Straight Writ Queer: Non-Normative Expressions of Heterosexuality in Literature

Front Cover
Richard Fantina
McFarland, Sep 13, 2006 - Social Science - 274 pages
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The advent of gay and lesbian studies as an academic field opened the door for a new exploration of sexuality in literature. Here, works generally considered heterosexual are re-examined in the light of queer theory. The notion of homosexuality is viewed as a social construction that emerged during the 19th century, with a definitive difference between biological sex and gendered behavior. Heterosexuality is determined by whether sexual performance conforms to society-designated gender roles. From this wider perspective, this book examines literature previously viewed as "straight" in a search for alternative manifestations of desire and performance, relationships that contain an apparent disconnect between gender and desire. With broad coverage of many periods, authors, and genres, the 17 essays identify inherently queer heterosexual practices and critique the idea of heteronormativity, blurring the line between homo- and heterosexuality. Topics discussed include sodomy and chastity; Victorian literature; the relationship between sex, gender and desire; and the instability in literary portrayals of gender and sexuality. George Eliot, George Meredith, Ernest Hemingway, and Rider Haggard are among the many authors discussed.
  

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Contents

Crossing the Streets Queering the Sheets
1
Preface
9
Imperfect Sodomy and Queer Chastity
25
Masochism Sodomy and
46
Queer Desire and Heterosexual Consummation in
68
Renouncing Dinahs Little Fetish
82
The Victorians of Course
95
and Male Masochism in Mary Elizabeth Braddons
109
The Incommensurability
145
Lesbian Failure and Freuds Desire
158
Tracing
170
The Tragic Sexual
183
Queer
196
Instabilities and Wayward Subversions
209
The
219
Incest in the Service
232

Was ever hero in this fashion won? Alternative Sexualities
124
Rider Haggards Queer Adventures
134
About the Contributors
259
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Editor Richard Fantina is also the author of Ernest Hemingway: Machismo and Masochism and co-editor of Victorian Sensations: Essays on a Scandalous Genre. He lives in Westfield, Vermont.

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