Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Passion Of Hadrian

Why can't Aaron sleep? And other insane questions... Woke up at 4am with my head full of thoughts. I've been working long hours here, climbing uphill in several directions. Three things keep me going: music, film, and audiobooks in assorted languages. I am currently starting '1984' in Norwegian and finishing an old favorite, Marguerite Yourcenar's 'Memories of Hadrian,' in the original French. I could do a long post just on Hadrian (pictured left), Rome's wisest and most visionary emporer, as imagined retroactively from the 20th century by a French expatriate lesbian in Maine. It's kind of amazing, it really feels like it's streaming from Adrian's consciousness, and we feel a community of spirit across the chasm of time and custom. Also of interest, clearly, is that Hdrian was gay, though he probably didn't call it that - most of his sex and all his loves were young men. His greatest passion, Antinous of what is now Northeastern Turkey, was an 18 year old boy who fell hard for the emporer, into a relationship of kindred spirits and equals, but who, driven to despair by the poisonous imperial circles surrounding him, took his own life before reaching 21.

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