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Privileged Pariahdom: Homosexuality in the Novels of Dominique Fernandez

Lucille Cairns

In this first full-length study of Dominique Fernandez, Lucille Cairns examines the representation of homosexuality in his novels, placing them in an evolving cultural and discursive context, and interrogating their sexual politics. Consecrated by the French literary establishment through numerous laudatory reviews and the conferment of seven prestigious prizes, Fernandez has also been pigeonholed by it as a champion of gay rights, while more recently being rejected by young gay activists as a reactionary. Scrutinizing novels covering a period from 1959 to 1994, Cairns highlights a controversial development in Fernandez's inscription of homosexuality as a sexual, social, political and ideological reality. Arguing for Fernandez's importance as one of the most prominent and stylistically accessible of post-'68 French gay writers, she also posits the vision of homosexuality he mediates as disturbingly dissident in its historical context, both from a heterocratic and from a pro-gay perspective. Written for those interested in homosexuality, sexual politics, and modern French literature and culture, this introductory work assumes no prior knowledge of these fields.
Contents: Literary analysis - Homosexuality - Gay rights - Sexual politics - Sexual dissidence.