Mary tells Fuller at some point that she doesn’t think any woman could approve, in their heart, of male-male love. This is one of the interesting things about historical novels. You get to study how the mores of sex changes so dramatically from one generation to the next. You couldn’t imagine someone like Mary saying something like that today.
If she were to use such a line like that today, either a fictional character or a person you met, you would disapprove of her and you would be right to disapprove of her. But she’s struggling with this in the ’50s and I think it would be unnatural for her to be so ahead of her time. Surely, there were people who were. But I didn’t want to make her prematurely pro-gay -- you know, what’s that famous phrase about people in the ’30s, “prematurely anti-fascist” -- prematurely pro-gay, because I thought it would be…
It would be a sign of insanity.
She would cease to exist to me as a realistic character.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Getting back to the self
My former student Paul Morton interviews Thomas Mallon at Bookslut. (Hmmm, I must confess that I am especially delighted to see Paul invoking the charismatic and sexually alluring heroes of Restoration and eighteenth-century comedies! Lots of good stuff here...)