Monday, 4 May 2009

that quote from eric

When one looked at him that day with his straw hat on and its neat light-blue ribbon, and the cricket dress (a pink jersey and leather belt, with a silver clasp in front), showing off his well-built and graceful figure, one little thought what an agony was gnawing like a serpent at his heart... It was long since he had stood before the wicket, but now he was there, looking like a beautiful picture as the sunlight streamed over him and made his fair hair shine like gold.


It's not really what you think of when people say Victorian masculine values, is it? (There's also an awful lot of crying, hand-holding, hair-stroking, breaking-down-and-getting-brain-fever-from-the-least-little-thing, and picking flowers for other boys.) Very unfamiliar gender system.

4 comments:

Charlie Butler said...

"breaking-down-and-getting-brain-fever-from-the-least-little-thing"

I think we've all been there!

Thanks for sharing. With visions like that at the crease, who needs 20-20? Though it sounds as if there may be considerably more agony than ecstacy in Farrar's book, which is one reason I've kind of steered clear until now.

spacefall said...

I can't help thinking of Percy Phelps, and Watson shyly bashing him over the shins with a cricket stump. ;) I suppose that's half the fun though. The period covers such implausibly huge shifts in British ideas of gender and sexuality that you wonder how anyone forgot about it and acted as though it belonged to some unchanging idea of 'natural' gender (*cough* with a few terrible 'evolutionary psychology' papers to back it up.) It makes me think of Carpenter, fretting over what the later anxieties were killing in terms of same-sex affection, and the emotional potential of the species.

Speaking of Victorian angst, Janet Oppenheim's "Shattered Nerves" gets into the boys-with-brain-fever bit.

Anna said...

Um, gosh.

Una McCormack said...

Not related, but Le Guin talks briefly about Vergil.