“Benedict’s book was as successful as Mead’s, selling hundreds of thousands of copies over the years, available not just in bookstores but in drugstores, too. Together these two students of Boas, using their own research but also his and that of Malinowski and Mead’s husband, Reo Fortune, transformed the way we look at the world. Unconscious ethnocentrism, not to say sexual chauvinism, was much greater in the first half of the century than it is now, and their conclusions, presented scientifically, were vastly liberating. The aim of Boas, Benedict and Mead was to put beyond doubt the major role played by culture in determining behaviour and to argue against the predominating place of biology. Their other aim – to show that societies can only be understood on their own terms – proved durable. Indeed, for a comparatively small science, anthropology has helped produce one of the biggest ideas of the century: relativism”.
The Modern Mind – An intellectual history of the 20th century, Peter Watson (2001)
“However, AIDS and Its Metaphors did have one transforming, coincidental effect on Susan’s own life. During publicity sessions for the book in 1988, Susan was photographed by Annie Leibovitz. It was the first time they had met, and they also went out to dinner together, where Leibovitz asked Sontag among other things The Benefactor. Leibovitz was 39, Sontag 55. It was the beginning of a passionate relationship between photographer and subject which would continue, on and off, for the next sixteen years. This was longer than Sontag spent with Philip, with Irene, with Nicole, with Joseph. The relationship with Annie, much as david called it an “on-again, off-again” affair would become the longest-running love of Sontag’s life, which over the next few years began to have more fulfillment”
Susan Sontag (2014), Jerome Boyd Maunsell
Ο πίνακας του Kokoschka “Διπλό πορτρέτο του Carl Georg Heise και του Hans Mardersteig ” χρονολογείται από το 1919. Απεικονίζει τον Hans Mardersteig (1892-1977) και τον Carl Georg Heise (1890-1979) οι οποίοι είχαν δεσμό. Αρχικά η ιδέα ήταν οι πίνακες να είναι ενωμένοι με μεντεσέ όπως τα μεσαιωνικά δίπτυχα που απεικόνιζαν παντρεμένα ζευγάρια. Εν τέλει, σύμφωνα με την επιθυμία των ιδίων, οι πίνακες τοποθετήθηκαν δίπλα-δίπλα. Έτσι έδιδαν την εντύπωση του συνηθισμέντου τρόπου απεικόνισης μιας φιλίας στο γερμανικό ρομαντισμό.
(A lost chapter from One Day I Will Write About This Place)
11 July, 2000.
This is not the right version of events.
Hey mum. I was putting my head on her shoulder, that last afternoon before she died. She was lying on her hospital bed. Kenyatta. Intensive Care. Critical Care. There. Because this time I will not be away in South Africa, fucking things up in that chaotic way of mine. I will arrive on time, and be there when she dies. My heart arrives on time. I am holding my dying mother’s hand. I am lifting her hand. Her hand will be swollen with diabetes. Her organs are failing. Hey mum. Ooooh. My mind sighs. My heart! I am whispering in her ear. She is awake, listening, soft calm loving, with my head right inside in her breathspace. She is so big – my mother, in this world, near the next world, each breath slow, but steady, as it should be. Inhale. She can carry everything. I will whisper, louder, in my minds-breath. To hers. She will listen, even if she doesn’t hear. Can she?
Mum. I will say. Muum? I will say. It grooves so easy, a breath, a noise out of my mouth, mixed up with her breath, and she exhales. My heart gasps sharp and now my mind screams, sharp, so so hurt so so angry.
“I have never thrown my heart at you mum. You have never asked me to.”
Only my mind says. This. Not my mouth. But surely the jerk of my breath and heart, there next to hers, has been registered? Is she letting me in?
Nobody, nobody, ever in my life has heard this. Never, mum. I did not trust you, mum. And. I. Pulled air hard and balled it down into my navel, and let it out slow and firm, clean and without bumps out of my mouth, loud and clear over a shoulder, into her ear.
“I am a homosexual, mum.” Continue here