Obscure Queer

An Anthology of pieces drawn from my collecting and dealing in the obscure byways of queer literature. A new kind of anthology I hope - evolving, odd, eclectic...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Theodore Wratislaw

Theodore Wratislaw (1871-1933) very definately falls in the 1890s 'decadent' movement within literature. It is a normal strategy by non-queer critics to say of poetry which has a significant possible gay readings, that the author was simply performing an exercise in style: this is often the case with Shakespeare's sonnets, critics trying to play down the issue of actual desire in order to make the sonnets to Mr W. H. somehow 'acceptable' and to 'justify' them by making them no more than a literary exercise. However, this is one time when this might be correct. This appears to be more or less the only homoerotic writing in this man's oeuvre and seems to have come about because of his contact with other poets of the age who were all writing poems to boys and young men willy-nilly.

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