Hermits Rock

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A note I stumbled upon this weekend gives me glee: “Whitman coined camaraderie as a synonym for homosexual attraction, in order to enrich the synonym-poor portion of the English language that refers to same-sex friendships.”

Alternate title: “That Kookaburra Stole My Steak!”




Glee barely begins to cover it.


It’s not entirely right to say WW coined the word, but he adopted it and ramrodded it into the language. For example, It’s the expression he gives to love, that is “manly attachment,” in Calamus, for example, such as in “In Paths Untrodden.”:

Resolv’d to sing no songs to-day but those of manly attachment,
Projecting them along that substantial life,
Bequeathing hence types of athletic love,
Afternoon this delicious Ninth-month in my forty-first year,
I proceed for all who are or have been young men,
To tell the secret of my nights and days,
To celebrate the need of comrades.


You couldn’t have said “shoehorned” or something?

If that made you uncomfortable, then you probably shouldn’t read “Scented Herbage of My Breast.”

And besides, who uses a shoehorn anymore?

And here I’ve been thinking about Whitman and communism all these years.

Has anyone here read The Gift by Lewis Hyde?

no; it looks interesting, though.

It’s a great book—well, the first half is great, and the second half, as I recall, is kind of strange. It’s been some years since I read it, though, and I can’t find my copy at the moment (moving is hell on my book organization, and some of them are still in Iowa).