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Responding to Ovid’s Pygmalion episode and receptions of same-sex love in Classical antiquity : art, homosexuality, and the curatorship of Classical culture in E. M. Forster’s ‘The Classical annex’.

Ingleheart, Jennifer (2015) 'Responding to Ovid’s Pygmalion episode and receptions of same-sex love in Classical antiquity : art, homosexuality, and the curatorship of Classical culture in E. M. Forster’s ‘The Classical annex’.', Classical receptions journal., 7 (2). pp. 141-158.

Abstract

Forster’s posthumously published short story about a Roman statue which comes to life in a museum can be read as an appropriation of the myth of Pygmalion in Ovid’s Metamorphoses (10.243–97), the most famous example of a tale in which a statue becomes human. The Ovidian narrative frame gives homosexuality a significant role, as it is focalized through Orpheus, who rejects the many women who find him sexually attractive, and instead pursues young males (Met. 10.78–85). Ovid’s classic version of the Pygmalion myth has inspired a multitude of artistic responses, most of which have downplayed homosexual undertones. This article suggests that Forster’s ‘The Classical Annex’ offers a provocative counterpart. Forster’s response to Ovid can be seen as an attempt to emphasize the homosexual aspect of an ancient myth in which homosexuality was present but marginalized, and should be read against contemporary attempts to deny the homosexual nature of love in antiquity (an issue Forster touched upon in his novel Maurice). In contrast, Forster asserts the positive homosexual nature of Classical eros and the inadequacy of some contemporary would-be ‘curators’ of Classical culture via his reinterpretation of a classic myth of male heterosexual desire and domination.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1093/crj/clt017
Publisher statement:This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Classical Receptions Journal following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Ingleheart, Jennifer (2014). Responding to Ovid’s Pygmalion episode and receptions of same-sex love in Classical antiquity: art, homosexuality, and the Curatorship of Classical culture in E. M. Forster’s ‘The Classical Annex’. Classical Receptions Journal 7(2): 141-158 is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/crj/clt017.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:22 August 2014
Date of first online publication:03 January 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

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