The Religion & Culture Web Forum
"The Mythology of Self-Imitation in Passing: Race, Gender,
by Wendy Doniger
(University of Chicago Divinity School)
1 Interview in Cape
Cod Times, Saturday, July 13, C2. More precisely, in 2002, Vidal
said, “Yes, I turned him down on the ground that he was not right
for an Adlai Stevenson-style politician while Melvyn Douglas was. The
joke has been refashioned over the years.”
2 Ronald Reagan, with
Richard G. Hubler. Where's the Rest of Me? The Autobiography
of Ronald Reagan (New York : Karz Publishers, 1981), 137.
3 Lou Cannon, President
Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991),
4 Garry Wills, Reagan's
America (New York: Penguin Books, 1988), 164.
5 Lou Cannon, President
6 John Shelton Lawrence
and Robert Jewett, The Myth of the American Superhero (Grand
Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 2002), 338.
7 I'm grateful
to Lorraine Daston for telling me about this incident and offering her
own wise analysis of it. Still more bizarre, but less amusing, is the
report that Reagan had told Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, during
his November 29, 1983, visit to the White House, and Simon Wiesenthal,
on a February 16, 1984, visit that he had photographed the Nazi death
camps. Cannon, 487. Reagan later denied this story and said merely that
he had seen “secret” films of Eisenhower's visit to
the town of Ohrdruf on April 12, 1945, a week after its liberation. In
fact, he had seen a film that was widely viewed throughout the U.S. at
8 Personal communication
from Mike Macdonald, September, 2002.
9 Bob Schieffer and
Gary Paul Gates, The Acting President (New York: E. P. Dutton,
10David Thompson, A
Biographical Dictionary of Film (Third Edition. New York: Alfred
Knopf, 1998), 617-18.
11 Anthony Lane, “Metal
Guru: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” New Yorker,
July 14 and 21, 2003, 85-86.
12 Dean E. Murphy,
“An Actor, Yes, but No Reagan.” New York Times, Sunday,
August 10, sec. 4,1.
13 Edward Said, Orientalism
(New York: Vintage Books, 1978), 325.
14 James C. Scott,
Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (New
Haven, Conn., and London: Yale University Press, 1990.
15 Elaine K. Ginsberg,
Passing and the Fictions of Identity (Durham, N.C., and London:
Duke University Press, 1996).
16 William Faulkner,
Light in August (New York: Modern Library, 1950), 223.
17 Mary Ann Doane,
Femmes Fatales: Feminism, Film Theory, Psychoanalysis (New York
and London: Routledge, 1991), 235.
18 Ibid., 237.
19 Philip Roth, The
Human Stain (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002), 16, 337-8, 243.
20 Ibid., 137.
21 Henry Louis Gates
Jr., “White Like Me,” New Yorker, June 17, 1996,
22 Ibid., 68.
23 Ibid., 78.
24 This was inferred
by, among others, Sanford Pinsker, in The Jewish Journal of Greater
Los Angeles, June 23, 2003; Bob Hoover, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Sunday, May 28, 2000; Marion Kilcoyne, in the Sunday Business Post,
Sunday, May 28, 2000.
25 Ursula Heise, in
“Transvestism and the Stage Controversy in Spain and England, 1580-1680”
(Theatre Journal 44 (1992), 357-74), 372-4, summarizes the edition
edited by Francisco Ayala (Madrid: Castalia, 1989). I am grateful to Stephen
Orgel for telling me about this play.
26 Gary Kates, Monsieur
d'Eon is a Woman: A Tale of Political Intrigue and Sexual Masquerade
(New York: Basic Books, 1995).
27 Cynthia Cox, The
Enigma of the Age, cited by John P. Muller and William J. Richardson,
“Notes on Lacan,” 93. Gary Kates regards this Russian drag
as a fantasy.
28 Kates, Monsieur
d'Eon is a Woman, 67, 75, 257.
29 He mentions the
Chevalier in his seminar on Poe's “The Purloined Letter”;
see also John P. Muller and William J. Richardson, “Notes on Lacan,”
in The Purloined Poe: Lacan, Derrida, and Psychoanalytic Reading
(Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988), 93.
30 Jacques Lacan, 1986
seminar, “The ethic of psychoanalysis,” cited by Slavoj Zizek,
“How Did Marx Invent the Symptom?” 28-9.
31 Slavoj Zizek, “How
Did Marx Invent the Symptom?” in The Sublime Object of Ideology
(London: Verso, 1989), 28-9.
32 Kates, Monsieur
d'Eon is a Woman, 256, 38, 256.
33 Ibid, 67, 37, 44-45,
220, 223, 257, 4, 221, 47.
34 Kates, Monsieur
d'Eon is a Woman, 47-8.
35 The same story was
told by Shi Peipu and by Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal about
their heroine Zdenka/o in Arabella; Doniger, The Bedtrick,
340-42, 370. It was also told in ancient India about Amba/Shikhandin and
Ila; Doniger, Splitting the Difference, 271-8, 281-6.
36 Ibid., 39.
37 “It was clearly
a typical case of what Hirschfeld later termed ‘transvestism'
and what I would call ‘sexo-aesthetic inversion', or more
simply, ‘Eonism.'…The Eonist (though sometimes emphatically
of the apparent sex) sometimes shows real physical approximations towards
the opposite sex.” Havelock Ellis, Studies in the Psychology
of Sex, vol. 7, i. 10, 12.
38 Casanova, History
of My Life (trans. Willard R. Trask. New York: Harcourt, Brace &
World, 1966), vol. 6, 2, 1.5-6, 15, 16.
39 Ibid., 2, 1.17-18,
40 Ibid., 2, 1.10-21.
41 Ibid., 2.1.17-18,
42 Gary Kates, Monsieur
d'Eon Is a Woman: A Tale of Political Intrigue and Sexual Masquerade.
New York: Basic Books, 1995; Wendy Doniger, The Bedtrick: Tales of
Sex and Masquerade. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.
43 London Times,
5 September, 1970, sec. 8, 4. It also called the Chevalier “an a-sexual
44 Doniger, The Bedtrick,
45 Cary Grant, in an
earlier age, never came out of the closet, if indeed he was ever inside
it. But he got into drag in many of his films, notably Bringing Up
Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938), My Favorite Wife (1940), and
I Was a Male War Bride (Howard Hawks, 1949).
46 Marjorie Garber,
Vice Versa: The Bisexuality of Everyday Life. New York: Simon
and Schuster, 1995), 150; 52, citing the journalist George Davis.
47 Marjorie Garber,
Vested Interests: Cross-Dressing and Cultural Anxiety (New York
and London: Routledge, 1992), 65, 49.
48 Elaine Showalter,
Sexual Anarchy: Gender and Culture at the Fin de Siècle.
New York: Penguin Books, 1990), 168.
49 Joan Rivière,
“Womanliness as a Masquerade,” in Formations of Fantasy
(New York: Methuen, 1986, edited by Victor Burgin, James Donald and Cora
50 Jacques Lacan, Feminine
Sexuality: Jacques Lacan and the École freudienne (edited
by Juliet Mitchell and Jaqueline Rose; translated by Jacqueline Rose.
New York: W. W. Norton, 1982), 85.
51 Judith Butler, “Lacan,
Riviere, and the Strategies of Masquerade,” in Gender Trouble:
Feminism and the Subversion of Ideas (New York and London: Routledge,
52 Mary Anne Doane,
Femmes Fatales, 38.
53 Holly Devor, Gender
Blending: Confronting the Limits of Duality (Bloomington: Indiana
University Press, 1989),128,130.