By Christopher Craft
In a examine that may be of curiosity to all these involved with the politics of gender, the historical past of sexuality, and the erotics of studying, Christopher Craft investigates questions basic to any heritage of current sexualities. How does the fashionable binary homosexual/heterosexual relate to past 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 consequences for the production and upkeep of the presumed ''natural'' male heterosexual topic? How has male heterosexual subjectivity been demonstrated as a bulwark opposed to the points of interest of a gay hope that's many times 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 significant 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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Additional resources for Another Kind of Love: Male Homosexual Desire in English Discourse, 1850-1920
Louis Crompton, “Jeremy Bentham’s Essay on ‘Paederasty’: An Introduction,” Journal of Homosexuality 3, no. 4 (1978): 383. Blackstone, Commentaries, 215. Jeremy Bentham, “Offences Against One’s Self: Paederasty,” ed. Louis Crompton, Journal of Homosexuality 3, no. 4 and 4, no. 1 (1978), 391. All further citations to Bentham, noted or otherwise, are to this essay. , 390. , 391. Coke, Third Institute, 58. For the best account of noneffeminated male homosexuality in classical Greek culture, see Foucault, Use, 78–93.
See Edward Ward, The Secret History of London Clubs (London, 1709), 299, where Ward presents a mock genealogy of the sodomite: Sure the curs’d Father of this Race, That does both sexes thus disgrace, Must be a Monster, Mad, or Drunk, Who, bedding some preposterous Punk, Mistook the downy seat of Love, And got them in the Sink above; So that, at first, a T—d and they Were born the very self same Way. Here “preposterous Punk” is a female prostitute who offers her anus (“the Sink above”), instead of her vagina (“the downy Seat of Love”).
For our purposes, the history of this process may be said to begin not with the medical community per se, but rather with an obscure Hanoverian legal official named Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (1825–1895), an “invert” or (as he called himself) an “Urning” who, having written in the 1860s and 1870s “a series of polemical, analytical, theoretical, and apologetic pamphlets,” may be justifiably called both the father of modern gay activism and, by a familiar paradox, the author of the etiological account of gay desire that would prove, with slight modification, paradigmatic for subsequent medical definitions of homosexuality.