The Love That Dare Not Speak Its URL

Gay English writers have always had a hard time living in a society not known for its tolerance of homosexuality. Oscar Wilde was no exception. With all the attention the Irish-born playwright has been getting recently (off-Broadway, there's the play about his legal battles, Gross Indecency; on Broadway, the recently debuted Judas Kiss; and on the silver screen, Wilde), there are a fair number of Web sites dedicated to him. Try www.jonno.com/oscariana/oscar.cgi for a random Wildean quote ("There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about") or www.jonno.com/oscariana/1.html, a virtual museum which, page by page, details his life in loving and colorful detail. Of course the current movie starring Stephen Fry has its own Web page at www. oscarwilde.com: full of the usual hype, it acquits itself with a handy page of links to online copies of the major works in Wilde's canon.

And what of some of the other queer English writers? The Virginia Woolf Web can be found at www.aianet.or.jp/~orlando/VWW/. This is a rather academic site which features many links, including the Virginia Woolf Distance Learning Course at www.cygneis.com/woolf/. There is, however, a paucity of sites which relate her sexuality and one has to dig even deeper to find any reference to her famous relationship with Vita Sackville-West (ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/malcolmi/vwframe.htm).

Nothing of any depth seems to exist on E.M. Forster, one of the greatest writers in the English language, who lived his entire life closeted (Maurice, his novel about a romance between two men, was published posthumously in the '70s). A biography of Mary Renault (author of The Persian Boy) at rowlf.cc.wwu.edu: 8080/~stephan/Renault/renault.biog2.html claims that she had a "companion." On the Web at least, the English seem reluctant to link their literary laureates and the love that dare not speak its name.

 
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