Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An Imagined Conspiracy

By Michael S. Sherry | Go to book overview

2
Explanation

Discovery prompted explanation, just as explanation spread the word of discovery. “Do Homosexuals Have Special Artistic Gifts?” psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler titled his article in 1957. An affirmative answer had circulated for years. “The fact that homosexuality is especially common among men of exceptional talent was long since noted by Dante,” Havelock Ellis claimed decades earlier.1 But the question gained urgency after World War II as people like Bergler tried to explain why, or deny that, gay men were numerous and talented in the arts. Most observers located queer creativity beyond the bounds of psychological, political, social, or cultural normality. The notion of queer artists' outsiderness was not new, but the vigor with which it was now asserted was striking. Experts presented gay artists as both pathological outsiders to American life and consummate insiders in the arts. They usually failed to explain how such artists could be both, except through trickery and conspiracy. They nonetheless strengthened an enduring image of gay people as outsiders. They also showed how antihomosexuality served as a vehicle for venting the anxieties of the age.

Contemporary inquiries were muddled and overlapping. Medical experts, intellectuals, journalists, and others borrowed freely and often carelessly from each other and substituted repetition for cumulative inquiry. Few poseda counter question: Why shouldn't gay men be powerful in the arts? Most presumed something wrong or weird, as if the queer presence violated anatural distribution of social groups int he arts. Partly in response, some gay men naturalized the queer presence as the prod-

-51-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An Imagined Conspiracy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction - Nixon, Myself, and Others 1
  • 1: Discocery 13
  • 2: Explanation 51
  • 3: Frenzy 105
  • 4: Barber at the Met 155
  • 5: Aftermath 204
  • Notes 239
  • Index 271
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 292

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.