The Escape from Nosferatu

Gary L. Atkins

in Imagining Gay Paradise

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9789888083237
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9789882209305 | DOI:
The Escape from Nosferatu

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Monogamous heterosexual romance, as solidified in its modern form in the early decades of the twentieth century, began to emerge as the new “triple supremacy” of culturally approved gender and sexual expressions, replacing older notions about sex and marriage aimed primarily at reproduction. With European medical literature speaking of a “heterosexual” male and a “homosexual” male, Weimar Germany emerged as a place of intellectual and artistic—as well as sexual—fervor. Freidrich Murnau's classic horror movie, Nosferatu, added to the commentaries on manhood, offering striking Expressionist images of males from the periphery invading the imperial centers. This chapter follows Walter Spies's close companionships with the pianist Hans Jürgen von der Wense and then with Murnau himself, examining how these men's understandings of romance—and its possibilities for same-sex relationships—may have affected Walter's own approach to homosexuality and to the magical reality he was to eventually imagine in Bali.

Keywords: Nosferatu; Walter Spies; von der Wense; sex and marriage; Freidrich Murnau

Chapter.  4717 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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