GLR September-October 2022

service status. But they ended up describ ing a variety of sexual activities, ranging from anonymous sex at sea, drunken sex while in port, and group masturbation, as well as officer-enlisted, military-civilian, romantic, and long-term love affairs. Many reported that they joined the mili tary to bolster their sense of manhood; some were heterosexually married. A number saw such behavior as part of bonding with their brothers while at sea and on leave. For others it was simply about young men being sexually alive— all part of their military service. Joe Ryan, Colchester, VT Melville and the American Renaissance To the Editor: Great issue [July-August 2022], com plete with Billy Budd on the cover and much about Melville inside the magazine. However, there was one striking omission in the piece by Andrew Holleran about the relationship between F. O. Matthiessen and Russell Cheney as discussed in Scott Bane’s A Union Like Ours . Matthiessen named five writers as the central figures in what he called the “American Renais sance.” Holleran included in his list only Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, and Hawthorne, omitting Herman Melville. Forgive me if this seems a small matter, but I’ve read Moby-Dick six times, ran a graduate seminar based on [Matthiessen’s book] The American Renaissance and an other limited to Melville and Hawthorne, so I’m protective of Uncle Herman. What’s more, Matthiessen’s assessment of Melville in his magnum opus places him in the top tier of writers in the English language. Elliott Mackle, Atlanta Masculinity Not the Culprit Here To the Editor: I want to thank Daniel Burr for his as tute comment (in “Climbers and Creepers of the High Chaparral,” May-June 2022 issue) regarding the phrase “toxic mas culinity.” Indeed it does not have any spe cific meaning, and as such is a typical “snarl word,” separating people simplisti cally into guilty and innocent. Annie Proulx has a brilliant analysis of the fear of homosexuality in Nevadan cul ture, which was her motive for writing Brokeback Mountain . Ennis feared in volvement, as did Phil [Benedict Cumber batch’s character] in The Power of the Dog . Both Thomas Savage and Proulx re veal a tragedy of complex interaction be tween a subculture’s world view and repressed desire. To stigmatize masculin ity as the cause of such fear is what

Proulx did not want to convey. (See Proulx’s essay “Getting Movied,” in Brokeback Mountain: Story to Screen play (Scribner’s, 2005). Jay Gertzman, Edgewater, NJ Stein Not a ‘Shakespeare’ Habitué To the Editor: Regarding the review of The Paris Bookseller in the May-June 2022 issue: it is a novel, so perhaps author Kerri Maher felt free to take a certain license in pre senting Sylvia Beach’s relations with the great literary figures who crossed the threshold of Shakespeare & Company. Not having read her book, I assume that your reviewer, Charles Green, has correctly characterized Beach’s relations with Gertrude Stein in the way Maher intended. My own interest regarding Sylvia Beach and Gertrude Stein emerges from the re search I did for my recently published bi ography George Platt Lynes: The Daring Eye . The young Lynes lived in Paris in 1925-26 and was inspired by Beach’s bookstore. He also became a frequent visi tor to the Gertrude Stein-Alice B. Toklas salon. What I wish to point out is that scholar ship on 1920’s Paris and on Gertrude Stein in particular paints a portrait some what at odds with the novel’s use of Stein as “a sustained presence” among the LGBT “figures who were habitués of the bookstore.” According to James Mellow’s Charmed Circle: Gertrude Stein & Com pany , Stein “became the first annual sub scriber to Sylvia Beach’s Shakespeare &

Company” in 1920. But while things began “cordially,” according to Mellow, Beach herself claimed that relations be tween the two women “cooled consider ably” after Shakespeare & Company published James Joyce’s Ulysses in 1922. Their estrangement is suggested in the novel when Maher has Stein “disparaging Joyce” as “that Irishman” and “staying away from the bookstore whenever Beach is working on Ulysses ” (in Green’s words). But more damning is that following Shakespeare & Company’s publication of Ulysses , Stein visited the shop to tell Beach, per Mellow, that “she would now be subscribing to the American Library, on the Right Bank.” Stein saw herself as the leading Modernist among English writers in Paris, and Beach’s support for Joyce was taken as disloyalty. Even more telling is how Sylvia Beach characterized Stein’s pronouncements at her salon, as Mellow tells it: “Gertrude, Sylvia Beach recalled, has ‘so much charm’ that others forgave her the ‘monstrous absurdities’ she some times uttered.” Allen Ellenzweig, New York City Correction As many readers informed us, the July August 2022 issue contained an error in the BTW column concerning soon-to-be ex-Congressman Madison Cawthorn, whose home state was given as Pennsyl vania. In fact, he represents a district in North Carolina (but lost his primary, so

he’ll be gone by next January). * ('&

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