so the other day my girlfriend and i were at a thrift store looking at the books, and we found a copy of the princess by tennyson from around 1900 for like 2 dollars
here is the inscription on the front
so “unknown yet known” is a misquote of a bible verse (2 corinthians 6:9) which goes like “known yet regarded as unknown” and that whole bit is about like, keeping love in your heart despite hardship, which. ok. (also i’m not saying but i’m just saying do you like know her KNOW her in the biblical sense or does helen WANT TO but they haven’t yet??? ok i’m totally saying that’s what it means.)
now i don’t want to just yell GAY out of nowhere, but like, your unknown yet known friend? ladies? giving each other books with ambiguously gay dedications about love in the face of trials and suffering in the front?
so what’s this princess thing even about? wikipedia says:
The poem tells the story of an heroic princess who forswears the world of men and founds a women’s university where men are forbidden to enter.
okay, so let’s look at what passages in this book are underlined. (and we can’t tell who did the underlining, helen or emma. the inscription on the front is in pen, but the underlinings are in pencil, so who the fuck knows)
Two heads in council, two beside the hearth,
Two in the tangled business of the world,
Two in the liberal offices of life,
Two plummets dropt for one to sound the abyss
O hard, when love and duty clash!
‘Alone,’ I said, ‘from earlier than I know,
Immersed in rich foreshadowings of the world,
I loved the woman: he, that doth not, lives
A drowning life, besotted in sweet self,
Or pines in sad experience worse than death,
Or keeps his winged affections clipt with crime:
Yet was there one through whom I loved her, one
Not learnèd, save in gracious household ways,
Not perfect, nay, but full of tender wants,
No Angel, but a dearer being, all dipt In
Angel instincts, breathing Paradise,
Interpreter between the Gods and men,
Who looked all native to her place, and yet
On tiptoe seemed to touch upon a sphere
Too gross to tread, and all male minds perforce
Swayed to her from their orbits as they moved,
And girdled her with music. Happy he
With such a mother! faith in womankind
Beats with his blood, and trust in all things high
Comes easy to him, and though he trip and fall
He shall not blind his soul with clay.’
Indeed I love: the new day comes, the light
Dearer for night, as dearer thou for faults
Lived over: lift thine eyes; my doubts are dead.
wow so in conclusion kate and i found a gay ladies book from the past and i’m really overwhelmed with emotions about it????
I will never understand why this Christmas song goes so hard.
OKAY MOTHERFUCKERS LISTEN UP
BECAUSE THIS SHIT IS NOT CAROL OF THE BELLS
IT IS CHRISTMAS EVE/SARAJEVO 12/24 AND IT IS SO MUCH FUCKING MORE THAN CAROL OF THE BELLS.
SO DURING THE BOSNIAN WAR (WHICH WAS THIS NASTY-ASS CONFLICT IN BOSNIA AND HERZGOVINA) THERE WAS THIS BADASS CELLO-PLAYING MOTHERFUCKER NAMED VEDRAN SMAILOVIC. HE WAS FROM SARAJEVO WAS UPSET ABOUT ALL THE SHIT AND NASTINESS THAT CAME ABOUT THROUGH THIS WAR (THIS WAS FULL-ON BROTHER-KILLING-BROTHER SHIT) THAT HE WENT AROUND TO BOMBED-OUT, BLOWN UP BUILDINGS AND FUNERALS—WHERE HE WAS AT RISK OF FUCKING SNIPER FIRE—AND PLAYING THE CELLO. THIS GUY WAS SO SET ON PROVIDING ONE TINY SPOT OF BEAUTY IN A SERIOUSLY NASTY WAR HE WAS RISKING BEING FUCKING SHOT OR BLOWN UP.
AND THIS IS THE GUY WHO INSPIRED THIS SONG.
HE’S WHY THERE’S THE CALM CELLO PART AT THE BEGINNING BEFORE EVERYTHING GETS ALL VIOLENT-SOUNDING. IT’S THEMATIC.
THAT’S WHY THIS CHRISTMAS SONG GOES SO FUCKING HARD.
Hands down best holiday song. Love the background. ❤
admiring the stockings. 1940’s.
#[40S COMMERCIAL ANNOUNCER VOICE] WHAT’S BETTER THAN THIS? GALS BEING PALS
Fun fact: Though being gay in the 40s sucked, being gay in the military was easier, and pretty common. There were apparently, at one point in time time so many lesbians in the military that when they tried to crack down on it, the girls wrote back and said “Look I can give you the names, but you’ll lose some of your best officers, and half your nurses and secretaries.” And they pretty much shut up about it unless you were especially bad at subtlety. (Source: Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers. A good source for gay history from 1900s onwards.)
Sergeant Phelps worked for General Eisenhower. Four decades after Eisenhower had defeated the Axis powers, Phelps recalled an extraordinary event. One day the general told her, “I’m giving you an order to ferret those lesbians out.’ We’re going to get rid of them.”
“I looked at him and then I looked at his secretary. who was standing next to me, and I said, ‘Well, sir, if the general pleases, sir, I’ll be happy to do this investigation for you. But you have to know that the first name on the list will be mine.’
“And he kind of was taken aback a bit. And then this woman standing next to me said, ‘Sir, if the general pleases, you must be aware that Sergeant Phelps’s name may be second, but mine will be first.’
“Then I looked at him, and I said, ‘Sir, you’re right. They’re lesbians in the WAC battalion. And if the general is prepared to replace all the file clerks, all the section commanders, all of the drivers—every woman in the WAC detachment—and there were about nine hundred and eighty something of us—then I’ll be happy to make the list. But I think the general should be aware that among those women are the most highly decorated women in the war. There have been no cases of illegal pregnancies. There have been no cases of AWOL. There have been no cases of misconduct. And as a matter of fact, every six months since we’ve been here, sir, the general has awarded us a commendation for meritorious service.’
“And he said, ‘Forget the order.’
– The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America
tbh i still can’t get over the fact that the reynolds pamphlet was 95 god damn pages long like
alexander honey there’s a line between ‘confessing your misdeeds’ and ‘writing erotica about yourself’ and i’m not an expert but i thiiiiiink you might have leapt the fuck over it
god no wonder eliza flipped out