RARA-AVIS: Joel Cairo & Wilmer - Just Good Friends?

From: Rene Ribic ( rribic@optusnet.com.au)
Date: 28 Jul 2002

After provoking a backlash with the (hardly novel) assertion that Achilles & Patroclus were lovers you'd think I'd have learned my lesson but I just can't help myself (compulsive disorder). I have to know - all those who disagreed with my reading of the Achilles/Patroclus relationship (which was based on readings of other texts as well as THE ILIAD) & have read THE MALTESE FALCON - how do you guys read the relationship of the above named characters? Do you think that these two are lovers or not & why do you think that? Am I the only one who thinks that Hammett wants us to believe that they are (probably) lovers even though Hammett doesn't say so in as many words?
 I'd be particularly interested in the opinion of the person who labelled me a neurotic incapable of perceiving male friendships as anything but homosexual in nature.


THERSITES Prithee, be silent, boy; I profit not by thy talk:
  thou art thought to be Achilles' male varlet. PATROCLUS Male varlet, you rogue! what's that? THERSITES Why, his masculine whore. -

(TROILUS AND CRESSIDA, William Shakespeare)

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