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literature

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Carpenter, Edward (1844-1929)  
 
page: 1  2  3  

The book begins with a brief transcultural and transhistorical explanation of "the intermediate type" in a number of older, non-European cultures. The primary emphasis of both essays derives from the increased effects of Eastern philosophy and religion on Carpenter, for each essay attempts to demonstrate that Uranists in all cultures other than repressive industrial ones occupy spaces of spiritual and social divination and protection, designed to advance the evolution of a culture beyond the basic demands of biology and the environment.

Even though Carpenter's writings have been reissued in affordable and dependable editions from London's Gay Men's Press, he remains one of the most under-examined figures in the history of gay writing. One reason for this is that his mystical orientation, transhistorical sensibility, and eurocentrism initially seem to make him incompatible with current views of sex and sexuality.

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Yet if these traits are bracketed as the effects of the moment in which he wrote, a level of amazing cognizance and foresight appears. The influence of the feminist movement on Carpenter's work resulted in a theorization that views all sex and gender relations as effects of capitalism, a view that is entirely congruent with current Marxist and social-constructionist views.

Moreover, his centrality within his own culture led to significant influences on authors such as E. M. Forster and D. H. Lawrence; the current neglect of Carpenter results in a decontextualization of these and other writers' thinking. It is to be hoped that as gay and lesbian studies continue to expand, the place of Carpenter as a social and sexual theorist will be more fully recovered.

Gregory W. Bredbeck

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    Bibliography
   

A Bibliography of Edward Carpenter. Sheffield: Sheffield City Libraries, 1949.

Carpenter, Edward. Selected Writings, Volume I: Sex. London: Gay Men's Press, 1984.

_____. Towards Democracy. London: Gay Men's Press, 1985.

Jones, Gareth Stedman. Outcast London. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971.

Pierson, Stanley. Marxism and the Origins of British Socialism: The Struggle for a New Consciousness. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1973.

Rowbotham, Sheila and Jeffrey Weeks. Socialism and the New Life: The Personal and Sexual Politics of Edward Carpenter and Havelock Ellis. London: Pluto Press, 1977.

Weeks, Jeffrey. Sex, Politics and Society: The Regulation of Sexuality Since 1800. London: Longman, 1981.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Bredbeck, Gregory W.  
    Entry Title: Carpenter, Edward  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated September 7, 2005  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/literature/carpenter_e.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 1995, 2002 New England Publishing Associates  
 

 

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