By Tracy Hargreaves
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Additional resources for Androgyny in Modern Literature
Anxious not to alienate his readers on this controversial point, Freud directed them to Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis, whose patients (women, passive homosexuals who liked to adopt the role of women) indicated that it was a common phantasy, the roots of which lay in being suckled. The child’s later familiarity with the cow’s udder, he argued, merged the memory of suckling with an object that resembles a penis. But if the phantasy of the vulture is a phantasy of the phallus, or of fellatio, what has this to do with the mother?
18 But Allatini redeems the pejorative coupling of pacifism and femininity as she recuperates the ‘androgynoi’ for the budding intermediate type. Her homosexuals, that is to say, are less ‘Mary Ann in the kitchen’ and more cast in the mould of Carpenter’s heroic Uranians. In raising the difference between an heroic age in which homosexuality was privileged, and her contemporary age of mechanical reproduction, in which the homosexual was pathologised, Allatini explores ‘the so-called intersexual theory’19 by making Dennis central to a sense of cultural regeneration.
348). Barnaby, needless to say, isn’t one of them. 2 Whilst narrative representations of androgyny in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries served as explanations for same-sex (though mainly homosexual) sensibilities and desires, there was a recognisable shift in how androgyny came to be reconfigured as the ‘intermediate type’ or ‘intermediate sex’ by writers like Carpenter and Allatini. Whereas Krafft-Ebing’s case studies theorised, even as they constructed, degenerate subjectivities, Carpenter took his intermediate types out of the consulting room and away from the asylum, arguing that they had a great part to play in ‘general society’.
Androgyny in Modern Literature by Tracy Hargreaves