Falling Out of the Haystack: L.M. Montgomery and Lesbian Desire

  • Gavin White

Abstract

Résumé: Lors du Congrès des sociétés savantes de 2000, la communication de Laura M. Robinson intitulée "Les amies de cœur: le désir lesbien dans les œuvres de L.M. Montgomery" a soulevé beaucoup d'intérêt dans les journaux canadiens. À la lumière de l'histoire des mentalités, Gavin White analyse cette thèse du lesbianisme sublimé. S'il concède que le caractère exclusif et passionel de l'"amitié romanesque" du dix-neuvième siècle, d'inspiration néoplatonicienne, ne peut être ignoré, il doute cependant que cette "amitié de cœur" puisse être interprétée comme une manifestation de lesbianisme. Summary: During and after the 2000 Learned Conventions, Laura M. Robinson's paper called "Bosom Friends: Lesbian Desire in L.M. Montgomery's Anne Books" received a great deal of attention in the media across Canada. Gavin White summarizes the main point in her unpublished but much discussed paper ("Montgomery concocts a surprising array of alternatives to heterosexuality") and, after discussing several important scholarly studies of women's history, he recontextualizes Robinson's paper within the shifting attitudes towards women's friendships in the early twentieth century and the general confusion over the meaning of the term "lesbian." Discussing nineteenth-century terms such as "romantic friendships," "kindred spirits," and "bosom friends," which he locates in neo-Platonic thought, he argues that Robinson is correct in saying that Montgomery's detailed accounts of girls' and women's friendships with other females cannot be ignored, but disagrees that this is what the world would call "lesbian."
Published
2007-07-25
Section
Articles