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Brenda S. Helt and Madelyn Detloff

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474401692

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474401692.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

‘I didn’t know there could be such writing’: The Aesthetic Intimacy of E. M. Forster and T. E. Lawrence

‘I didn’t know there could be such writing’: The Aesthetic Intimacy of E. M. Forster and T. E. Lawrence

Chapter:
(p.258) ‘I didn’t know there could be such writing’: The Aesthetic Intimacy of E. M. Forster and T. E. Lawrence
Source:
Queer Bloomsbury
Author(s):

Medd Jodie

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474401692.003.0015

Medd examines the correspondence between E.M. Forster and T.E. Lawrence, in which new possibilities of both male intimacy and masculine self-understanding were achieved through an exchange of writing and reading. This epistolary literary exchange eschewed conventions of published literary circulation and reconfigured the traditional reader-writer dyad. As Forster and Lawrence forged a friendship through the exchange of literary materials – including Forster’s ‘unpublishable’ fiction – and a self-reflective dialogue over their experiences of reading one another’s literature and absorbing their interlocutor’s response to their own writing, they negotiated the tricky landscape of male intimacy heightened with homoerotic possibilities, while also discovering and re-imagining new possibilities of (homo)sexual and literary self-understanding. The correspondence constitutes an alternative queer circuit of literary exchange, in which scenes of reading and writing form bonds of male intimacy that re imagine both the terms of masculine identity and desire and the very terms of the literary itself.

Keywords:   Bloomsbury Group, queer, E.M. Forster, T.E. Lawrence, queer correspondence, queer letters, queer friendship, male intimacy, queer literary exchange, Jodie Medd

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