Wednesday, February 02, 2011
We just finished discussion of The Creamsickle, a delightful novel from Rhiannon Argo. Everyone seemed to enjoy the characters a great deal though the plot seemed a little meandering. All in all we loved it and we intrigued by it and identified with it... love that.
This month we're reading the lesbian classic with the most uplifting title, The Well of Loneliness. Originally published in 1928, it was subject of a storm of controversy. It became the target of a campaign to have it banned for obscenity. Although its only sexual reference consists of the words "and that night, they were not divided," a British court judged it obscene because it defended "unnatural practices between women." According to Wikipedia, in 1926, Radclyffe Hall was at the height of her career. Her novel Adam's Breed, had become a bestseller and award-winner. She had long thought of writing a novel about "sexual inversion" and believed, her literary reputation would allow such a work to be given a hearing. Since she knew she was risking scandal and "the shipwreck of her whole career," she sought and received the blessing of her partner, Una Troubridge, before she began work. Her goals were social and political; she wanted to end public silence about homosexuality and bring about "a more tolerant understanding" — as well as to "spur all classes of inverts to make good through hard work... and sober and useful living."