Abstract

Whereas inquiries into the relationship between anti-imperialism and homosexuality rely too heavily on empirical evidence, E. M. Forster's 1909 lecture on Rudyard Kipling can help us discover a more conclusive theoretical interrelationship. Forster's lecture attributes Kipling's reputation to fantasies about a certain form of masculinity and proposes to celebrate instead a Kipling whose manliness is "amalgamated" with other qualities. Forster's better judgment in this regard is motivated by insight into the homoerotic primitivism that tends to glorify masculinity—insight in turn enabled by his homosexuality. As the lecture on Kipling finally develops an anti-imperial critique, we see how Forster's homosexuality entailed a postcolonial mindset. Further evidence linking homosexuality, "amalgamated" masculinity, and postcolonial politics, apparent after we have identified it in the lecture on Kipling, appears throughout Forster's fiction, from the early novels that also subject manhood to a process of amalgamation to later novels that stress the larger political implications of that process.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 31-51
Launched on MUSE
2007-08-23
Open Access
No
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