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Music and the Queer Body in English Literature at the Fin de Siècle

Riddell, Fraser

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Drawing on an ambitious range of interdisciplinary material, including literature, musical treatises and theoretical texts, Music and the Queer Body explores the central place music held for emergent queer identities in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Canonical writers such as Walter Pater, E. M. Forster and Virginia Woolf are discussed alongside lesser-known figures such as John Addington Symonds, Vernon Lee and Arthur Symons. Engaging with a number of historical case studies, Fraser Riddell pays particular attention to the significance of embodiment in queer musical subcultures and draws on contemporary queer theory and phenomenology to show how writers associate music with shameful, masochistic and anti-humanist subject positions. Ultimately, this study reveals how literary texts at the fin de siècle invest music with queer agency: to challenge or refuse essentialist identities, to facilitate re-conceptions of embodied subjectivity, and to present alternative sensory experiences of space and time.


Riddell, F. (2022). Music and the Queer Body in English Literature at the Fin de Siècle. Cambridge University Press.

Book Type Monograph
Online Publication Date Apr 14, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Oct 29, 2019
Publicly Available Date May 13, 2022
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Series Title Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture
ISBN 9781108839204


Published Book (Introduction (pp.1-19)) (141 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
Introduction (pp.1-19) An online version of this work is published at under a Creative<br /> Commons Open Access license CC-BY-NC 4.0 which permits re-use, distribution and reproduction<br /> in any medium for non-commercial purposes providing appropriate credit to the original work is given<br /> and any changes made are indicated. To view a copy of this license visit<br /> licenses/by-nc/4.0

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