Double Talk: The Erotics of Male Literary Collaboration
Author: Wayne Koestenbaum
Release Date: January 01, 1989
Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer on hysteria, J.A. Symonds and Havelock Ellis on sexuality, a novel by Ford Madox Ford and Joseph Conrad, The Waste Land of T.S. Eliot (and Ezra Pound), even the Lyrical Ballads of Wordsworth and Coleridge: men making books together.
Wayne Koestenbaum's startling interpretation of literary collaboration focuses on homosexual desire: men write together, he argues, in order either to express or to evade homosexual feelings. Their writing becomes a textual intercourse, the book at once a female body they can share and the child of their partnership. These man-made texts steal a generative power that women's bodies seem to represent.
Seen as the site of a struggle between homosexual and homophobic energies, the texts Koestenbaum explores--works of psychoanalysis, sexology, fiction, and poetry--emerge as more complex, more revealing. They crystallize and refract the anxiety of male sexuality at the end of the last century, and open up a deeper understanding of connections today between the erotic and the literary.