Re: RARA-AVIS: marlowe's character

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 06 Apr 2002

> i was surfing the web looking for chandler sites and i came on this
> that had literary analysis and criticism and this lady had written an
> and quoted a bunch of stuff from _farewell my lovely_ which
> pegged marlowe as a closet homosexual.
> i believe i have seen threads here discussing this type of thing. if
> wasn't about marlowe, then maybe parker's spenser or someone else.
> its not really an unusual literary accusation... man hiding his
> pref-
> erences by being overly masculine and possibly even expressing anti-
> gay sentiments. its not always aimed at an author's characters, but
> author himself. somebody wrote a hemingway biography using the
> theme.
> although i doubt that anybody here is fooled by that sorta ploy, i'll
> if i can find the link to the article.
> miker

It seems to me that any "man's man" type character has had this kind of claim made about him by somebody or other. Although I don't necessarily dismiss these claims off-hand I really think it's often drawing a long bow. Because a character (or author) doesn't have a lot to do with women, or he is not comfortable around women or there just aren't many female characters of note in a story or any of the other rather tenuous reasons cited by "critics" of this bent, it doesn't mean that the author (or character) is homosexual. Personally, I feel that the author of the article you're referring to is reading his/her own obsessions into the text. I've never been a macho, jock type of guy myself, always been pretty comfortable with women personally, but I don't believe that the more traditionally masculine guys out there are really closet queens - undoubtedly a small proportion are but I feel it's a non-sequitur to say that because a man is not comfortable with women, for example, that he is obviously homosexual even if he doesn't know it. I seem to recall someone on this list talking about someone saying that Hemingway's THE OLD MAN & THE SEA was "obviously" about a pederastic relationship - if you "read between the lines". To which I can only say, once again, "huh?". Or, as Dr Freud (allegedly) said, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar".


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