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LHMP #404 Tobin, 2014 Bildung and Sexuality in the Age of Goethe

Full citation: 

Tobin, Robert. 2014. “Bildung and Sexuality in the Age of Goethe” in The Cambridge History of Gay and Lesbian Literature ed. E.L. McCallum & Mikko Tuhkanen. Cambridge University Press, New York. ISBN 978-1-107-03521-8

Publication summary: 

A collection of articles meant as a critical reference work on literature across time and space that might be considered “gay and lesbian literature.” Only articles with lesbian-relevant content will be blogged in detail.

Chapter 14 - Bildung and Sexuality in the Age of Goethe

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This article has a consideration of the place of male homosexuality — activity, legal status, cultural attitudes — during the “age of Goethe” in Germany, and how m/m themes underpin various creative movements. The brief discussion of women in this context focuses mainly on the literary trope of the actively-desiring, sexually independent woman, who practices “free love” with desirable men. There is also a brief note about medical theories of lesbianism, in particular, the “enlarged clitoris” theory, as well as theories of gender “inversion.”

Time period: 

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