March 2nd, 2004

Giles on a horse, need i say more? [muzakgurrl]

(no subject)

Came home today feeling like i had had a fucking amazing day, which is funny because i wasn’t particularly thrilled by anything in anything in any of my classes, nor did lilithchilde and i have any intense discussions over lunch -- the two things that usually make my days (well, my Tuesdays/Thursdays anyway) kick-ass.

After Fairy Tales, lilithchilde and linaria and i hung out on the steps of Seelye in the gorgeous weather. I lost 10 points off the 25 points everyone gets in Evadne’s book for not liking modernist literature. I am okay with that. (And she said Thora Birch forgot how to act for Dungeons & Dragons. But she’s so pretty... so i still kinda wanna see it, though clearly i have no desire to see every movie that woman was ever in. And really one of these days i must see Ghost World. Minuteman has the comic book, so maybe i’ll just get both over Spring Break.)

Oh, quote of the day. I keep threatening to learn how to cut hair so i can cut Allie’s ‘cause it’s hella easy and would save her so much money. She said she trusts me with a lot of things but not her hair, center of her vanity and all that. [Edited to add: she likened it to castration anxiety. I knew i was leaving something out in the progression of the conversation.] I said she lets other people cut her hair. “But they’re professionals!” “So you whore out your hair?”

Walking to my UMass class i bumped into Ken, whom i haven’t seen since Oxford. He still has a mix tape for me, which i had actually forgotten. So we’re gonna hang out sometime and play pool. This makes me happy.

rollinson, i keep meaning to ask you if you’ve kept in touch with Adam? I would love to see him and Sarah again.

I wish i had more time to hang out with people.

Met samfeasor. Yayness. (I would have been screwed if you hadn’t posted that picture. I like the hair, btw, meant to tell you.)

Re: the optional film viewings, the syllabus says: “Students can earn up to an extra 3 points per film toward their cumulative grade (see grading below) by writing a 2-page, double-spaced, typed response paper relating the film to the readings or the lectures.”
The Sigourney Weaver movie i was hella excited about my response for? “This is excellent, Elizabeth. +3.5” Yeah baby. Susan (the prof) came up to me while we were doing our in-class writing responses and complimented me on my movie response paper. Aww. And this means she knows how i am. I kinda feel bad ‘cause my interview project was so not the best thing i’ve ever written, but, ya know, only a little bad, especially given what an insane week it was.

Snagged the express bus home, and came home driving into the sunset for the first time.

lecture in Graham Hall (Hillyer) tonight: “Inventing Michelangelo: The Myth of the Creative Homosexual,” a lecture by James M. Saslow

The guy introducing him talked about the research he had done on depictions of Ganymede (Zeus’s one male conquest) and i was excited ‘cause that’s the kind of dorky art thing i would do ‘cause i’m gay like that. Google turns up a book (Ganymede in the Renaissance: Homosexuality in Art and Society) so clearly i need to read that at some point.

The course he’s teaching this semester is "Performing the Renaissance: Theatre and Theatricality in Art and Society, 1300-1700." And he definitely loves theatricality -- part of the introduction talked about him attending NYC parties in a gown and tiara :-D

anagogy... lifting up... the idea that their gay love was bringing them closer to God... i love it!

Michelangelo’s is the first large body of homoerotic verse in any modern European language.

We saw his painting of the Sibyl, and in the sketch especially, it is so obviously a man. Saslow said that it was common at the time for painters to use male models, but that they made them look like women at the end, and Michelangelo just didn’t bother! (Sibyl just gets a female hairdo.) He also showed us a sculpture of a woman. Wow, the breasts look kinda like apples stuck onto a male torso, not even in the right position really. As someone Saslow quoted said, the female form was not something Michelangelo was interested in contemplating ;)

Near the beginning of the presentation, Saslow showed two paintings, representing Michelangelo’s conflicting feelings about his sexual desires. One of Ganymede and one of Tityos (who raped Leto). The one of Ganymede is of him being taken up from behind by an eagle, lifted up to the heavens, a very positive thing. The one of Tityos shows him in his punishment, chained to a rock with a vulture eating out his liver. Saslow said that Tityos had become a symbol for forbidden desire. And Michelangelo talked a lot about love in terms of it making him a slave, a prisoner.

Tommaso de' Cavalieri was the love of Michelangelo’s life, but there was also Vittoria Colonna, a woman. He often referred to her as senore, amico, and (praising her) as a man in a woman’s body. He talked about the passive reception of her powerful beauty and artistic influence. He talked about himself as paper waiting for her quill to write on, as a vessel for her to fill and then break open. (Hot stuff.) Yes i do want fic depicting Michelangelo bottoming to Vittoria Colonna.

Michelangelo’s nephew (Michelangelo the Younger) bowdlerized his poetry for publication, making all the pronouns female (some of the original poems were in fact written to women, but not all) and, where the poem was too complex to be able to do that, adding elaborate footnotes explaining that in fact it’s a spiritual allegory, because in Italian (as in Spanish) senore means lord, and Senore means Lord (i.e. Jesus).

There’s a painting by Jerome of a decrepit and blind Michelangelo having his hands guided over this giant marble torso (some famous sculpture i forget the name of) by a young apprentice (whose buttocks are accentuated in his tight pants). Saslow said that historically the painting is pure fantasy: “Michelangelo never went blind, and he would hardly have had one of the great treasures of the Vatican lying around his home.” But it is a very touching and tender painting.

Saslow talked about the usage of sculptures by Michelangelo, particularly David, in gay publications. “I won’t subject you to my entire collection of Michelangelo kitsch.”

There’s a quote from some guy Vinkelmann (?) saying that those with no eye for the beauty of the male form have no eye for art. “That’s the motto of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” Saslow said.

And he made reference to Rita Mae Brown’s Venus Envy (my favorite of her books) at the end. Yes, this lecture made me happy. (I was troubled by the repeated unproblematic invocation of Plato's Symposium, but i really don't know that much about it, and it doesn't really detract from the lecture.)

I sat with happymartian and speacechilde and then walked around with them a bit afterward. Clearly i need to attend the Classics Dept. picnic. (Or the Eng. Dept. parties need to start involving drag.) And what’s this i hear about mt getting tenured?

Came upon susiebabylon and trijinx on our way down to State Street. susiebabylon referred to us as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I was amused. And really we do need to all hang out together more often. Someone wondered where that left her, being the 5th one. I thought of this and Andrew saying, "For the record, if I ever ride into the apocalypse, I'd rather just prance around and have a serf banging coconut shells behind me." so in said she could be the one clapping coconut shells. And it didn’t even occur to me until i was typing it just now that Andrew’s the gay one. :)