The man of ambiguous identities and no identity, cont.

Sage McLaughlin writes:

What a downright bizarre man Mark Steyn is. Read this parenthetical comment from a recent post at National Review concerning some comments by novelist Sebastian Faulks:

Full disclosure: Sebastian came to stay at my pad in New Hampshire to research a novel partly set in my neighborhood. Aside from a blazingly vivid description of the breakfasts I made him, don’t pick it up if you’re looking for glimpses of real life chez Steyn: He turned me into a woman and had sex with me. I thought of issuing a fatwa and burning down his publishers, but I’m not the type to make a fuss.

I can’t even figure out what the joke is supposed to be here, even in full context. It seems to be simply a perverse and lurid image, interjected for its own sake.

LA replies:

That certainly gets added to my 2005 post, Steyn’s indeterminate self, in which I summed up his deliberate cultivation of ambiguity and confusion regarding his name, his nationality, his ethnicity and religion, and his sexual orientation.

For example, in that entry, I write:

In his answers to frequently asked questions at his website, he plays the mystery man. Even when he gives an apparently straight answer, pun intended, he does so in such a way as to raise further questions. Thus, in reply to the query, “What is Mark?”, he says, “Straight.” But the question did not involve sexual orientation. So why did he bring it up?

- end of initial entry -

Ortelio writes:

Surely the meaning of Steyn’s remark that Faulks “turned him into a woman…” is quite clear, and clears him of ambiguous identities or poses or merley gratuitous joking. Faulks’s novel, Steyn implies, contains a character, perhaps an international journalist, who entertains the protagonist in New Hampshire or its analog, cooks brilliantly for him as Steyn himself did, but is a woman whom the protagonist “has sex with”. Steyn thought of complaining, issuing a fatwa, etc., but instead has confined himself to making this wry remark about Faulks’s way of operating as a novelist and as a person.

LA replies:

If that’s what he meant, it’s still bizarre, weird, unwholesome.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 24, 2009 10:32 AM | Send

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