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The Seduction Of The Mediterranean

Overview

Through an explanation of forty figures in European culture, The Seduction of the Mediterranean argues that the Mediterranean, classical and contemporary, was the central theme in homoerotic writing and art from the 1750s to the 1950s. Episodes of exile, murder, drug-taking, wild homosexual orgies and court cases are woven into an original study of a significant theme in European culture. The myth of a homoerotic Mediterranean made a major contribution to general attitudes towards Antiquity, the Renaissance and ...

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The Seduction of the Mediterranean

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Overview

Through an explanation of forty figures in European culture, The Seduction of the Mediterranean argues that the Mediterranean, classical and contemporary, was the central theme in homoerotic writing and art from the 1750s to the 1950s. Episodes of exile, murder, drug-taking, wild homosexual orgies and court cases are woven into an original study of a significant theme in European culture. The myth of a homoerotic Mediterranean made a major contribution to general attitudes towards Antiquity, the Renaissance and modern Italy and Greece.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this original and well-researched study, Aldrich shows that a recurring motif in the literature and art of homosexuals from the 1750s to the 1950s was that of the Mediterranean, which was mythologized as a place where the homoerotic ideal of masculine beauty and virility could be fulfilled. The idea is exemplified in Thomas Mann's Death in Venice and in the works of over 40 writers examined here, from the German art historian Windelmann to Lord Byron and E. M. Forster, and many artists and photographers. During this period, many homosexual writers fled their Northern European homes to live in the Mediterranean, especially Italy, where the cultural climate was more hospitable. The fantasy lost its hold in the 1960s and 1970s with the emergence of the gay rights movement. Aldrich breaks new ground by revealing a unifying thread in homosexual culture long before the modern term subculture was invented.-- Bryan Aubrey, Fairfield, Ia.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415093125
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/2/1993
  • Pages: 288
  • Age range: 18 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction The Mediterranean Obsession 1. Sex and Society in the European Mediterranean: Greek, Roman and Renaissance 2. Winckelmann and Platen 3. Englishmen in Southern Europe 4. Following in the Footsteps 5. Mediterranean Men in Art and Photography 6. The Social and Historical Context 7. Contemporary Echoes Conclusion The Birth and Near Death of a Gay Myth
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