Vous recevrez un email à chaque nouvelle parution d'un numéro de cette revue. Interestingly, Hollinghurst introduces a subtle distinction between the “gay novel,” in which the homosexual condition features prominently, and a process of “homosexualization” that would be predicated upon a particular viewpoint, at odds with that of the majority of readers and, by extension, of society at large. The same prohibition drove Ronald Firbank, whom Hollinghurst elects as his literary forerunner, into a career of international nomadism.
Firbank’s difficult inconsequential manner is part of a bigger subversion of the novel, and what is in many ways a homosexualization of the novel. Forster, ultimately, to relinquish the novel, as a form that could not legally treat of a subject that was of paramount importance to its author.
Needless to say, it wanders off from the straight beaten track, to venture into more sinuous and serpentine paths.
The dandyish figure becomes metonymic of style; it is Hollinghurst’s literary signature in , the train affords unheard-of opportunities for casual encounters. This is an aspect which is of course present in Hollinghurst’s mapping of gay London.
Yet, the novelist exploits even further the narrative potential offered by the Underground, by opening his fiction with a scene in a wagon, with two maintenance men sitting across from the well-off, hedonistic narrator protagonist.
This was the expedient the government had found to get rid of him, as Director of Public Prosecution, after his 260, original italics).
Not only is Will’s line of ascendancy not straight, and his claim to the title of Third Viscount of Beckwith, skewed by his progenitor’s fanatic notion of turning England into a “straight nation,” but the novel further demonstrates how the young man’s successive plans go all awry.
After a chance encounter, in a public lavatory, with Charles Nantwich, an old “queer peer,” whom Will saves from a fatal cardiac arrest, by giving him the kiss of life, he finds himself entrusted with the writing of his memoirs.
But, later on, when he discovers that Nantwich was sent to jail for indecency, as a result of his own grandfather’s purge against homosexuals, he decides that he cannot go ahead with a literary project, that involves him so personally: “‘All I could write now,’ I said, ‘would be a book about why I couldn’t write the book’”( can be read as the aborted attempt, by a young gay man from the early ’80s, to write the biography of one of his predecessors from the ’20s and ’30s.While Firbank was a clinical listener to the sheer lunacy of conversations, Hollinghurst records the counterpoint between the voyeuristic silence of an audience of expectant male-spectators, and the hushed sounds, rustling, pushing and jostling as the latter come in or go out, at odd intervals.Reading, in this emblematic scene, involves decoding surreptitious signs, under cover of darkness; deciding on whether a hardly perceptible movement may be interpreted as a token of encouragement or rejection.Precisely, Hollinghurst’s literary enterprise can be best described as a wilful, deliberate decision to impose a homocentric perspective on the novel genre: “To write about gay life from a gay perspective unapologetically and as naturally as most novels are written from a heterosexual position.[Something that] hadn’t really been done.” (“I don’t make moral judgments.”) Strangely though, it could be contended that this bid for novelty is, paradoxically, what qualifies Hollinghurst as a writer of the Tradition, even if it is a tradition on the margin of the mainstream. It epitomizes both the relation to tradition, and the swerve from the heterosexual norm.Much of the gay life pictured by Hollinghurst hinges on the capacity to read through an intention; any misinterpretation being, in the best of cases, a source of deep embarrassment, and in the worst, the cause of serious troubles, as when James, Will’s pal, gets arrested ( 222).