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The intermediate decade : male homosexuality in American popular fiction of the 1930's

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dc.contributor.advisor Southey, N.D. en Caucutt, Jason Steven en 2009-08-25T10:54:26Z 2009-08-25T10:54:26Z 2009-08-25T10:54:26Z 2004-01-31 en
dc.identifier.citation Caucutt, Jason Steven (2009) The intermediate decade : male homosexuality in American popular fiction of the 1930's, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <> en
dc.description.abstract In the short period between 1931 and 1934 a flurry of gay-themed novels was published which were blatantly marketed as novels exploring the "twilight world" of homosexual men. In the subsequent seventy-odd years these titles have received very little attention, being entirely forgotten or sometimes erroneously grouped with postwar gay pulp fiction. Furthermore, almost without exception, the 1930s novels portray a concept of homosexuality which does not quite fit into the postwar view of sexual orientation or gay isolation. Section I explores how titles like A Scarlet Pansy, Strange Brother, and Twilight Men, all show a view of homosexuality that was immersed in gender norms and class differences much more than psychology or the modern concept of sexual orientation. In many cases, masculine or feminine behavior denotes status more than does the actual gender of one's sexual partner. Words like "homosexual" and "heterosexual" had a "highly clinical" sound to most 1930s ears (to quote a character in Better Angel). That is not to say, however, the readership of these novels were unfamiliar with "the love that dare not speak its name". In fact, it seems many novels took for granted their readers' knowledge of urban, working-class "fairy culture" and were seeking either to shock or, conversely, elicit sympathy by depicting non-flamboyant protagonists as well as stock pansies. In contrast to postwar treatments, the novels of the 1930s never depict gay men as existing in confused isolation. Section II explores how the novels oflen treat the gay shadow world as an elite, artistic club-albeit one filled with sinful excesses and potential dangers. Finally, after 1935 the tone of gay-themed novels changed abruptly, as the public's "pansy craze" abated. Older notions of"gender inversion" and ''Nature's intermediates" faded and homosexuality became more associated with psychological affliction with societal implications en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (iv, 88 leaves)
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject.ddc 809.93353
dc.subject.lcsh Gays' writings -- History and criticism
dc.subject.lcsh Homosexuality and literature
dc.subject.lcsh Homosexuality in literature
dc.subject.lcsh Homosexuality -- Fiction
dc.subject.lcsh Lifestyles
dc.subject.lcsh Literature, Modern -- 20th century -- History and criticism
dc.title The intermediate decade : male homosexuality in American popular fiction of the 1930's en
dc.type Dissertation en en
dc.description.department History en M.A. en

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