Keeping Ourselves Alive
  • ISSN 1053-6981
  • E-ISSN: 2405-9374
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AbstractAldous Huxley's first piece of published fiction, "The Farcical History of Richard Greenow" (1920), reveals anxieties about authorship and sexual iden-tity that were typical of modernist male writers. This article situates this nou-vella in two contexts. The first concerns Huxley's relationship with his aunt, novelist and social activist Mary Augusta Arnold Ward; the second centers on medical theories of homosexuality presented by Havelock Ellis in Sexual Inversion (1897). The protagonist calls himself a spiritual hermaphrodite because his body is inhabited by two personalities: a male intellectual and an increasingly aggressive female novelist and war propagandist named Pearl Bellairs. As a caricature of Mrs. Humphrey Ward, Pearl reveals Huxley's antagonism toward powerful and popular women novelists. But she also provides a way for protag-onist and author to defend themselves against same-sex eroticism. Ideology does not determine desire. Rather, in the story, as in Sexual Inversion, fears aroused by certain desires seek expression in specific cultural forms. (Literary criticism, psychological approach; gender studies)


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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