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UnspeakableA Life beyond Sexual Morality$
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Rachel Hope Cleves

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226733531

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226733678.001.0001

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(p.137) Chapter Ten Together

Rachel Hope Cleves

University of Chicago Press

In December 1918, Norman Douglas met fourteen year old school boy René Mari in the train station at Menton, France. The relationship between Douglas and Mari was one of the most important in the writer's life. Mari came from a middle-class family, who gave him permission to live and travel with Douglas, in exchange for tutoring in English and other subjects. Douglas brought Mari on two trips to Vorarlberg, and later wrote a book titled Together about their experiences. His goal, Douglas wrote to his friend John Mavrogordato, was to evoke a pederastic sensibility while preserving deniability. The relationship with Mari also inspired Douglas to finish his novel They Went (1920), based on a Breton folk tale of a drowned city, which featured a brigand boy named Harré, who is frequently naked. While Douglas doted on Mari, he neglected his sons Archie and Robin, who struggled to find their way as young adults. Mari also struggled, eventually becoming a teacher. He and Douglas remained close until Mari's untimely death from tuberculosis in 1934.

Keywords:   René Mari, Norman Douglas, France, Vorarlberg, Together, Menton, pederasty, Archie Douglas, Robin Douglas, tuberculosis

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