Sunday, May 18, 2008

Prof Fury: Comment Pull Quote (Casanova Spoilers)

In the comments section of my Casanova review this week, Prof Fury said,

"I myself am only turned on by the credits sequences of Italian neo-realist films, so I read pages of Zeph/Cass having sex with but trifling interest, of course."


1 comment:

neilshyminsky said...

Finally got around to reading this, so i might as well reply up here. Geoff wrote below that "The world of Casanova is nothing if not outlandish, but again, there is something more realistic here than in most fiction: a genuinely complex male bi-sexual relationship."

One of the reasons that I'm finding this issue so hard to make sense of through conventional gender/queer studies paradigms is because I'm not entirely sure that "male bisexual" is the right term. But describing Cass as a trans-woman also doesn't really work, since he transitions back and only became a woman in the first place because he's a spy (rather than for reasons relating to his gender identity or politics). Likening it to a drag queen performance also doesn't work because of that Kubark scene. And so what this issue does nicely is avoid giving us the opportunity to easily slot the experience into one paradigm of gender/sexuality or another. What it does with certainty, of course, is totally undercut the expectations that accompany the character of Casanova and the tradition that his name is linked to.

Ironically, conventional spies often generate a certain amount of queer anxiety because they're both a) too masculine and b) because of their secretive nature, that masculinity seems somehow suspect - like all things a spy does, it's often too good to be true. This little twist did a nice job of fully realizing that anxiety. (It also says something about female masculinity and a comic's ability to (mis)represent it, though those questions aren't totally fully formed yet in my head. I'll have to blog about this myself.)