This week David Gilmour-the-disappointment (as surely everyone must now know him, sorry Pink Floyd fans) made one last bid for the kind of notoriety usual enjoyed by dogs that shit in their master's shoes.
For those not up on their redundant Canadian academics; Gilmour lecturers on English and Russian at the University of Toronto. In an interview with Hazlitt he shared his preference for male authors; a condensed version of which is that he loves these manly hetro-writers in a manly-hetro way because they don't have wombs or Chinese ancestry.
Proust, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Henry Miller, F. Scott Fitzgerald. It's these "serious heterosexual guys" that really get Mr Gilmour in his special place (brain or bollocks, delete as you see fit). While the rest of the media were scratching their heads and muttering "eh? wasn't Proust a closet homosexual?" I was gearing up for the scope that I can feel in my trembling, feminine, bones will make my career, but good.
All these men, all these super-straight white dudes that are clearly poised to accept Gilmour into their clan and would in no way have found his comments bemusing and embarrassing. All these guys? Are influenced by women writers.
Tolstoy expressed a preference for George Elliot (probably confused over the male pseuonym, right Dave?), author of Middlemarch and The Mill on the Floss. But Tolstoy's roving eye didn't stop there. He also quite liked Mrs Henry Wood, author of East Lynne (got an eye for the married ladies, what a lad, eh Dave? What. A. Lad) and Mary Elizabeth Braddon, author of Lady Audley's Secret.
Chekhov doesn't seem to have liked anyone apart from Tolstoy but surely that means he's tarred with the same lady brush? I dunno, let's leave that up to David Gilmour-the-disappointment to puzzle out.
F. Scott Fitzgerald on the other hand was pretty explicit about his admiration for women writers, praising both Gertrude Stein and Katherine Mansfield, author of The Garden Party. The fact that Stein used to knock around the Left Bank with Fitzgerald and Hemingway (another serious writer dude) only add confusion to Gilmour's confusion.
Henry Miller not only had a literary friendship with Anais Nin, an erotica writer who he occasionally collaborated with in and outside the bedroom, but he also listed Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights as one of his must read books.
The only one of Gilmour's super-masculine idols who doesn't have any time for the ladies is Philip Roth. Roth's aversion can be put down to the fact that if you have respect for women you probably have to start writing them as more than white-bread clichés but what's Gilmour's excuse?
All the men he professes to admire took the time to read, and endorse, women writers at a time when women weren't really getting that much publishing love. So what's happened here? Men like Tolstoy can take read Middlemarch but men like Gilmour check the writers genitals before they crack the spine of a book?
There's probably some connection to be drawn between offensive racists having dick swinging contests with their own foreheads and forgetting to actually read and enjoy books. But I'm probably not going to work it out while wasting all my time working through this list of awesome writers of colour and maybe Gilmour has had enough of my time.