s skippy the bush kangaroo: Immortal Sex Kills

skippy the bush kangaroo

Monday, June 16, 2014

Immortal Sex Kills

One hundred and ten years ago today, James Joyce lost his virginity to his future wife, Nora. (Nora's sexual experience to that point is generally treated as a side matter at most.)

This year, someone pointed out—rather in detail—that all the evidence (previously suppressed by his son) indicates Joyce suffered from syphilis for much of his life.

Today, the Chronicle of Higher Education allows a scholar to suggest simultaneously that (1) the author is correct and (2) that it "is a nonissue." (A "nonissue whose lurid quality easily grabs public attention," to be certain; far be it for such (at best) Upper Middle-Brow considerations to be considered relevant to scholarship about the greatest love story of the 20th century.

Far be it for anyone to suggest, perhaps, that the disease negatively affected, say, the life and art of Lucia Joyce. (For instance, will anyone ever be able to read this set of panels again without thinking that if he had only kept his dick clean, the family might have made great contributions in two of the arts?)

The book abides, even as the evidence grows that its creator had the proverbial feet of clay. Indeed, that might make it even stronger.

Happy Bloomsday. Have a somewhat-related-to-the-above-discussion video:

Labels: , , ,

posted by Ken Houghton at 7:34 PM |


Peter Gabriel, isn't that?

I now want a time machine that will take me back to Mr. Joyce so that I can toss him a nice bag of condoms (which he won't use).
commented by Blogger D., 9:25 AM PDT  
Interesting that such pains were gone to for the purpose of hiding Joyce's affliction -- Isak Dineson, on the other hand, never had anyone hide the fact that she contracted syphilis.

I think it is difficult for people now to conceive of a world with virtually no treatment for 'ordinary' STDs -- though we SHOULD grasp it, since AIDS and HIV have us all similarly by the short hairs now.
commented by Anonymous Syrbal/Labrys, 9:41 AM PDT  
PS: There's an article in the latest issue of Harper's with some details; it's subscribers only (if you're a subscriber, it's http://harpers.org/archive/2014/07/a-portrait-of-the-artist-as-a-syphilitic/) but most libraries will have the July 2014 issue by the end of this month.
commented by Blogger D., 9:04 AM PDT  

Add a comment