HOMOSEXUALITY AND CREATIVE GENIUS by Dr. Hendrik M. Ruitenbeek

HOMOSEXUALITY AND CREATIVE GENIUS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This thoroughly Freud-oriented collection of essays about famous homosexual writers is utterly tedious. It lacks clinical detail, depends mainly upon interpretation of poems and novels, and has none of the fierce insight into homosexuality we get, say, from Leslie Fiedler. Instead, we get cant about Whitman's mother fixation, Poe's ""menstrual trauma,"" Proust's sibling rivalry and incest sublimation, Baudelaire's sado-masochism and castration complex, Oscar Wilde's ""underlying glandular abnormality,"" and similar apocrypha about Rimbaud, Verlaine, Gide, Zola, and a sixteenth-century poet named Saint-Pavin. The essay on Saint-Pavin comes Closest to being actually anchored in fact and is the best in the book. Zola is included as a latent homosexual, while Poe and Whitman are not described as practicing homosexuals. Wilde's phantom glandular problem is coupled with a striking inaccuracy, i.e. that he never wrote a novel. (Dorian Gray will clack his gums at that information.) For sheer, cloud-borne fantasy one shouldn't miss the essay on Shakespeare's love life as extracted from his plays:--creative genius, indeed!

Pub Date: Dec. 17th, 1965
Publisher: World