chapter  14
28 Pages

Erotic Education

T We Are All Greeks (he quest for a classical education, for a firm grounding in the Greek

and Roman classics, has lately provoked much nostalgia among gloomy traditionalists who regard something they call "multiculturalism" as the enemy of something they call "culture." Earlier in this centur) T. S. Eliot could memorably encapsulate and inadvertently parody some of these arguments in a dialogue he imagined taking place between a naive student and a wise teacher: Why should we study the classics, asks the student, brashly, when we know so much more than they did? Precisely, replies the teacher with satisfaction. And they are what we know.+

This is not the place to address the complexities of the current debate about the literary canon and the so-called culture wars. And in any case, the reader may well be thinking, this turf war within academia, whether it

is a global struggle or a minor skirmish, seems to have nothing to do with our topic, bisexuality. Precisely, we might reply with satisfaction. Bisexuality is what we do not want to know-about the past, about historical understandings of that elusive and irresistible entity called "love"- and about those personages, created of bits and pieces of learning, misprision, cultural bricolage, and DNA, whom it pleases us to call "ourselves."