Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Modernist Mysteries: Perséphone$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Tamara Levitz

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199730162

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730162.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2021

André’s Masked Pleasures

André’s Masked Pleasures

(p.239) 4 André’s Masked Pleasures
Modernist Mysteries: Perséphone

Tamara Levitz

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how Gide revolutionized the expression of male same-sex desire in the writing strategies he developed for the narcissus plucking moment in Perséphone. In his treatise on pédérastie, Corydon, Gide countered the dominant belief of his time that desire was always heterosexual by proposing that male same-sex desire could be directed toward the goal of pleasure rather than reproduction. Gide established his point of view against the unrelenting insults of his contemporaries, however—a framework that determined how he positioned himself as a writer. In Perséphone, he coupled Persephone’s same-sex desire with a simultaneous need to fulfil social obligation, and framed both actions against the exclusionary French sexual politics of his day. Persephone’s attraction to the underworld reflects Gide’s interpretation of Orpheus’s “backward glance,” and his understanding of same-sex desire as taking place within a colonial frame. His bifurcated stance leads to a fragmented writing style or “bricolage” in the narcissus-plucking scene.

Keywords:   André Gide, writing strategies, male same-sex desire, history, Pédérastie, homosexuality, pleasure, Bricolage, French sexual politics, gay studies, Corydon, colonialism and homosexuality, Orpheus’s Backward Glance

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .