By Christopher Craft
In a research that may be of curiosity to all these involved with the politics of gender, the background of sexuality, and the erotics of examining, Christopher Craft investigates questions primary to any background of current sexualities. How does the fashionable binary homosexual/heterosexual relate to prior formulations like ''sexual inversion'' and ''sodomy''? What half does literature play within the improvement of such different types, or in a culture's resistance to them? And what are the results for the construction and upkeep of the presumed ''natural'' male heterosexual topic? How has male heterosexual subjectivity been validated as a bulwark opposed to the sights of a gay wish that's time and again incited by way of the very tradition that condemns it? Craft examines the discourses of nineteenth-century psychiatry and sexology; a few of Freud's crucial writings; and Tennyson's In Memoriam, Wilde's The significance of Being Earnest, Stoker's Dracula, and Lawrence's girls In Love.
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Extra info for Another Kind of Love: Male Homosexual Desire in English Discourse, 1850-1920
Clearly inhabiting an ambivalent position, these texts are at once marginal and representative. Marginal in the sense that they represent a minority, even a radical opinion, as their troubled histories of printing, publication, suppression, and piracy suggest. And yet representative in two senses at least: first because they may stand metonymically for the scores of texts—novels, plays, poems, stories, essays— contributing to the inversion discourse in which our heterosexualizing academy has shown little or no interest (we are apparently nervous still); and second because they represent the English and trans-European need to formulate a new taxonomy for samesex relations—a new way, that is, to begin speaking the unspeakable.
His first love-object was his mother. She remains so; and, with the strengthening of his erotic desires and his deeper insight into the relations between his father and mother, the former is bound to become his rival. With the small girl it is different. Her first object, too, was her mother. How does she find her way to her father? How, when, and why does she detach herself from her mother? We have long understood that the development of female sexuality is complicated by the fact that the girl has the task of giving up what was originally her leading genital zone—the clitoris—in favour of a new zone—the vagina.
In the first essay, Freud makes an epochal, a “revolutionary,” scission or cut; he severs the heretofore presumed linkage between the sexual instinct and the sexual object (“the person [or thing] from whom sexual attraction proceeds”). Although the passage is well known, I quote at some length: It has been brought to our notice that we have been in the habit of regarding the connection between the sexual instinct and the sexual object as more intimate than it in fact is. Experience of the cases that are considered abnormal has shown us that in them the sexual instinct and the sexual object are merely soldered together—a fact which we have been in danger of overlooking in consequence of the uniformity of the normal picture, where the object appears to form part and parcel of the instinct.
Another Kind of Love: Male Homosexual Desire in English Discourse, 1850-1920 by Christopher Craft
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