Gide's Bent: Sexuality, Politics, Writing

Gide's Bent: Sexuality, Politics, Writing

Gide's Bent: Sexuality, Politics, Writing

Gide's Bent: Sexuality, Politics, Writing

Synopsis

Gide's Bent investigates the place of sexuality in the writings of Andr¿ Gide, one of the first "out" modern writers. Focusing on his writing of the 1920s and 1930s, the years in which Gide wrote most openly about his homosexuality and also the years of his most notable left-wing political activity, Gide's Bent interrogates both the political content of his reflections on his homosexuality and the ways his sexuality inflected his political interests. Provocative examination of one of the first openly homosexual writers, Andr¿ Gide.

Excerpt

In would like to look more closely now at some of the problems Gide confronts in writing about his arrival at a queer identity, at the role narrativization plays for Gide in understanding and even undergoing this process. in particular, I will be observing Gide's relation to the oedipalizing narratives so familiar to many "Freudian" accounts of the arrival at "homosexuality." My impression is that Gide perceives many of the ways such narratives deny, or at least work to dampen, many of the political complexities, much of the political potential, of sexuality; my impression is also that the Gidean text struggles in various ways against this dampening effect, against this possible denial. This struggle is what interests me in this chapter. I will be building on some of the considerations as to the confused temporality of sexuality from the last chapter; I will also be trying to elaborate the discussion of Gide's relation to North Africa, though from a rather different angle. the main new departure here, one that plays an important role in making the analyses of future chapters possible, is my discussion of Gide's ambivalent relation to female figures in the construction of his sexuality: ambivalent in that he finds certain things he might feel loyal to in the marginal status of certain female sexualities even as he feels an often violent urge to define himself over against the feminine.

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