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literature

Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-B  C-E  F-L  M-Z

     
Modernism  
 
page: 1  2  3  4  

Conclusion

Modernism gradually saw authority begin to shift from religion, which considered homosexuality a sin, to psychology, which early saw homosexuality as an illness. Ironically, the arts and their cultures were moving in opposite directions.

The literature of modernism moved boldly, occasionally stridently, and at most times favorably toward serious treatment of homosexuals and homosexual cultures, striking out against sexual repressions in many forms while the cultures were preparing the way for suppression, even destruction, of the same individuals and subcultures.

Sponsor Message.

The socially conscious, activist authors began to displace modernism as early as the 1930s, and in their agendas for reshaping civilization and making the world anew gays and lesbians and their literature were once more emphatically marginalized and, in some countries, silenced.

David Leon Higdon

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   Related Entries
  
literature >> Overview:  Bloomsbury

The Bloomsbury circle's open acceptance of erotic license and hostility toward social convention are important elements in the history of homosexuality among the English upper classes in the first half of the twentieth century.

arts >> Adrian-Nilsson, Gösta (GAN)

Regarding his sexuality as a fundamental component of his creativity, Swedish painter Gosta Adrian-Nilsson, known as GAN, fostered the development of modernist art in his native country.

literature >> Anderson, Margaret

Best known as editor of the early twentieth-century literary journal The Little Review, Margaret Anderson also published a frank lesbian novel and a three-volume autobiography.

literature >> Barnes, Djuna

American novelist Djuna Barnes sought new forms of self-representation of lesbians in the face of society's compulsory heterosexuality.

literature >> Beach, Sylvia

Through her Parisian bookshop and her editorial work, American expatriate and lesbian Sylvia Beach did much to influence the course of modern literature.

literature >> Benson, E. F.

Born of an elite Victorian family, E. F. Benson was a prolific, often campy, writer of biographies, autobiographies, and novels, many of which were informed by homoeroticism.

literature >> Carpenter, Edward

Edward Carpenter, a champion of both women's and homosexuals' liberation, was one of the great socialist visionaries of England at the turn of the twentieth century.

literature >> Cather, Willa

One of America's premier literary artists in the earlier twentieth century, Willa Cather reflected her own lesbianism in the creation of strong women characters and in the exploration of male homosexuality.

literature >> Cavafy, C. P.

Alexandrian Greek poet C. P. Cavafy has written some of the greatest homoerotic poems of all time.

literature >> Cocteau, Jean

An outspoken homosexual, Jean Cocteau was a prolific poet, novelist, critic, essayist, artist, and filmmaker.

arts >> Cocteau, Jean

For prolific French poet and artist Jean Cocteau, filmmaking may have served as the best medium for the expression of his genius.

literature >> Colette

One of France's most beloved authors, Colette wrote novels with strong lesbian subtexts.

literature >> Coward, Sir Noël

Although Coward's plays are about heterosexual couples, they are written in the language and spirit of camp and reject traditional domestic values.

arts >> Coward, Sir Noël

Accomplished playwright, actor, composer, and lyricist, Sir Noël Coward was also a singer and cabaret performer; he dominated the British stage between the world wars, then reoriented his career in the direction of America.

literature >> Crane, Hart

A successor to Walt Whitman, Hart Crane found spiritual transcendence in homoerotic desire.

literature >> Crowley, Aleister

An important figure in the European occult movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Aleister Crowley was publicly reviled in his time, but he was recently cited by the BBC as one of England's most influential citizens.

literature >> Douglas, Norman

Norman Douglas, who wrote travel books and autobiographical works, is best known his explorations of the pleasures of the hedonistic life.

literature >> Eliot, T[homas] S[tearns]

Although Eliot tried to suppress the fact, The Waste Land is an elegy for a young Frenchman whom he met and loved in Paris and who died in the Great War in 1915.

social sciences >> Ellis, Havelock

Henry Havelock Ellis--British psychologist and writer--was one of the first modern thinkers to challenge Victorian taboos against the frank and objective discussion of sex.

literature >> Firbank, Ronald

Ronald Firbank's witty, campy novels mock the dominant homophobic, materialistic culture of early twentieth-century England.

literature >> Forster, E. M.

One of the finest English novelists of the twentieth century and a tireless defender of humane values, Forster deserves a special place in the gay and lesbian literary heritage.

literature >> Gide, André

André Gide, one of the premier French writers of the twentieth century, reflected his homosexuality in many of his numerous works.

literature >> Hall, Radclyffe

Radclyffe Hall, who lived her lesbianism openly and proudly, is best known for The Well of Loneliness, arguably the most important lesbian novel ever written.

literature >> Hemingway, Ernest

Ernest Hemingway, himself sexually insecure, included negative, even abusive portrayals of gay men in his fiction.

social sciences >> Hirschfeld, Magnus

German-born Magnus Hirschfeld deserves recognition as a significant theorist of sexuality and the most prominent advocate of homosexual emancipation of his time.

literature >> Huysmans, Joris-Karl

J. K. Huysmans, an important figure in the Aesthetic and Decadent movements, exemplified a style of homosexuality at a pivotal moment in the emergence of a gay identity.

literature >> Isherwood, Christopher

A major Anglo-American novelist and a pioneer in the gay liberation movement, Christopher Isherwood created gay characters whose homosexuality is a simple given, an integral part of the wholeness of personality and an emblem of their common humanity.

social sciences >> Kinsey, Alfred C.

The most important sex researcher of the twentieth century, Alfred C. Kinsey contributed groundbreaking studies of male and female sexual behavior in America.

social sciences >> Krafft-Ebing, Richard von

The carefully detailed case studies of nineteenth-century psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing shed light on the sexual habits of a wide spectrum of men and women.

literature >> Lawrence, D. H.

For his time, D. H. Lawrence was a maverick in his open and adventurous discussion of all sexual issues and especially homosexuality, both male and female.

literature >> Lowell, Amy

Much of Amy Lowell's poetry is extremely frank, forthrightly sensual, and often overtly lesbian.

literature >> Mackay, John Henry

The Scottish-German John Henry Mackay, who wrote in German, dedicated himself to the cause of gaining sympathetic recognition of man-boy love.

literature >> Mann, Klaus

Klaus Mann's vision of homosexuality is marked by loneliness and alienation, and his fiction is characterized by melancholic hopelessness.

literature >> Mann, Thomas

One of Germany's greatest twentieth-century authors, Thomas Mann encoded his own homosexuality in his novels but thought that homosexuality led to the destruction of social institutions and the death of the individual homosexual.

literature >> Maugham, William Somerset

Frightened by the Oscar Wilde trial, Somerset Maugham avoided treating homosexual themes and characters in his novels and plays.

literature >> Millay, Edna Saint Vincent

Poet and playwright Edna Saint Vincent Millay expressed her bisexuality in both her life and her work.

literature >> Montesquiou-Fezensac, Count Robert de

Count Robert de Montesquiou was a writer during France's Belle Epoque, but he is best remembered as a dandy and an aesthete, who inspired the literary creations of others.

arts >> Pries, Lionel H.

Lionel H. Pries was a noted architect and artist, now primarily remembered for his teaching career at the University of Washington, which was cut short when he was arrested in a vice sting in the late 1950s.

literature >> Proust, Marcel

Marcel Proust is the author of A la recherche du temps perdu, one of the major achievements of Modernism and a great gay novel.

literature >> Rolfe, Frederick William

Frederick William Rolfe (Baron Corvo) is important for the gay literary heritage because of his distinctive decadent prose style, his outrageous decadent lifestyle, and his unashamed celebration of eroticized male friendships in his works.

literature >> Sackville-West, Vita

Best known for her relationship with Virginia Woolf and for her scandalous love affairs, Vita Sackville-West was a prolific author of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

literature >> Santayana, George

Although late in fully understanding his sexual preference, George Santayana wrote a series of sonnets celebrating his love for a friend who died young and described his male friendships in rhapsodic terms in his autobiography.

literature >> Stein, Gertrude

In addition to becoming--with Alice B. Toklas--half of an iconic lesbian couple, Gertrude Stein was an important innovator and transformer of the English language.

literature >> Stevenson, Edward Irenaeus Prime-

Edward Prime-Stevenson, who wrote both fiction and nonfiction, might well be styled the first modern American gay author.

arts >> Stiller, Mauritz

Swedish film director Mauritz Stiller is best known for his discovery of Greta Garbo, but the flamboyant gay Svengali also deserves recognition as a key figure in forging a national cinema that was eventually to become notable for its progressive treatment of sexuality and desire.

literature >> Strachey, Lytton

The English biographer and essayist Lytton Strachey spoke openly of his homosexuality to his Bloomsbury friends, but his openly gay works were published only after his death.

arts >> Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Ilich

One of the greatest composers in the history of music, Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky inspired a cult of gay admirers who detected in his work themes of forbidden love.

literature >> Wilde, Oscar

Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.

literature >> Wilder, Thornton

The works of Thornton Wilder are landmarks of American literature, but they reveal scant traces of the author's homosexuality.

literature >> Woolf, Virginia

Passionate friendships with women were essential to the life and work of novelist Virginia Woolf.


    Bibliography
   

Bergman, David. Gaiety Transfigured: Gay Self-Representation in American Literature. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991.

Calinescu, Matei. Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-Garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernism. Durham: Duke University Press, 1987.

Chefdor, Monique, Ricardo Quinones, and Albert Wachtel, eds. Modernism: Challenges and Perspectives. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986.

Eysteinsson, Astradur. The Concept of Modernism. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1990.

Greenberg, David F. The Construction of Homosexuality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988.

Levin, James. The Gay Novel: The Male Homosexual Image in America. New York: Irvington, 1983.

Martin, Robert K. The Homosexual Tradition in American Poetry. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1979.

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire. New York: Columbia University Press, 1983.

Stambolian, George and Elaine Marks, eds. Homosexualities and French Literature: Cultural Contexts/Critical Texts. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1979.

Summers, Claude. Gay Fictions: Wilde to Stonewall: Studies in a Male Homosexual Literary Tradition. New York: Continuum, 1990.

Weeks, Jeffrey. Coming Out: Homosexual Politics in Britain, from the Nineteenth Century to the Present. London: Quartet Books, 1977.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Higdon, David Leon  
    Entry Title: Modernism  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated October 19, 2005  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/literature/modernism.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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