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On the Gay Fiction shelf...
am 1. Juni 2000
Englis book stores have those small alcoves that read "Gay and lesbian fiction", which I've always found very funny, say how do you classify In search of lost time: "Gay and straight fiction by gay author"?
But I'm digressing... I found Holinghurst's novel on one such shelf and I devoured it, because I liked everything in it: the language, the settings and the characters. I was especially moved by the elderly Lord N. because his story belongs to a time that is lost: Edwardian homosexuality. I am not gay but I am truly fascinated by this era of (relative) sexual freedom that was born in Cambridge and Oxford at the turn of the century, in the shadow of Oscar Wilde's downfal. Nearly all of the Bloomsbury group were gay at one time or another!
I cannot say I could relate as easily to contemporary, be it early 80s, gay mores but that hardly matters. On top of it, there are very erotic descriptions of the "love that dared not speak its name" (as Proust wd have said) which I found extremely enjoyable.