Raids on the Inarticulate

Simon Lewis

in British and African Literature in Transnational Context

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036021
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038636 | DOI:
Raids on the Inarticulate

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This chapter analyzes Alan Hollinghurst's book The Swimming-Pool Library. In contract, Boyd's book An Ice-Cream War is an exclusive male construction which is based on a combination of public school attitudes towards others while the otherness is defined in terms of race, gender, class, and nation. Furthermore, The Swimming-Pool Library takes on the otherness of homosexuality. Indeed, it is generally read as a “gay novel” eulogizing the brief period of relative permissiveness between the 1967 decriminalization of homosexuality in Great Britain and the explosive spread of AIDS in the early 1980s. Hollinghurst's linking of two generally unrecorded histories—of black London and of gay London—makes The Swimming-Pool Library a perfect example of what Christopher Lane identifies as the paradoxical nature of homosexual desire in “British colonial allegory.”

Keywords: Alan Hollinghurst; The Swimming-Pool Library; An Ice-Cream War; homosexuality; black London; gay London; British colonies; homosexual relationships

Chapter.  7386 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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