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David asked about Lord Jim and Oliver's relationship in _The Last Puritan_, a
novel GG mentions often, though as far as I have been able to find, in little
depth.  I imagine this was one of his "phone novels"-- things he liked to
discuss with people at length over the phone, but wrote little about.  (Such
as Natsume Soseki's novella _The Three Cornered World_ which GG read the
first chapter of for CBC's _Booktime_ radio programme.)

Santayana himself says in letters (I'll be happy to send you the citations
later, David-- I'm at work now) that readers of the novel were shy about
seeing Oliver's infatuation for Jim as what it was-- an un-acted-on
romantic attachment. I think there's plenty of textual evidence-- in
fact Jim's father tells Oliver that Oliver loved Jim at one point, and
Oliver agrees.  You can choose to read the relationship as non-sexual,
but I think of it as Platonic in the true sense-- a relationship
*refined* beyond sexual desire.

I'm not suggesting that the intense homoeroticism is what drew Gould
to the novel-- in philosophy Gould was much like the doomed Oliver,
whom Santayana considered to be a sort of warning-- the last remainder of a
tragic lifestyle, the philosophy of which claimed the geniuses and mystics
of an entire generation (ahem-- meaning the well-to-do of early
modernist Boston-- a town not incomparable morally with Toronto, I
imagine.)  But Gould, unlike Oliver, indulged himself with the ecstacy
of art (see the video of that Beethoven Bagatelle!)-- Oliver never
allowed himself that pleasure.  

Oliver's relationship with women is telling-- he tries to marry a
couple of times and after the last rejection is glad to be freed of
the obligation of trying to live with and love women.  He's a natural 
celibate.  I guess with Gould, though, his playing is often so
intensely erotic it's hard not to speculate on his personal life.
Kevin Bazzanna says in the last _Glenn Gould_-- the review
of 32 Short Films-- that there is plenty in the archives at Ottawa
left to speculate with authority about Gould's relationships with
women and that one day a courageous biographer should/will address the
issue in depth. (J.P. Roberts and Guertin say that the "identity of
Dell is hard to know"-- *not* that they *didn't* know who was supposed to
relay that love note.)

Santayana as a writer had a wicked, a scathing sense of humor that GG
demonstrates at times in his own writing and comes out in various
descriptions (Jock Caroll's for one) of Gould's conversations.

If you're interested in the novel check out some excerpts I've posted
in the WWW site:


-Mary Jo