It was National Coming Out Day yesterday, and I was too busy to observe it any particular way except to think about how impossible it feels now to be closeted. How impossible it would be to be, say, like Proust, especially as characterized here in Anne Carson’s The Albertine Workout, which examines Remembrance of Things Past through the idea that Albertine is a disguise for Proust’s driver, Albert Agostinelli, an idea she calls “The Transposition Theory”. I have been playing this as I work, and this line stays with me, among others: “Albertine’s behavior in Marcel’s household is that of a domestic animal/ which enters any door it finds open or comes to lie beside its master on his bed/making a place for itself.”
Also of interest to me in the same vein is this investigation John Banville made into the life of Kafka–and his sexuality–at the New York Review of Books. And then without any hidden sexual content, Donna Tartt in conversation with her editor, Michael Pietsch.
I’m teaching in Saudi Arabia and sort of halfway back in the closet. It’s a strange feeling after twenty-five years of being out, loud and proud. When people ask me about dating, I just smile and say, “Been there, done that!”