When Ackerley showed E. Ackerley focused. Essentially these diaries cover 13 months, from August to September A further 15 pages pounce along till Ackerley died in , Nancy in Practically every page has a blistering or festering remark about women. It is not just that Nancy and Bunny are always despised explicitly as women, but that Ackerley incites himself to every generalising contempt.
When Bunny boasts, Ackerley interrogates himself, and acquits himself as a man:.
Shall I be like that when I get old, talk endlessly about myself and such successes as I have had in life, my books, my good looks when young, my successes in love? Indeed I think it is female vice. Women are naturally vain and self-centred, interested only in themselves or what other people think of them; boasting in old age is what they are all too liable to come to. Although I have said that Bunny was good about the sacrifice of her rabbit concoction, I mean that she was only comparatively good — compared with other women and with her behaviour on similar occasions.
Ackerley Junior also learnt that, a Guardsmen from the age of 16, his father seems to have been bought out by the millionaire homosexual the Comte de Gallatin! We know that he eventually finds happiness with an Alsation and "Alsation" isn't polari for something more interesting. Ackerly was openly homosexual after his parents' deaths, having realized his homosexuality while interned in Switzerland during World War I. Forster - Ackerley's story is never dull or stodgy. No ink names, tears, chips, etc.
Nothing else. And all mixed up with this feminine deceit and illogicality which I hate so much. Not that I had any wish to do so, constitutionally wary and critical of women, and with the Nancy troubles still upon me, it is hardly likely that a sex which has never attracted me and seemed to me an inferior and troublesome gender, should have produced a specimen in this particular situation which would have seduced my allegiance in this my 54th year. What should I do if I came upon a murder, I sometimes ask myself as Queenie and I push our way through the vast tangles of bracken where few other people walk?
The common is a likely place for murder, as it is for suicide — the angry lustful man who finds he is not, after all, to be granted the sexual relief that his pick-up has led him to expect. What should I do, I ask myself, if I suddenly smelt something nasty — as I often do — and pushing along came upon a strangled woman?
I have harboured thoughts of murder myself in my life; I could never help to denounce or catch anyone else. You smell something very nasty. A better chance of escape, even if this means the better to kill again? Try moving the scene from London in to Yorkshire in We are likely to be told that it is great of Ackerley to be so honest about his not minding that someone may have done a girl in. For the line on Ackerley is that he is hugely and intensely honest.
I am speaking of his writing, not of his conduct: clearly a man who lies to the authorities and to his sister, after her suicide attempt, about whether he got her warning, the suicide note left in his room before the attempt, is not honest in his conduct. Take two examples of his writerly treatment of how he treated Nancy. I said gin, but she hesitated a long time.
However, stupidly I fear, I pressed some gin upon her. Then the fireworks started. How can he? This is doubly disingenuous.
For one thing, Ackerley must know that he continually urges that it is normal women who are appalling in just these ungrateful ways. Whence this sudden belief that a normal woman would say the decent thing?
This is the concessive rhetoric of opportunistic injustice. She may be needing a change after her endless diet of horsemeat. But then there is another disingenuousness. For Ackerley also knows, though he keeps this knowledge culpably and conveniently segregated from his misogyny, that men practise just the same ingratitudes. Great thing for me. Perhaps it had not been very nice to have Joe for a fortnight.
Anyway it is not honest of Ackerley to avert his eyes from his own knowledge that it is not women but people who fail to say what one would like to hear on these occasions.
Any group will have group traits, and some of those traits may legitimately be deprecated or deplored. No, the objection is that Ackerley continually vitiates his own powers of observation and his own sense of justice by speaking as if women were vilely unique in constituting a group at all. A lonely bachelor, devoted only to Queenie, his pet Alsatian. A little eccentric perhaps, but nothing out of the ordinary.
He served abroad in Egypt, before settling down to a successful business shipping Caribbean bananas.
A classic father-figure: outwardly sociable, inwardly reserved, a combination of smiling kindness and ruthless justice. The two lived happily together under the same roof for twenty years, swapping dirty stories, playing cards, sipping port. Without knowing it, over these twenty years both father and son were lying to each other. His own secretive life as a homosexual, regularly taking home young policemen, sailors and members of the Household Cavalry.
xn--80aagbiw8aknw7hxb.xn--p1ai/includes How in his career in the guards his own father was possibly a kept man, the sex partner of a Swiss aristocrat. He sets the situation, and without warning smashes it down with a hammer. Closed doors are flung open, with no regard to do not disturb signs. All cards are laid on the table, no matter how grubby. Our perception of the past is changed. Introducing the book, Auden questions why the memoir is so morose.