Advent Calendar 24th December 2011: Rendezvous in Rabat

It’s Christmas Eve – Merry Christmas everyone! If you’ve been with me for this advent calendar, please give a shout in the comments.

Back to Michael Davidson’s autobiography The World, the Flesh and Myself – and our last quote from it. It’s 1947 now. Davidson is 50 years old and has just got a job as a foreign correspondent for UK newspaper The Observer. His first assignment is to go to Morocco.

We read from page 223 (chapter 14):

My first concern was to find Mustapha. I scoured the places where he was likely to be but could find no trace; until one Sunday we came face to face by the main door of the cathedral, and caused surprise among the ladies of Résidence society who were going in for Mass by weeping for happiness upon each other’s necks.

He was now 23, married with a child, and working as chauffeur to a French government official. […] We picked up our friendship; and Mustapha was kind, in an avuncular way, to my new boy Sidi Salah.

Dear readers, this will be it for this year! Maybe we’ll continue next December, because we’re actually only halfway through this amazing book. Bad planning on my side, but there was simply too much to quote. I’ve enjoyed rereading Davidson’s memoirs, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the abridged version published on this blog.

Now get the book; it belongs in the canon – our canon!

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6 Responses

  1. aljoshka says:

    Merry Christmas and thanks for this very interesting advent calendar, Karl. I hope you’ll do something similar next December (or perhaps even before that). I think I’ll try to get my own copy of the book – maybe just to find out what the hell happened to the unfortunate man at the Southampton swimming pool!

    It’s been a good historical lecture for me, however, since pretty much all I knew about gay culture during this period was that Dreyer’s ‘Michael’ was made back then. (Well, I suppose I know a bit about Cocteau also but I surely haven’t done my homework…)

    Happy holidays, everybody!

  2. Karl says:

    Thanks aljoshka, I got a bit stressed with the last posts though – had to schedule them before leaving the book behind for my winter trip.

    As for that unfortunate man – I’m not even sure if there’s a story about him or if Davidson just mentions him as the kind of stereotype dirty old man that we all can relate to sometimes…

  3. George says:

    I really enjoyed the advent calendar. I followed along every day, and it was definitely very interesting. I just wanted to say thanks for all the posts!

    Hope you had a great Christmas!

  4. Karl says:

    Great to hear, George! And great tumblr. 🙂 Hopefully we’ll cover the next half of Davidson’s important work next year.

  5. Charles says:

    Why do we have to wait for next Christmas? It seems to me such an important book that it would be reasonable if you finished the good work. Come on!
    Unfortunately I can’t find a copy in Amsterdam so am depending on you.
    Kind regards,
    Charles

  6. Karl says:

    Ok, let’s try to make it a feuilleton over the next months – though I promise nothing!

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