once one of my friends told me that before people in my village got to know me they talked about me as the mysterious, American woman - the only thing anyone knew about me was that I was vegetarian...
Like The French Lieutenant's Woman eh? I would have known plenty about you Rebecca even if I didn't know you were a veggie. Just by looking.
But--There is a famous portrait of Arabella Fermor (1696-1737)by Sykes which is now, I gather, somewhere in Wales, and damaged. She was the belle of London in her prime. The theft of one of her curls, which Hogarth had said was "too alluring to be strictly decent", by Lord Petre caused a feud between two society families previously on very good terms.
She is the Belinda of Pope's Rape of the Lock which was written to "laugh them together again". Beneath the reproduction of the portrait I have seen is written--"Though gay yet modest, though sublime yet sweet." Which is from the poem.
What is a young budding poet to make of such a line these days. I will never forgive homosexuals for stealing that word. Never. They were stealing our literary heritage. As important as an building. And what for--to try to make out that there is gaiety in being homosexual and thus to encourage it.
And when the word "marriage" comes to mean a bit of a lark where people show off, get pissed and spend a pile of dough rather that it meaning a serious committment for better or for worse another word will be demolished and more literature will be distorted beyond all recognition.
After that what's next. Pussy? Tits? Table ender? They won't rest until we can't tell one from the other.
The whole literary canon is heterosexual. Is than an affront to homosexual sensibilities? Are we to cancel literature?