restricted access Catherian Friendship; or, How Not To Do the History of Homosexuality

While critics often regard Cather's male friendships as the closeted voicing of lesbian desire, this essay suggests that these intimate same-sex relations are rather uninterested in modern U.S. sexual identity. To do so, it charts how Cather's men refuse the movement from friendship to homosexuality in order to wreck the designs of a legible sexual history, and to fracture the historical march from passionate same-sex friendship to urban gay subculture. Focusing on The Professor's House, it views these deliberate failures of sexual expression as beneficial outcomes of her regional male bonds.