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literature

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Lehmann, John (1907-1987)  
 
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In the late-1960s and early-1970s, Lehmann served as a Visiting Professor of English at the University of Texas (Austin) and San Diego State University.

He also produced several volumes of poetry, as well as a large number of works of biography and literary criticism, including A Nest of Tigers: The Sitwells in Their Times (1968); Virginia Woolf and Her World (1975); Edward Lear and His World (1977); Thrown to the Woolfs: Leonard and Virginia Woolf and the Hogarth Press (1978); Rupert Brooke: His Life and His Legend (1980); Three Literary Friendships: Byron & Shelley, Rimbaud & Verlaine, Robert Frost & Edward Thomas (1984); and Christopher Isherwood: A Personal Memoir (1987).

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It is often forgotten that Lehmann also wrote two novels, Evil Was Abroad (1938) and In the Purely Pagan Sense (1976), which was later republished in 1985 as a "Gay Modern Classic."

As Robert K. Martin observes in his essay on Lehmann's novels, while the first book is "discreet," and only "hints about the role of homosexual relationships," the second "has a much greater frankness about sexuality . . . this new openness means that In the Purely Pagan Sense is a fascinating guide to sexual mores from the 1920s through the 1950s."

Both novels, Martin asserts, "offer a serious exploration of the significance of sexuality and of the ways in which a recognition of homosexuality may offer a means to an altered perception of all one's responses to life."

Lehmann died in London on April 7, 1987, a few weeks short of his eightieth birthday.

Craig Kaczorowski

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    Bibliography
   

Arditti, Michael. "A Literary Life Cruelly Exposed." The Independent (January 8, 1999): 35-37.

Hughes, David. "A Fusion of Books and Boys." The Spectator (November 28, 1998): 25-26.

Martin, Robert K. "Appeals from across Some Frontier: The Novels of John Lehmann." John Lehmann: A Tribute. A. T. Tolley, ed. Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1987. 61-67.

Tolley, A. T. "Introduction." John Lehmann: A Tribute. A. T. Tolley, ed. Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1987. 1-6.

Wright, Adrian. John Lehmann: A Pagan Adventure. London: Duckworth, 1998.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Kaczorowski, Craig  
    Entry Title: Lehmann, John  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2010  
    Date Last Updated October 6, 2010  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/literature/lehmann_john.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2010 glbtq, Inc.  
 

 

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