November 8: Layton and Larkin
“Sexual intercourse began and 1963…”
Literature has 2 great themes/preoccupation: death and sex
Layton – “Misunderstanding”
o Layton’s “coffee romances”
o With one of his students? She doesn’t want to be another one of those “coffee
romances”…”devotion was not perfect” power imbalance? He is trying to
exploit his power? She doesn’t want to get ahead like this?
o Basic narrative level: he advances, she says no
o Rejecting him…is to reject literature. Pompous much?
o Or maybe he means to say that she shouldn’t be interested in him physically
but interested because he writes literature
o Master of literature/rhetoric…makes him a master manipulator of emotions
o He’s making himself look bad…makes himself seem not attractive…
o He’s trying to justify his reputation of “coffee romances”…not about (just) sex
but about art/literature?
o Seems shameless…being honest about rejection. Telling the truth. Almost
admire him being honest about his sleazy-ness-> complicated reactions
o Why is a rejection of Layton a rejection of art….he is objectifying her, turning
her into a work of art…her saying no is saying that no I don’t want to be your
o Feminist: I don’t want to be your art…I want to be my own art
o On Wordsworth: makes him look feminine and make