"The Professor and Other Writings": A critic gets personal
Terry Castle discusses her sexually charged new memoir -- and why Susan Sontag stayed in the closet
Dan Savage may be right. Male homosexuality was a criminal offense in England in Oscar Wilde’s day, for example, and punished very severely, whereas lesbianism was totally ignored. As far as the law went, it was as if lesbianism didn’t exist.
I enjoyed Katie Roiphe’s article immensely. She’s right. Some of these "emo-guy" writers -- I won’t name names -- suffer from advanced cases of male estrogen oversaturation. They have the heartbreak of floppy-man-boob disease. And no, I’ve never been bothered by carnality in writing. I think Philip Roth is a genius. Male horn-dogging doesn’t bother me that much. (Maybe because it doesn’t affect me directly.) The writing is what matters. I once saw Norman Mailer jogging shirtless in Provincetown in some huge, billowing turquoise Lonsdale boxing trunks. A lumbering and majestic sight. I’ve been trying to emulate the look myself ever since.