This site uses cookies. By continuing, your consent is assumed. Learn more

125.1fm shares

Sonnet 20 shakespeare homosexual discrimination

opinion

Literature and literary criticismHistoryCultural historyHomosexuality. He went on to explore the extraordinary contribution of the Jewish artist to Western culture and of the Irish writer to English literature.

Borges was, in many ways, a conservative man, and a cautious critic. He would have been interested in the notion that many or most of the figures who recreated modern writing were gay, or Irish, or Jewish: Sonnet 20 shakespeare homosexual discrimination would also, I think, be disturbed by the idea that you could find enough traces, or indeed direct evidence, in the work of, say, Shakespeare and Marlowe and Bacon to declare them, too, part of the gay tradition, the secret dotted line that runs right through Western literature.

He could not have done without them. It is easy to argue about the uncertain Irishness of certain writers. Was Oliver Goldsmith Sonnet 20 shakespeare homosexual discrimination Was Robert Tressell Irish?

Is Iris Murdoch Irish? But the argument about who was gay and who was not and how we know is more difficult. How can someone be gay if, as in the case of Gogol, there is no direct evidence?

Why should this matter? It matters because as gay readers and writers become more visible and confident, and gay politics more settled and serious, gay history becomes a vital element in gay identity, just as Irish history does in Ireland, or Jewish history among Jewish people.

It is not simply a question of finding obscure traces of a gay presence in the past, although there is that as well, but of including writers — Whitman is a good example — who were clearly and explicitly gay, and whose homosexuality, ignored by most critics and teachers, has a considerable bearing on their work.

Straight critics have tended to write about gay writers as though they were straight, or as Sonnet 20 shakespeare homosexual discrimination it did not matter which they were. Lionel Trilling published a book on E. Inhe wrote to Cynthia Ozick that. The gay past in writing is sometimes explicit and sometimes hidden, while the gay present is, for the most part, only explicit.

Soon in the Western world being gay will no longer involve difficulty and discrimination. Therefore, how we read the past, and read into the past, and judge the past are likely to become matters of more open debate.

The temptation to make anachronistic judgments and ask anachronistic questions is hard to avoid. Matthiessen write a history of gay American writing? And why are gay lives presented as tragic in so much writing? Why is gay life often presented as darkly sensational? The actions and attitudes of the past, even the recent past, remain almost unimaginable now, things have changed so quickly. Private acceptance of homosexuality, in my experience, is not to be found, even among the most liberal-minded, sophisticated and liberated people.

Homosexuality may be the one subject left in America about which there is no official hypocrisy … Cursed without clear cause, afflicted without apparent cure, they are an affront to our rationality, living evidence of our despair of ever finding a sensible, an explainable design to the world. Many were transferred to prisons Sonnet 20 shakespeare homosexual discrimination to serve out their terms … The pink triangle was left off Holocaust memorials … The Nazis had introduced a stricter version of the anti-homosexual law in Paragraph of the German penal "Sonnet 20 shakespeare homosexual discrimination" in Unlike other Nazi laws, this was not repealed at the end of the war.

Other communities who have been oppressed — Jewish people, say, or Catholics in Northern Ireland — have every opportunity to work out the implications of their oppression in their early lives. They hear the stories; they have the books around them. Gay people, on the other hand, grow up "Sonnet 20 shakespeare homosexual discrimination" there is no history. There are no ballads about the wrongs of the past, the martyrs are all forgotten.

Let us begin with Whitman; he is the easiest.

RELATED ARTICLES

For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night, In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined toward me, And his arm lay lightly around my breast — and that night I was happy. It is easy to imagine F.

News feed