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Subject: Re: The Next Work

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Date Posted: Sat, Jun 11 2005, 11:44:46 GMT
In reply to: Jamie O'Neill 's message, "Re: The Next Work" on Tue, Apr 12 2005, 20:35:57 GMT

>Hi Nick, I was caught by your mention of butterflies,
>because one of the old Irish (Gaelic) expressions for
>two men loving translates as "kiss of the butterfly",
>which is kind of sweet.
>Sequel -- possibly, but it's just the last four pages
>of At Swim filled out. (I very much wish that I were
>writing this now -- because I'd like to visit
>MacMurrough again, and visit Jim, too, and see how
>they're getting on.)
>Film -- this goes on and on. I really don't know.
>After Alexander, it seems unlikely. But again, after
>Alexander, it might be just the thing. There are
>people working on it, but I shouldn't hold breath
>Same theme -- I was going to say no, that there's
>nothing more for me to say. But that's not quite true.
>A modern romance would involve girls much more (most
>gay teens nowadays tell their girlfriend first) --
>it's a very happy thing for me that the sexes are no
>longer so much apart when young. You can see this at
>the Forty Foot. When I was a kid there was all this
>"atmosphere" about the place, which was brought about,
>basically, because it was men-only. Now, it's just a
>wonderful place to swim and have fun, all ages, all
>dispositions, but perhaps not all weathers. Then
>again, I have this idea for a novel set in America, in
>Delaware, say, or Florida, in the 10th Century. Only
>it's not called America, but Nova Roma. For the Roman
>Empire did not fall, the Christians were expelled
>(Google Emperor Julian the Apostate and imagine he had
>not died young); there were no Dark Ages. The Romans
>have discovered America; they have a trading colony
>there; peace and goodwill with the Mayan civilization;
>the easy-going Roman way with sex prevails. But now
>the Christians are coming, claiming Nova Roma for
>their New Jerusalem. My Roman boy falls in love with a
>Christian boy, and he must pretend to his friends that
>yes, they do make love, and he must keep to himself
>the terrible shoddy secret of their chaste embraces.
>Oh, if only I could write. If only I could get down to
>writing. Jamie.

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Date Posted: Sat, Jun 11 2005, 11:58:30 GMT

Sorry about that-- I hit "return" prematurely, and only posted the text of Jamie's original message.

I just finished the book this morning, and I won't say too much about the ending, though I was certainly expecting something like that to happen. It does leave a bit of a hollow feeling, but I'm happy to say that part of it is that the story has come to an end. This book I literally had to be torn away from. Not bad for something I had heard vaguely about and decided finally to pick up in an Edinburgh bookshop.

I appreciated it very much, not just from the gay standpoint, but also that there was so much of the history wrapped into it. I'm now expecting I'll be looking into the Easter Rising more seriously, as I've never read any histories about it. Of course, going back to school in the fall, I'm not sure how much time I'll have, but we'll see.

What is this Irish phrase? Another thing I appreciated is the Irish that appeared. I'm studying Scots Gaelic on my own right now, and I'll be picking up formal courses at the university in the fall.

Tapadh leat airson an leabhar seo, a Jamie! (I've never studied Irish, so you'll have to settle for Scots Gaelic, I'm afraid.)


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