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In this provocative new book, Michael Lucey examines the unstable convergence of sexual, political, and literary commitments in André Gide's writing of the 1920s and 1930s—the years in which Gide wrote most openly about his homosexuality and participated most actively in left-wing politics. Through close readings of his memoirs, novels, and political tracts, Gide's Bent interrogates both the political content of Gide's ways of reflecting on his homosexuality and the ways his sexuality inflected his political interests.
One of the first modern writers to be "out," Gide used his writings during this period to do more than simply publicize his homosexuality. He also wrote in a way that reveals sexuality itself as an arena that challenges easy distinctions between public and private. His writing thus addresses not only the psychoanalytic, but also the social and even political foundations to the formation of any private sexual subjectivity; it further considers the ways personal, private struggles might be implicated in or lead on to larger public engagements. Gide's Bent follows this complicated writing practice in Gide's psychoanalytically complex novel The Counterfeiters and in his attempt at a feminist narrative, The School for Wives; in his explicit memoir of his early life, If It Dies; in Corydon, his idiosyncratic investigation of pederasty; in his anti-colonialist travel journal, Travels in the Congo; and in his disillusioned Return from the U.S.S.R..
|Note on Translation|
|1||Watching Sex in Si le grain ne meurt||21|
|2||The Place of the Oedipal: Writing Home from North Africa||42|
|3||Corydon and L'Ecole des femmes: Mimesis, the Mantis, the Gynaeceum||68|
|4||Without Delay: Les Faux-Monnayers, Lacan, and the Onset of Sexuality||108|
|5||Gribouille en Afrique: Gide's Voyage au Congo||143|
|6||Sexuality, Politics and Culture: Gide's Trip to the Soviet Union||181|
|Epilogue: Queer Tears||217|