By Amber K. Regis
This version is the 1st to breed John Addington Symonds's Memoirs in its entirety. It deals a breathtaking view of middle-class Victorian existence, laying off mild upon sexual cultures and existence histories too usually hidden from historical past. Symonds (1840-93) begun writing his Memoirs in 1889. It was once, he confessed, 'a silly factor to do.' Symonds was once a revered guy of letters, an historian, translator, essayist and poet; he used to be additionally married with youngsters. yet instead of spread an easy story of private and non-private success, the Memoirs list his fight to reconcile his homosexuality with those expert and familial identities. His autobiography bargains a confessional account of relationships past the accredited bounds of nineteenth-century social mores, proposing an alternate case learn that contests the felony and clinical experts that might label his wishes against the law or sickness. but being so eloquent on concerns of heterodox sexuality, the Memoirs have been suppressed. The manuscript survives simply because Symonds known its import, even though 'foolish': he recommended his literary executor to maintain the textual content, an obligation eventually discharged through putting the manuscript lower than embargo within the care of the London Library.
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Extra info for The Memoirs of John Addington Symonds: A Critical Edition
Broken Seals and Light Edits Katharine’s third request to read the Memoirs was put before the London Library committee on 9 October 1939. ’104 The final word is telling. ’105 Katharine did not read the Memoirs for another ten years. In the interval between her August request and the October committee meeting, war was declared against Germany and Katharine moved away from London. She was also busy with her book, writing and revising the typescript and negotiating with publishers. Once Hearts and Pomegranates was published, there was little immediate incentive to return to a city under bombardment during the Blitz.
In it she replicated Symonds’s appeals to Platonic idealism and scientific objectivity, but she employed them differently. In his engagements with sexology, Symonds repeatedly sought to add his personal experience to the store of evidence: in the posterity project of the Memoirs, and through the case study he supplied for Sexual Inversion. He also came to reject the possibility (and advisability) of sexual sublimation through appeals to higher principles. 404 in this edition). Katharine, by contrast, did not permit the scholar’s mask of intellectual detachment to slip fully from her subject’s face.
But Symonds also invites his reader to digress, to turn to other works and re-read them in the light of his autobiographical revelations. This is particularly true of poetry. In Chapter 18, for example, Symonds urges his reader to look again at more than fifty poems from Animi Figura (1882) and Vagabunduli Libellus (1884). 514 in this edition). The resulting poetic sequence constitutes a narrative beyond the bounds of Symonds’s Memoirs: a counterpart to be read alongside his later act of remembering, producing a dual narrative that will better explain his relationship with Angelo Fusato, a Venetian gondolier.
The Memoirs of John Addington Symonds: A Critical Edition by Amber K. Regis