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Medium 9780253012265

10 Queer Crossings: Greta Garbo, National Identity, and Gender Deviance

Jennifer M Bean Indiana University Press ePub

Laura Horak

GRETA GARBOS star persona has proved remarkably flexible. Her famous blankness—derived from both her restrained acting style and her infamous obsession with privacy—has left the image of Garbo open for any number of projects, ranging, for example, from Roland Barthes’s contemplation of Garbo’s face as Platonic mask to Diana McClellan’s gossipy exposé of early Hollywood lesbian networks.1 However, the various ways in which Garbo has been used in the decades since her films were produced has obscured the nature of her star persona during her first years in the United States and how her now-celebrated transgressions were first described. In particular, Garbo’s Swedishness is less visible and has different meanings today than it did during her career because Swedish-Americans have been assimilated into American whiteness. In this essay, I argue that Swedishness was an essential element of Garbo’s early star persona in the United States and that, furthermore, it was key to making her gender and sexual deviance palatable. Garbo offers a useful case study of the complex ways in which the burgeoning star system exploited shifting lines of national, ethnic, gender, and sexual identity as international film personnel were relocated to Hollywood. Although the effects of her national border crossings have become less visible as her sexual and gender crossings have become more so, I will argue that Garbo’s multiple modes of crossing required each other in order for her to be successful.

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Medium 9780253008053

20. With Shadows and with Song: Learning, Listening, Teaching

Edited by Steven T Katz and Alan Rosen Indiana University Press ePub



AN EARLY 1963 ESSAY by Elie Wiesel is of a piece with most of those collected in his book Legends of Our Time. Titled “My Teachers,” it tells of key figures who made up life in Sighet, the author's hometown.1 When the author wrote it, he was not a teacher but a writer. And it would be a decade before he embraced the path of teaching.

But the essay “My Teachers,” ahead of its time in some respects, also turns out to be essentially about writing, and thus is relevant, even indispensable, when considering Wiesel's literary vocation. Indeed, the essay reveals the underpinnings of the writer in the course of paying tribute to the teachers. Moreover, it shows the debt to be reciprocal in that teaching is preserved by writing. But I want to suggest that the influence of one on the other is even more palpable.

First and foremost a writer, Wiesel had a path to the classroom that did not take place overnight. Rather than take for granted the fact of his being a classroom teacher, I want to ask, What had to happen in order for that to take place? What had to change in order for that to become a possibility and actuality? The entry into the classroom was bound up with several other watershed events, personal and professional. So while the role as classroom teacher is interesting in its own right, it also, especially in association with these other events, marks an important “new path” in Wiesel's career. Indeed, it may mark a divide, an opening up of several new directions that have become so much a part of Wiesel's vocation that it is hard to recall that there was time before.

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Medium 9780253012814

V “Dream of the Flesh of Iron”

Larry Lockridge Indiana University Press ePub

Returning to the United States aboard the R. M. S. Mauretania in early July, 1934, Ross Lockridge, Jr. took notebook in hand and set about revising his persona. He figured that after a year abroad he should “give the impression of having reached maturity.” “Talk less. Smile seldom. Revise laugh.” In the company of males, he’d henceforth “talk in a deep, quiet way and make no efforts toward studied brilliance,” while with females he’d attempt to be manly and “insist on entire equality,” not bending so much to their will. “No more swearing.” “Keep hair neat, shoes shined, SMILE LITTLE.’

Still clutching a nominal liberty in affairs of the heart, he hoped to make headway with various Indiana women—“Edith with the golden hair, Vernice, the womanly one, Peggy, the fascinating.” And he’d “try to conquer the irritating outward manifestation of my competitive spirit.”

The Conquerer of Gaul also vowed to master the English language and renovate English expression. “Let energy, force, and incantation be the ends of my style.” Though he’d be thinking always of his novel based on his Grandfather Shockley’s life, he projected also a series of sonnets, plays, innovative essays, and by all means an epic poem. This proved to be not idle jotting.

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Medium 9780253356413

Appendix 2: Codicological Description of New Haven, Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library MssG +St11 no. 1

Rosemarie McGerr Indiana University Press ePub


This manuscript has 392 vellum leaves, approximately 180 mm by 250 mm in size. Small holes appear in a few leaves (e.g., fols. 100 and 116). Truncated decoration in the outer and top margins of several leaves resulted from trimming during preparation for binding (plates 1 and 2). One paper pastedown appears at the front of the codex (plate 22). One paper flyleaf and a paper pastedown appear at the end of the codex. Modern pencil leaf numbers appear in the upper-right corners on 389 of the leaves, with 3 leaves missing numbers (between leaves 37 and 38, 64 and 65, and 282 and 283). The leaves of the manuscript are organized into 50 quires with the following structure: 1(1+8), 2(8) –42(8), 43(4-1), 44(8)–49(8), 50(6+2). In the final quire, fols. 383 and 389 are tipped in.


Pricking for ruling remains visible in the bottom of fols. 2–9 (plates 7 and 8), the top of fol. 343 (plate 14), and the top and side margins of fols. 382–89 (plates 16–18). Most leaves during the statutes text show light brown ink ruling for a single column of text, with additional ruling for running heads in the top margin and ruling for regnal year notations in the outer margins (plates 10–13). Pencil ruling for the same layout appears on fols. 222r–224v and 246r– 253v. The rulings appear slightly closer together on fols. 230–237. Similar light ink ruling appears during the treatises and subject index that precede the statutes proper (plates 7–9). During the subject index to the statutes, there are also vertical rulings for the subject headings. Up through fol. 381v, the text block is ruled for 38 lines; thereafter, the ruling is darker and less regular, with the number of lines of text varying from 34 to 38 (plates 16–18).

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Medium 9780253356864

19. Kittlybenders

Robert B. Ray Indiana University Press ePub

It affords me no satisfaction to commence to spring an arch before I have got a solid foundation. Let us not play at kittlybenders. There is a solid bottom every where. (222)

In the third Norton critical edition of Walden, William Rossi’s footnote defines kittlybenders as “a game in which children attempt to run or skate on thin ice without breaking it” (222), but the word would probably be entirely forgotten if Thoreau had not mentioned it as something not to play. Since Thoreau enjoyed skating, covering, according to Richardson (334), as much as thirty miles at a stretch and reaching fourteen miles an hour, why does he reject kittlybenders? Thoreau’s characteristic strategy in Walden involves using architectural and spatial vocabulary to represent thinking and living. Thus, kittlybenders’ literal danger serves as a metaphor for the hazards of a life without foundations, an argument without grounds. “There is a solid bottom everywhere,” Thoreau reminds us, in a figure that recurs in Walden:

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