis paixões foram escritos em uma página do registro de estado civil, assim como, sobre a lápide de um túmulo, são gravadas em poucas linhas os anais de um povo inteiro, muitas vezes em uma única palavra: Robespierre ou Napoleão.”

Os dois jovens corsos, cuja aliança continha toda a poesia atribuída tão genialmente a Romeu e Julieta, atravessaram duas alas de parentes alegres que não somente não tinham o menor interesse por eles, como já quase se impacientavam pelo atraso que lhes impunha aquele casamento aparentemente tão triste. Quando a jovem chegou ao pátio da subprefeitura e enxergou o céu, um suspiro de alívio escapou de seu seio.”

– Por que as pessoas se intrometem entre nós?”

(*) “Na época, os subprefeitos de cada arrondissement de Paris acumulavam as funções de juiz de paz.”

– Estamos começando a vida nos arruinando – disse ela, meio alegre, meio entristecida.

– Lá isso é verdade! Todos os meus soldos atrasados estão investidos aqui – respondeu Luigi. – Vendi o direito de cobrar os atrasados a um homem muito honesto, chamado Gigonnet¹.

– Mas por quê? – retorquiu ela, em um tom de reprovação em que se percebia uma satisfação secreta. – Você acha que eu seria menos feliz num sótão? Seja como for – continuou –, tudo isso é muito bonito e o melhor é que tudo é nosso…”

¹ Este personagem se encontra em outros livros da Comédia humana.

Pois o amor não é como o mar que, visto superficialmente ou às pressas, é acusado de monotonia pelas almas vulgares, enquanto certos entes privilegiados podem passar a vida inteira a admirá-lo, nele encontrando sem cessar fenômenos encantadores em perene mudança?”

Nunca a jovem artista havia pintado algo tão notável como esse auto-retrato.”

Ele também lutava contra concorrentes: o preço pago pelas cópias de escrituras tinha baixado a tal ponto que não lhe sobrava dinheiro para empregar quaisquer auxiliares e sentia-se obrigado a gastar muito mais tempo em seu labor para receber as mesmas somas de antes. Sua mulher tinha completado muitos quadros que não eram destituídos de mérito; mas naquela estação, os comerciantes quase nem compravam as obras de artistas que já gozavam de boa reputação; Ginevra passou a oferecê-los a preço vil e nem assim conseguia vender.”

No momento em que Ginevra se sentia a ponto de chorar por ver o sofrimento de Luigi, ela engolia as lágrimas e o recobria de carinhos. Do mesmo modo, era nos momentos em que Luigi sentia a mais negra desolação dentro de seu peito que expressava o mais terno amor a Ginevra. Eles buscavam uma compensação para seus males na exaltação de seus sentimentos, enquanto suas palavras, suas alegrias, suas brincadeiras se impregnavam de uma espécie de frenesi.”

A majestade da noite é realmente contagiosa, ela se impõe, ela nos inspira; existe alguma coisa muito poderosa na idéia de que, enquanto todos dormem, eu permaneço acordada.”

Luigi teve de tomar dinheiro emprestado para pagar as despesas do parto de Ginevra.”

Luigi a abraçou com um desses beijos desesperados que os amigos trocavam em 1793(*)” (*) “Em 1793, teve início o período do Terror da Revolução Francesa, que, com muitas execuções, durou até 1794, na tentativa de pôr fim à instabilidade política e assegurar a República.”

Minha morte é natural, eu sofria demais; além disso, uma felicidade tão grande como a que nós tivemos deveria ter um preço… Sim, meu Luigi, console-se… Fui tão feliz com você que, se eu recomeçasse a viver, aceitaria outra vez nosso destino. Mas eu sou uma mãe malvada: lastimo muito mais perder você do que perder o nosso filho… Meu filho…”

A PAZ CONJUGAL

Era como se uma embriaguez geral tivesse assumido o controle desse império que durou pouco mais de um dia. Todos os comandantes militares, sem exceção de seu chefe supremo, tinham-se transformado em novos-ricos e agiam como tal, gozando os tesouros conquistados por 1 milhão de homens que usavam simples divisas de lã e que se davam por satisfeitos ao serem recompensados com algumas fitas de lã vermelha.”

nessa época, tanto homens como mulheres se atiravam ao prazer com um abandono que parecia anunciar o fim do mundo. É preciso reconhecer que havia uma outra razão para essa libertinagem. A paixão das mulheres pelos militares se havia tornado uma espécie de frenesi e estava tão de acordo com os desejos do próprio imperador que este seria a última pessoa do mundo a tentar impedi-la.”

Assim, os corações tornaram-se tão errantes quanto os regimentos. Uma mulher tornava-se sucessivamente amante, esposa, mãe e viúva entre 5 relatórios de combate do Grande Exército. Seria a perspectiva de uma rápida viuvez, a de uma boa pensão ou a esperança de usar um sobrenome lembrado pela História que tornavam os militares tão sedutores?”

Nunca na história foram lançados tantos fogos de artifício, jamais os diamantes alcançaram tanto valor.” “Talvez fosse a necessidade de transformar os despojos de guerra na forma mais fácil de transportar que deu tanto valor a essas bugigangas entre os integrantes do exército.”

Murat, um homem de atitudes e temperamentos parecidos aos dos orientais, dava o exemplo de um tal luxo, que seria absurdo entre os militares modernos.”

Napoleão teria cumprido sua palavra, se não tivesse ocorrido uma cena desagradável entre ele e Joséphine naquela mesma noite, cena que anunciou o próximo divórcio desses augustos esposos.” (*) “Marie-Josèphe-Rose Tascher de La Pagerie (conhecida como Joséphine, 1763-1814), viscondessa viúva de Beauharnais, que foi guilhotinado em 1794. Em 1796, casou-se com Napoleão, 6 anos mais novo. Ele é quem decide mudar o nome da mulher para Joséphine, e logo após o casamento Napoleão é nomeado comandante da campanha militar na Itália. A vida do casal era conturbada, em parte devido às infidelidades da mulher. Joséphine tinha dois filhos do primeiro casamento, e Napoleão achava que a falta de prole do casal devia-se à sua própria esterilidade, até um dia em que uma camareira da imperatriz deu à luz um filho dele. Então ele se divorciou dela em 1809, com o intuito de formar uma dinastia, mas deixou que ela conservasse o título de imperatriz. Ela morre de pneumonia.”

As mulheres que tinham confiança suficiente na sedução de sua beleza vinham principalmente para experimentar a extensão de seus poderes. Ali, como aliás em toda parte, o prazer era apenas uma máscara.”

– Talvez seja uma viúva cujo marido está jogando bouilotte(*)! – replicou o belo couraceiro.

– É mesmo, agora que a paz foi assinada, muitas mulheres só ficam viúvas desse jeito! – respondeu Martial.”

(*) “Jogo de cartas derivado do pôquer inglês jogado entre 4 e 7 parceiros, embora o mais comum fossem 5.”

Veja só o vigor e a maciez da pele! As narinas mostram tanta juventude como as de uma colegial…”

– …Por que razão uma pessoa tão jovem estaria chorando?

– Ora, meu amigo, as mulheres choram por tão pouco… – disse o coronel.”

Ah, também!… Você está que nem uma panela de leite: vai ferver agora com a menor elevação da temperatura?…”

O senhor não é muito melhor em diplomacia do que eu, se primeiro imagina que essa garota é uma princesa alemã e, logo no instante seguinte, começa a sugerir que não passa de uma dama de companhia…”

Pouco me importa, que diferença faz se ela está nos olhando? Eu sou como o imperador: quando faço minhas conquistas, eu as conservo…”

E você ainda tem a pretensão de se portar como um verdadeiro Lovelace” (*) “Robert Lovelace é um personagem criado por Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) em seu romance Clarissa Harlowe e é citado freqüentemente por Balzac como um sedutor, embora seu nome tenha desaparecido da imaginação popular em favor de Don Juan ou de Casanova.”

– Escute, Martial – recomeçou o coronel-general. – Se você ficar rodopiando ao redor de minha jovem desconhecida, eu vou tentar conquistar madame de Vaudrémont…

– Pois então experimente, meu caro couraceiro, tenho certeza de que não obterá o menor sucesso com ela!… – disse o jovem desembargador”

– …fique sabendo que me desafiar assim é o mesmo que colocar um banquete em frente a Tântalo, porque você sabe muito bem que ele vai devorar tudo o que puder…

– Fffsssss!…”

Conforme a moda da época, era obrigatório que um homem usasse calças de casimira branca que lhe chegavam aos joelhos, completadas por meias de seda. Essa elegante vestimenta chamava a atenção para o físico perfeito de Montcornet, na época cm 35 anos, que atraía todos os olhares por sua elevada estatura, conforme era exigido para todos os couraceiros da Guarda Imperial, cujo belo uniforme realçava ainda mais seu aspecto, ainda jovem, embora tivesse engordado um pouco por andar sempre a cavalo.”

O coronel-general sorriu ao encarar o desembargador, que era um de seus melhores amigos desde o tempo em que haviam freqüentado a escola juntos”

essa eloqüência de salão e essa elegância de maneiras que substitui tão facilmente as qualidades mais duradouras, mas menos visíveis, que são demonstradas pelos homens de verdadeiro valor. Ainda que cheio de juventude e de vivacidade, seu rosto já apresentava o brilho imóvel de um busto de estanho cromado, uma das qualidades indispensáveis aos diplomatas, que lhes permite ocultar todas as suas emoções e disfarçar seus sentimentos, se é que essa impassibilidade já não anuncia neles a ausência de toda emoção e a morte dos sentimentos.” “escondia suas ambições sob a máscara de vaidade de um conquistador bem-sucedido e disfarçava seu talento sob uma aparência de mediocridade, depois de ter percebido claramente a rapidez com que avançavam na carreira justamente aquelas pessoas que faziam menos sombra a seus superiores.”

A maioria das perguntas e respostas desse tipo de conversação leve, característica dos bailes de então, era mais ou menos soprada no ouvido do vizinho por ambos os interlocutores. Não obstante, as girândolas e os archotes que enfeitavam a lareira derramavam uma luz tão clara sobre os dois amigos que seus rostos fortemente iluminados não tinham conseguido esconder, apesar de toda a sua discrição diplomática, a expressão imperceptível de seus sentimentos nem à esperta condessa, nem à cândida desconhecida. Tal habilidade de decifrar os pensamentos talvez seja para os ociosos um dos melhores prazeres que eles encontram na vida em sociedade, enquanto tantos tolos a ela atraídos pela influência das opiniões alheias ficam se aborrecendo durante a festa inteira, sem terem a coragem de confessar seu tédio nem mesmo a si próprios…

Madame de Vaudrémont nunca cometia o erro social de permanecer em uma festa a partir do momento em que as hastes das flores que a enfeitavam poderiam ser vistas meio penduradas, em que os cachos de seu cabelo começariam a se soltar, os enfeites a ficarem amarrotados e, acima de tudo, em que seu rosto começaria a se parecer com o das outras mulheres, a quem o sono começa a convocar imperiosamente, que se esforçam para resistir-lhe um pouco, mas que não conseguem enganá-lo por muito tempo.”

O oficial guardava na manga uma porção de frases irrelevantes, que podiam ser concluídas por um gancho do tipo; <e a senhora, madame, o que acha?>, que já lhe havia sido bastante útil no passado.”

Esta alegria, esta música, estes rostos estúpidos que riem sem motivo estão me assassinando…”

Em todas as festas existem algumas damas, semelhantes a madame de Lansac, iguais a velhos marujos parados à beira do cais, contemplando os jovens marinheiros em luta contra as tempestades.”

As almas que vivem muito e passam rapidamente de uma emoção a outra não sofrem menos que aquelas que se consomem em um único amor.”

A simpatia de madame de Vaudrémont por Martial tinha todos os motivos para crescer e frutificar no futuro, do mesmo modo que sua paixão anterior por Soulanges era um afeto sem esperança, envenenado desde o começo pelos remorsos que aquele sentia.”

o barão logo se entregou aos cálculos mesquinhos que costumam passar pela cabeça dos homens que têm habitualmente sorte com as mulheres: oscilava entre conservar a fortuna que estava ao alcance de sua mão e a satisfação de um capricho.”

Cometer erros aos 22 anos é a mesma coisa que rasgar o vestido que se pretende usar amanhã, vale dizer, comprometer o próprio futuro. Acredite, minha querida, quando aprendemos a maneira mais adequada de usar os trajes que melhor irão favorecer nosso futuro, em geral já é tarde demais.”

Você está pensando em casar-se com esse Martial, que não é nem bobo o suficiente para ser um bom marido, nem está apaixonado o bastante para tornar-se um bom amante… Ele tem dívidas, minha querida, é o tipo de homem capaz de devorar sua fortuna; mas isso não seria nada, caso ele fosse capaz de lhe trazer felicidade. Mas não vê como ele parece velho demais perto de você? No passado, esse homem deve ter sido consumido por muitas doenças e agora só lhe sobrou um restinho de energia. Daqui a 3 anos, vai estar fisicamente acabado. Talvez então se torne mais ambicioso, e é até mesmo possível que obtenha sucesso. (…) Afinal de contas, quem é ele? Não passa de um intrigante da côrte, que pode possuir grande domínio sobre as manobras sociais e até saber conversar muito bem, mas é pretensioso demais para que venha a desenvolver um verdadeiro talento. (…) Não consegue ler na sua testa que ele não vê em você uma mulher jovem e bonita, mas os 2 milhões de francos que você possui? Ele não a ama, minha querida, ele a avalia como se pretendesse fazer um bom negócio. (…) Uma viúva não deve considerar um 2º casamento como uma garotinha apaixonada. Por acaso já viu uma ratazana cair 2x na mesma armadilha? Não, minha cara, um novo contrato matrimonial deve ser para você como um investimento financeiro (…) recomendo encarecidamente que não se dê ao prazer de perturbar a paz conjugal, de destruir a união das famílias, de atrapalhar a felicidade das mulheres bem-casadas. No passado, eu representei muitas vezes este papel perigoso (…) Ai, meu Deus, só pelo prazer de aumentar a minha auto-estima, tantas vezes destruí a felicidade de algumas pobres criaturas virtuosas!… Porque existem, minha querida, realmente existem mulheres virtuosas, cujo ódio mortal é tão fácil de obter!… Um pouco tarde demais, aprendi que, para usar a expressão do duque de Alba, um salmão vale mais do que 1000 sapos!… (…) Antigamente, minha filha, a gente podia até levar um ator para o quarto, mas nunca se convidava essa gente para uma festa!… (…) Veja lá: aquela é minha jovem sobrinha-neta, a condessa de Soulanges, que finalmente aceitou meus freqüentes convites e consentiu em deixar o quarto de sofrimentos em que permanecia até hoje e no qual a visão de seu filhinho lhe trazia um consolo muito débil.”

O duplo quadro que apresentavam a esposa lacrimosa e o marido melancólico e sombrio, separados um do outro no meio da festa, tais como as duas metades do tronco de uma árvore que tivesse sido partida por um raio, despertou no coração da condessa algo que se assemelhava a uma profecia. Cresceu em seu peito o terror das vinganças que a aguardavam no futuro. Seu coração não se havia ainda pervertido o suficiente para que a sensibilidade e a indulgência fossem dele totalmente banidas”

Pode acreditar, minha filha, mulher alguma gosta de receber de volta o coração de seu marido das mãos de outra mulher. Ficará cem vezes mais feliz se acreditar que foi ela mesma quem o reconquistou.”

se o coronel se zangar só porque eu dancei com a esposa dele, depois de ter suportado estòicamente que eu tenha tirado dele a senhora…”

Nessa época, a moda era que as mulheres erguessem a cintura de seus vestidos para colocá-la justamente abaixo dos seios, à imitação das estátuas gregas, um estilo impiedoso para qualquer mulher cujo busto apresentasse o menor defeito.”

Para muitos homens, a dança em sociedade é uma maneira de ser; eles pensam que, ao exibir as habilidades de seu corpo, conseguem influenciar o coração das mulheres com muito mais eficiência que ao tentar seduzi-las pelo espírito.”

Quando as novas regras da contradança, que tinham sido inventadas pelo dançarino Trénis e que receberam por isso o nome de trenita, colocaram Martial frente a frente com o coronel, aquele murmurou sorridente:

– Ganhei seu cavalo…

– Pode ser, mas perdeu 80 mil libras de renda – replicou-lhe o coronel, indicando com a cabeça a sra. de Vaudrémont.

– E que me importa isso?… – sussurrou de volta Martial. – Madame de Soulanges vale milhões…”

Os homens não podiam compreender a sorte que tivera o pequeno desembargador, em cujo aspecto físico aparentemente insignificante não percebiam nada de encantador.”

(*) “Todos os alimentos eram servidos juntos e colocados à disposição dos convidados, com os pratos empilhados de antemão sobre a mesa ou sobre as mesinhas laterais, os buffets, de onde surgiu a expressão atual, <bufê> ou <bifê>.”

– Precisamente – respondeu ela, com um largo sorriso. – Mas meu marido me roubou esse anel, deu para ela, ela o deu de presente a você, ele viajou e agora voltou para mim, foi só isso. Talvez agora este anel me diga umas quantas coisas que ignoro e me ensinará o segredo de agradar sempre a todos… Cavalheiro – continuou ela –, se ele já não fosse meu, tenha certeza de que eu não teria corrido o risco de pagar tão caro por ele, porque, segundo dizem, qualquer jovem corre perigo ao lado do senhor… Olhe só!… – acrescentou, enquanto fazia saltar uma mola e mostrava um pequeno esconderijo por baixo da pedra – Os cabelos do sr. conde de Soulanges [peruca] ainda estão aqui dentro…

Ela saiu pelos salões com tal rapidez que parecia inútil querer alcançá-la. Além disso, Martial tinha ficado tão confuso e humilhado que não sentia a menor disposição para tentar a aventura.”

fôra com incrível repugnância que ela havia consentido no plano arquitetado por sua tia, a duquesa de Lansac, e, naquele momento, tinha grande receio de haver cometido um erro. O baile enchera de tristeza sua alma cândida. Inicialmente, horrorizara-se com o ar sombrio e sofredor do conde de Soulanges, depois se apavorara ainda mais ao ver a beleza de sua rival, ao passo que a visão da sociedade corrupta que a rodeava lhe havia partido o coração. (…) estremeceu mais de uma vez ao pensar como o dever das mulheres que desejam conservar a paz conjugal as obriga a ocultar no fundo do coração, sem proferir uma só queixa, angústias tão profundas como as que sentira.

– Hortense, o que é que você tem no dedo que me machucou tanto os lábios? – perguntou ele, ao mesmo tempo em que ria baixinho.

– Ora, é o meu diamante, que você disse ter perdido e que agora eu achei.”

Julho de 1829”

COMENTÁRIOS DA EDIÇÃO

A) SOBRE O LEGADO DA COMÉDIA HUMANA

A Comédia Humana é o título geral que dá unidade à obra máxima de Honoré de Balzac e é composta de 89 romances, novelas e histórias curtas.(*) Este enorme painel do séc. XIX foi ordenado pelo autor em 3 partes: Estudos de costumes, Estudos analíticos e Estudos filosóficos.”

(*) “A idéia de Balzac era que A comédia humana tivesse 137 títulos, segundo seu Catálogo do que conterá A comédia humana, de 1845. Deixou de fora, de sua autoria, apenas Les cent contes drolatiques, vários ensaios e artigos, além de muitas peças ficcionais sob pseudônimo e esboços que não foram concluídos.”

Trata-se de um monumental conjunto de histórias, considerado de forma unânime uma das mais importantes realizações da literatura mundial em todos os tempos. Cerca de 2,5 mil personagens se movimentam pelos vários livros de A comédia humana, ora como protagonistas, ora como coadjuvantes. Genial observador do seu tempo, Balzac soube como ninguém captar o <espírito> do séc. XIX. A França, os franceses e a Restauração têm nele um pintor magnífico e preciso.”

Clássicos absolutos da literatura mundial como Ilusões perdidas, Eugénie Grandet, O lírio do vale, O pai Goriot, Ferragus, Beatriz, A vendeta, Um episódio do terror, A pele de onagro, Mulher de trinta anos, A fisiologia do casamento, entre tantos outros, combinam-se com dezenas de histórias nem tão célebres, mas nem por isso menos deliciosas ou reveladoras. Tido como o inventor do romance moderno, Balzac deu tal dimensão aos seus personagens que já no séc. XIX mereceu do crítico literário e historiador francês Hippolyte Taine a seguinte observação: <Como William Shakespeare, Balzac é o maior repositório de documentos que possuímos sobre a natureza humana>.

Balzac nasceu em Tours em 20 de maio de 1799. Com 19 anos convenceu sua família – de modestos recursos – a sustentá-lo em Paris na tentativa de tornar-se um grande escritor. Obcecado pela idéia da glória literária e da fortuna, foi para a capital francesa em busca de periódicos e editoras que se dispusessem a publicar suas histórias – num momento em que Paris se preparava para a época de ouro do romance-folhetim, fervilhando em meio à proliferação de jornais e revistas. Consciente da necessidade do aprendizado e da sua própria falta de experiência e técnica, começou publicando sob pseudônimos exóticos, como Lord R’hoone e Horace de Saint-Aubin. Escrevia histórias de aventuras, romances policialescos, açucarados, folhetins baratos, qualquer coisa que lhe desse o sustento. Obstinado com seu futuro, evitava usar o seu verdadeiro nome para dar autoria a obras que considerava (e de fato eram) menores. Em 1829, lançou o primeiro livro a ostentar seu nome na capa – A Bretanha em 1800 –, um romance histórico em que tentava seguir o estilo de Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), o grande romancista escocês autor de romances históricos clássicos, como Ivanhoé.“seus delírios de gradeza levaram-no a bolar negócios que vão desde gráficas e revistas até minas de prata. Mas fracassa como homem de negócios. Falido e endividado, reage criando obras-primas para pagar seus credores numa destrutiva jornada de trabalho de até 18h diárias.”

Saudai-me, pois estou seriamente na iminência de tornar-me um gênio.”

Aos 47 anos, massacrado pelo trabalho, pela péssima alimentação e pelo tormento das dívidas que não o abandonaram pela vida inteira, ainda que com projetos e esboços para pelo menos mais 20 romances, já não escrevia mais.”

A imensidão de um projeto que abarca a um só tempo a história e a crítica social, a análise de seus males e a discussão de seus princípios, autoriza-me, creio, a dar a minha obra o título que ela tem hoje: A comédia humana. É ambicioso? É o que, uma vez terminada a obra, o público decidirá.”

B) SOBRE A VENDETA

Publicada pela 1ª vez em abril de 1830, Vendetta abria a seleção de romances que faziam parte do primeiro volume de Cenas da vida privada, no qual Balzac iniciava seu estudo de costumes que desembocaria na monumental A comédia humana, título que ele concebeu dez anos depois, em 1840, e que unificaria toda a sua obra anterior e futura.”