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Bill_T
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Early Chapters Discussion: The Storyteller's Sex

"All I know is this: despite my androgenized brain, there's an innate feminine circularity in the story I have to tell" (p. 20). What does Cal mean by this? Is his manner of telling his story connected to the question of his gender? How?



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bentley
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: The Storyteller's Sex



Bill_T wrote:
"All I know is this: despite my androgenized brain, there's an innate feminine circularity in the story I have to tell" (p. 20). What does Cal mean by this? Is his manner of telling his story connected to the question of his gender? How?



Note: This discussion topic is particularly suitable for readers who have only read the first section of Middlesex, through the end of Book Two. If you wish to discuss plot elements introduced later in the book, consider posting in a separate thread.

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Cal is telling the story and he states that he has a male brain; but he was brought up female and though he operates like a man; there are some throwbacks to how he was raised and the fact that he was/is an hemaphrodite. He regresses to a speech impediment which was a childhood problem (Calliope days) and he has little idiosyncracies which he will fall back on (checking nails, hair flips, etc.) so this circuitry malfunctioning rears its head every now and then. And Cal will never go bald because of his inability to synthesize dihydrotesterone. Mannerisms and girlish history may make the story emote more than a male might and his telling of the story may reflect at certain times both sexes. That is about all that I can glean at this point. Not well versed in this area so maybe my conclusions might be rudimentary.
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bentley
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: The Storyteller's Sex


Bill_T wrote:
"All I know is this: despite my androgenized brain, there's an innate feminine circularity in the story I have to tell" (p. 20). What does Cal mean by this? Is his manner of telling his story connected to the question of his gender? How?



Note: This discussion topic is particularly suitable for readers who have only read the first section of Middlesex, through the end of Book Two. If you wish to discuss plot elements introduced later in the book, consider posting in a separate thread.

Click on "Reply" to post your thoughts about this discussion topic, or click "New Message" on the main page to start a new topic thread.




On page 72, Cal says, "And am I wrong to think that my obsessions with family relations started right there in the lifeboat? Didn't my mother quiz me on uncles and aunts and cousins, too? She never quizzed my brother, because he was in charge of snow shovels and tractors, whereas I was supposed to provide the feminine glue that keeps families together, writing thank-you notes and remembering everybody's birthdays and name days." This feminine glue was part of how he was indocrinated as Calliope.

Cal's grandparents had done the same thing preparing for immigration.

Cal then says, "And here I am now, sketching it all out for you, dutifully oozing feminine glue, but also with a dull pain in my chest, because I realize that genealogies tell you nothing."

The conflict that Cal/Calliope had gone through because he/she was an hemaphrodite and because he had previously been brought up as a girl conflicted with his male mind and thus we have two renditions of the story blended together (both masculine and female coming out at different times); even though it is Cal (the male counterpart) telling the story.
Melissa_W
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: The Storyteller's Sex

[ Edited ]
Because Cal is unable to synthesize enough male hormones, he probably takes prescription androgens so he can develop and maintain "male" physical features ("the androgenized brain" ). On the other hand, he's been conditioned as a female for the first 15 years of his life so all the little mannerisms bentley mentioned will pop-up from time to time.



Bill_T wrote:
"All I know is this: despite my androgenized brain, there's an innate feminine circularity in the story I have to tell" (p. 20). What does Cal mean by this? Is his manner of telling his story connected to the question of his gender? How?



Note: This discussion topic is particularly suitable for readers who have only read the first section of Middlesex, through the end of Book Two. If you wish to discuss plot elements introduced later in the book, consider posting in a separate thread.

Click on "Reply" to post your thoughts about this discussion topic, or click "New Message" on the main page to start a new topic thread.



Message Edited by pedsphleb on 06-13-2007 08:26 AM
Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
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