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Romanticism on the Net

Numéro 36-37, novembre 2004, février 2005

Queer Romanticism

Sous la direction de Michael O'Rourke et David Collings

Direction : Michael Eberle-Sinatra (directeur)

Éditeur : Université de Montréal

ISSN : 1467-1255 (numérique)

DOI : 10.7202/011138ar

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Article

The Sexuality of Authorship in The Monk

Lauren Fitzgerald

Yeshiva University

Abstract

As simultaneously “queer” and “unoriginal,” the Gothic is an ideal site for investigating alternatives to the still potent Romantic construction of the author as masculine, heterosexual, and autonomous. One of the best examples of this Gothic alternative is the original queer Gothic plagiarist, Matthew Lewis. Drawing on Judith Butler’s insight that drag—and by implication gender—is a form of imitation that calls into question the “originality” of any normatively delineated gender identity, this essay examines the authorship of The Monk by way of a usually overlooked episode in which Lewis situates himself in a classical, imitative, and homoerotic literary tradition and echoes his famous avowal of the romance’s “plagiarisms.” Like the crafty cross-dresser Rosario/Matilda, Lewis’s authorship lacks stable ground. More important, by circumventing the primacy of origins, he claims a legacy that queers the history of the sexuality of authorship.

 Remerciements

I am indebted to my colleagues T. Kenny Fountain and Paula Geyh for helping me think through the theoretical complexities of my discussion.

Auteur : Lauren Fitzgerald
Titre : The Sexuality of Authorship in The Monk
Revue : Romanticism on the Net, Numéro 36-37, novembre 2004, février 2005
URI : http://id.erudit.org/iderudit/011138ar
DOI : 10.7202/011138ar

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