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Private Lives/Public Theater: Noel Coward and the Politics of Homosexual Representation Author(s): Alan Sinfield Source

: Representations, No. 36 (Autumn, 1991), pp. 43-63 Published by: University of California Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 16/11/2013 10:43
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Private Lives/Public Theater: Noel Coward and the Politics of Homosexual Representation
and Sir with the deaths Beaumont besaid that It cannot, ofHugh (Binkie) ofcourse, will theatre thewhole domination British NoelCoward ofthe edifice ofhomosexual two the structure but with the loss these come down, of begins, pillars tumbling the absence lesssecure. Youwillhavenoticed tolooka little ofconjecture inevitably, and evenWaspe linesin theobituary columns here] [thecolumnist feels alongthese toproceed constrained delicately.

when Binkie Beaumont

and Noel Coward died, in 1973, withina fewdays of each other.Coward's domBeaumont had been inance had been artistic-he was referredto as "the master." who him mightnever that those crossed a powerfulas producer-so powerful and performers workagain in the WestEnd. He preferredhomosexual directors and, like some heterosexual producers, was said to employ the casting couch.2 Coward, Beaumont, and the ethos that was associated with them had given a distinctive atmosphere to Britishtheaterfromthe 1930s into the late 1950s. In theoryand addressing this formation,I mean to develop a cultural-materialist of and political change in modern representation historyof some key aspects homosexual subcultures.

All the World's a Closet An essentiallinkbetweenhomosexuality and theateris sometimesproeludes definition. Kenneth Plummer argues that but the project precise posed, are while all people play social roles,homosexuals likelyto be aware of "passing," "presentinga self,""keeping up an act"; hence theyhave "dramaturgicalconsciousness."3This may be true for some discreet homosexuals, but such acting notlike theater, and drama are precisely wheretheaudience is expected to appreciate thata performanceis takingplace. More often,and in contradiction to the homosexuals are simplysupposed to be histrionic, "passing" theory, flamboyant. This may indeed be one way of coping withstigma,but it is far frombeing the itwillbe a prominentone). The notionof homoonlyone (though,bydefinition, is suceptibleto hostileinflection: sexuals as theatrical considerthe word histrionic,


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a period during which forthe patternof half-knowledge theaterwas a pivotalinstitution throughwhich has been constituted. affected. homosexual identity is indeed culturally If the idea of a link between theaterand homosexuality and be traced back before the timeof is nonetheless it effective. Ellmann of our as Richard day"-hinting.but both to be contingent. activity likely occupy theaterbars and adjacent publichouses and coffee bars in London's West century. may contingent. intelligent piece of Englishplay-writing The association a new. any public explicitnesswould certainlydamage an actor's career withBeaumont. For this reason in of the social include lesbians the present hardly parts in has had a certainamount common withthat discussion: though theirhistory of male homosexuals." I would place more weighton the mundane factthattheaterand illicit sexual to are the same Since the late nineteenth inner-city territory.108 on Sat.16. End have been known as meeting places. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .and how ominouslyitsscope runs from"pertaining to actorsand acting"through to "pretended. theater. King George V silence thatleftmany people virtually and the hated literature. 1967). depending on the uneven and of a modern homosexual the dominance of the urban identity development middle classes in WestEnd theateraudiences.8In thisdiscretion theywere assistedbythelaw.until 1958 all mentionof homosexufroma stateofficial. bythelate 1950s. left-liberal theaterhad passed. culturalphenomena-subject to the pressures and limitsof a specifichistoricalmoment and figuringdifferently in different I order. forbidden.The lord chamberlain'sembargoes were not the merelyabsurd impositionof a benightedage but partof a patternof unaware of homosexuals.122.youthful."thatthe more usual charge was aestheticeffeminacy. The formerwas reorganized into a "problem"that.and theywere said in court to have frequenteddiverse theaters.4 I resistthe idea of an intrinsic link since I believe neitherto be essentially between homosexualityand theater. was ality specifically Discretionin the theaterreplicatedin unusually precise manner the discretion that was required generallyin society.5 This paper focuses on the period before those changes. Until 1968 plays could not be performedon the public stage in England withouta license the lord chamberlain. thus or thus. arts) remarked: "I thoughtthatmen like (who 44 REPRESENTATIONS This content downloaded from 168. Oscar Wilde. intelligentsia.6 ReviewingWilde's A Woman ofNo one "the virile and Archer described scene as most in William Importance 1893.artificial.farfrombeing secret.demanded of male homosexexplicitdiscussion (thiswas the prelude to the decriminalizing in in in and dominance of the London uality Britain."7 made figureslike Beaumont and Coward all between theaterand homosexuality the more discreet. The notorious arrest of the transvestites "Fanny" Boulton and "Stella" Park in 1870 occurred as theyleftthe StrandTheater. It had faded wellbeforethe deaths of Coward and Beaumont. The patternI consider here half of the twentieth was specificto the first century. as both homosexualityand theater changed. it has also been quite distinct. manycircumstances.

by asking: "And how are the boys?" It turned out that he Lionel Trillingdidn'trealize thatE."'3In 1967.It is not mentioned. "Rocks are infinitely Those who operated the censorshipbelieved thatwithouttheirprotectiontheaterswould become "disorderly houses. So Dulcimer puts on gloves and an apron and does the flowershimself. in Richard Findlater'sview the play is so discreetthat"the audience mightimagine that the moral corruptionexercised by the centralfigureover the younger man was one only of cynicalmaterialismand not sexual love." and has the amoral wit. H. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .and concernwithdecor thatmarked the homosexual steaffectation. it. on the contrary. Finally the biological lower-classfathershoots dead the aesthetic butJulianremainstrapped and ends up like Dulcimer at the start.16. by suppressingirregularsexualitythe chamWorsley'sdiscovery. and itillustrates before the mid 1950s. M. there are hintsfor those able and willingto hear.108 on Sat. itspresence.When he has finishedhe demands: "When on earth are you away?I look like a waysideshrine!"(58). trying took him to see Mordaunt Shairp's play The GreenBay Treeand told him."14 The GreenBay Tree(1933) was the most explicitplay permittedin a public the conditionsupon which theateruntilA Taste ofHoneyin 1958. Worsley to make love until a woman to whom he had been that was or he one."'2 remarked.he was helping He was notjustacknowledging to irruptintovisibility. T. Auden.10 had little notionof sexuals mightnot knowwhata homosexual was. the writer Pamela Hansford Johnson opined that withoutsuch constraint"our theatrewould soon come to look like Soho in hard covers. Dulcimer."'5 However. with theater censorship about to be abolished."1 Yet theaterwas the site of implicationsof which I was not entirely of For course. When the play opens he is talkingto his manservantand reotype decides to arrange the flowers(echoing the discussion about the foppish Lord Goring's buttonhole in Wilde's Ideal Husband). he implied thatit was alwaysabout berlain did not eliminateit. Then it was stilla technicalterm.Dulcimer is soon revealed as cynically Private Public Theater Lives/ 45 This content downloaded from 168. The word "was not in general use.122. at this time. still.'6However.the aware of. Coward more dangerous when theyare submerged. If going to take all this[table of flowers] this camp insouciance seems charming." a medal for poetry.But thereare tulips-"I don't thinkI could trustyou witha tulip" (56). as it is now. Dulcimer is called "Dulcie. to make theater a place where sexualitylurked in forbidden forms.An audience would not have to hear homosexualityin The GreenBay Tree. when awarding him thatshot themselves. father-figure.9 Even homoForsterwas homosexual when he wrotea book about him in 1944. Dulcimer considers problem: "I'm terribly the servant to allowing arrange them. thoughtAuden was stillschool-teaching. It is about homosexualitymightapproach public visibility a leisured and exquisitelycultured man.and his adoptive son Julian: the latteris temptedaway frommarriagewiththe purposefulLeonora byluxury and idleness. if not houses of ill fame. The play was a box-office success in London and New York.The king disconcertedW. there is an aesthetic overdressed for doing flowers".

some heterosexualsbelieve that (homosexuals want to claim significant homosexuals cannot create convincingheterosexualcharacters). almost.and attracts all about keeping him fromwhatis normaland healthy?" (93).108 on Sat.'9 Commentatorsoftensuggest thatwe should read Coward's plays as "reallygay" authors. its New homosexuality.20 Let's reviewsome instances. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . normality few AMANDA: I think normal. peoplearecompletely really. PrivateLives (1930).Leonora's accusations:"Haven't you any conscience at manipulative." But theywere geratedlymincingdeportment the towardwhatever play'shostility generallyappeased by danger itwas thatDulcimerseemed to represent. note theup-to-dateFreudianlanguage).122." in TheVortex Curtindiscusses "covertgay characterization" (1923). something might thought. hisevidentfunction 46 REPRESENTATIONS This content downloaded from 168. an of evil: "You fascinate me. For those who were keeping up with withhis currentpsychoanalytical reading."17 In fact reviewersin New York and London remarked"effeminacy"-theNewEnglishWeekly complained of Dulcimer's"exagand his ugly caressingof chairs.Jed Harris. Hiding behind the in are terms her the positive speech negativealternatives-immoral.observed: "The suspicionhad to be there.That's theonlywayyou can explain what was going on. and only thismightseem to unhealthy.In TheVortex Nickyseems to be in love withBunty. thinkable. lives.They add up.but it invitessurmise." justify imputation says Leonora to Dulcie." and not her "sort of chap."21Bunty exclaims: "You're not in love "effeminate" with me. no knowing what and theright there's fuseat thesamemoment.abnormal. the conditions thinking might tigate Private Designs Discretion is not the same as silence.says Coward has an "essentially Kaier Lives "uses a heterosexual relationshipto dramatize a camp sensibility. for homosexual comic vision" and Private instance. "like a snake fascinates"(82). The GreenBay Treesays nothing. Nicky's"weak" fatherand infatuation of a reinforce the notion homosexual There is also would mother stereotype. Homosexualitywas scarcely it be as that locates Noel Coward (who got The already. really-you couldn't be!" (217). spark gummys one mightn't do. whereas Nickyis said to be but she prefersTom-he is "athletic"and "hearty. in Tree on New is the whom we Green York) keyfigurethrough Bay put mayinvesin which such occur. Pawnie. deep downintheir private very If all thevariouscosmicthinof circumstances.John Lahr.'8 but even that. "an elderlymaiden gentleman"who makes "a 'Fetish'of house decorais to spice tion"(167. like other Coward plays.It all dependson a combination is struck.includes a thoughtful momentwhen a keycharacterspeculateson and morality.16.

game is family Hay to take everyslightest (heterosexual)amorousnessas indicatinga passionate wish to marry. The men are fuse the distinctionbetween sincerity son. In Present actor pestered by (1942) GarryEssendine is an attractive Laughter admirers whom he tries to shake off. she breaks offon the point of sayinghe is unmasculine(270). Otto loves you.liveswith.Judithsays her artistic in boxing. then. each other in the ensuing act was inconsistent so he forone was not prepared to confessto discerningexcessivepositivefeeling between them. thereare thattheir sexual innuendos ("Armadildo"sherry). of with "a plurality meanings".For to love in a grown-upsense you must be grown maystillbe up.108 on Sat. but he veers away fromthe dangerous topic: "This is where Leo and Otto and Gilda make theirmistake. You love Otto."24Yet homosexual love (being.thank comforteach other.They get drunk together.23 JamesAgate complained thatDesign forLivinguses the word love he Leo: "I love you. I love Otto. immaturebydefinition) implicit. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Perhaps because of wartimelaxity. and manners in emotion.but he also establishesthe possiup the dialogue withwitty/spiteful in the of play. Coward's major playsall offer and their is in Fever unconventional. sleeps with firstOtto then Leo. where the theme is simplythatone wifeis a nuisance Private Public Theater Lives/ 47 This content downloaded from 168. quotes vaguely. is broad-hipped and uninterested unmanly.Nobody in this play loves anybody.22 Leo is homosocial. she rejects them both.but its focus upon the How was an apparent exclusionof homosexuality. or conduct a major affair." Agate seems to be shaping up fora protestagainst same-sexlove.16. Otto loves me. and explicitly In Design forLiving(1932) the main charactersare again artistic and evidently defiantof sexual conventions(404-5). woman depends on and effects this understood? Did members of audiences perceive an evasive maneuver-a between the two men? In London in masking of an undercurrentof attraction of Otto and Leo toward 1939 Herbert Farjeon complained that the amiability withtheirearlier hostilebehavior. toward the end of act 2.and agree thattheywillbe betteroffwithoutGilda.effecting tionshipbetween the two men may be the main pressure. impolite. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick has helped us to see what is happening here: the emotionof Otto and The relaa male bonding via theirdesire forGilda.the are more distinct. bility homosexuality The some flirtation withunorthodoxsexuality. Gilda loves.However. They mockconventionallove and conelope. God foreach other.of course. There is only one coupling untried-Otto plus Leo-and these two are left to touch and hold each other. Simon.comments. (1925) artistic.and itis implied thathis sisteris more interested wooing is patently the girl (273-79). Simon's in ridiculous. You love me.itis suggestedfinally independence of Gilda and stated preference for their own relationshipis all bravado: "We're going to be awfully-awfully-lonely-[They both sob hopelesslyon each other'sshoulders as the curtainslowlyfalls]"(432). homosexual possibilities (This makes the play notablypreferable to BlitheSpirit [1941].122.

Old gentlemenin the citywillback Garryin plays.ifit'sthe one I thinkit is [which other ones were there?]. have consider the We just by looking carefully of understanding. If the reader seemed to be coming froma more distinctive position. and the social is to retracetheprocesses criticism how Coward's plays determinantsthat constructsuch processes.108 on Sat."and theywere supposed to accept naivelywhattheywere did not presentitselfthere. Garrysays. an Indian he met in a bar in Marseilles. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . homosexuality.thatis. text.was written or herselfwiththatposition.thecomplexity While essentialist-humanist an was believed. an awkward young intruder with a strange.Morris is said to behave irresponsibly. like a statue homosexualityas there. theyread the textfroman approaches stillabsolutize 48 REPRESENTATIONS This content downloaded from 168.especiallyiftheyare not married (244). Texts cesses throughwhichtextsare actuallydecoded hardlyemerged as that had not the status of literaturewere assumed to be read.vast strappingshoulders and tiny. The literary told. inists have often pointed this out.especiallysince he has no presentattachment And his devotees include men of his circle. "underIt is not a matterof deciding that this or that characteris "really. and Roland Maule.25 is the dream-work of representation and decoding. an admiral's son he met at a dance who looks "absolutelymarvellous. During those decades of discretionwe should not imagine fullyformed but obscured by the closet. to say thatwould ambiguity time was crucial. mannerof literary were heard cannot be decided (in the stillcustomary criticism) within to who hears and at text.thatwas a failureof imaginationand he or should and she tryharder to achieve the positionof Man. Freud addresses a similarquestion when he disputes thatone should it created thing expect to find"theessence of dreams in theirlatentcontent".and two a disaster. at least.)Garry'sreluctanceto entertainany of the women who beset and him may well appear strange.122." be to the which at the override neath. and Henry. Femsensitivity. The closet (as discreethomoshrouded under a sheet untilready forexhibition. so the question of interpretation fromthe positionof Man. The taskof the critic. tinyhips like a wasp" (222-24). but other recently developed critical the reader's position. of textand criticshould then produce general wisdom."homosexual. listened the formthatdominated forthe first it.and the combination was to align himself therefore. theycan't be expected to marry(234). And other young men are said to be fascinatedby Garry-an art student (150-51).16. or watchedby"themasses.theimportant The taskfora cultural-materialist thatproduces such images. in it came under was named when scrutiny the 1960s) did not obscure sexuality twothirdsof the century. Furthermore. what framework Decoding the Unspeakable of the proideas prevailed. ungovernable passion for Garry.

negotiated discomplex. while actuallyconstituting itcontributes to our sense of a privatespace beyondtheintruthose subjectivities. S. and sexual the subordinateand radical decoding positionsin this allegiances. thingswhen we look at Paradise poetry:"It is not thathe and I see different A cultural-materialist He sees and hates theverysame thingthatI see and love. historically.membersof subordinatedgroups maysubscribeto it throughdeference or aspiration. To preferone reading to another is to take one side in an argument. I willargue.Change in the social organizationis effected throughcultural contest. absolutized reading position tends to obscure the importanceof contestin culturalproducand registered tion.28 Gay Liberation. drawing upon class.But any effacement formation. Private Lives/ Public Theater 49 This content downloaded from 168.108 on Sat. tracesof course withina dominantdiscourse. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Leavis."26 to its groundingin will seek to trace the scope of textualinterpretation criticism such contestation. binary to demarcate our subjectivities froma public realm. how manypeople in subordinatedgroups handle the day-tothemlittle thataffords dignity day requirementthattheycomplywitha structure sustainsan oppositionalstance toward or satisfaction. alternative in terms of his discussion of the kinds of social groupings that mightdevelop dissidentrelationswiththe dominant. Subordinate systems are negotiative. The claims norof understandingsthatsuccessfully dominant deploys the structure mativestatus.And correspondingly. ratherthan endorsingor opposing itthis. in theirdispute about Milton's Lost. WithinBritishculturalstudies Frank Parkin'smodel of social hierarchyand has been found valuable.I would say. By envisaging possibility reading positions of their reading it reenacts their subordination.This stanceis perhaps no longerthat normative unspecifiedand implicitly of Man-he has given way to a less presumptuous but possiblymore coercive of of the specificity thatof the Englitprofession.16. Miller'sconcept of the opensecret and its distinctive functionin respectto the private/public This seems binary.gender. thismodel. A radical decoding system aware sectors the social order. ethnic. they adapt the dominant systemor accommodate to it.stance. Furthermore. R.7 It proposes three major decoding sysinterpretation tems in social democracies: the dominant.and the radical. Lewis remarked of F. not the effaces subordinated groups. deployment these possibilities his work a encodes subordinate. in discreetdiscourse has recently The half-heardcharacterof homosexuality been theorized in termsaffordedby D. itis articulated.we should also sayforwhom. in and the were heard homosexuality plays appreciated distinctively by different sectorsin-hisaudiences. correlate between model loosely withRaymond Williams'sdistinction important and theyinviteelaboration and oppositionalsocioculturalformations. Furthermore.the subordinate. mightbe in Coward's plays is The of radical. A. Roughly which rival formationsstriveto substantiatetheirclaim to superior explanatorypower. throughthe politically of various political groupings.122.When we say what and how the text signifies.

For. but discriminated against when theylooked for somewhere to staywhile doing the show-at this In 1935 point the public realm was more accommodating than the private. the state pursues homosexuals into their privacy.for then it would be beyond control and would no longer effecta general surveillance of aberrant desire. in public orprivate. allowingit topic like homosexuality to hover on the edge of public visibility. The Thatchboundary. cultural to its The in direct significance. This was the To be an open secret is not the eternal fate of homosexuality. in the privatesphere."is not to conceal knowledge.The open secretis ambiguouslypoised on the public/ doctrine.32 Call It a Day." to the the in the face of boundarythat adjustments private/public public visibility forced.To suppose otherwise their as such be to see homosexuals as trapped eternally (this might sexuality by be a psychoanalytic perspective).so much as to conceal the knowledge of the knowledge" (206). The potentialfordisturbanceis apparent in thewordingof the 1885 Labouchere amendment thatcriminalizedmale homosexual acts in Britain.16.and The Wolfenden homosexuals achieve reluctantor determined public visibility."Anymale person who. virtual and cultural certain of a model formation. have activists gay So homosexualityis not an open secretat all times. repeatedlythroughthe twentieth tury.but under surveillance.and therewas anxietyabout Beaumont was producingDodie Smith's whethera scene would pass thelord chamberlain:a youngman who is an interior decorator invitesanother tojoin him in the business and to visitthe cinema with him."30 open secret proportion marginality awful thatitcould alternative-so as the"unthinkable" constituted homosexuality be envisaged only as private. cencommits. Homosexualitymustnot be allowed fully into the open. This was thoughttoo suggestive!Beaumont believed the answer was to get 50 REPRESENTATIONS This content downloaded from 168. It keeps a thus facilitates and private boundary.and especiallyin thisrespect. forbiddingmunicipalitiesto spend public is one more attemptto control moneyin waysthatmay"promotehomosexuality. as JonathanDollimore has argued. it is titled"Outrages on Public Decency" but begins. "the negation of its cultural homosexualityhas been in direct proportionto its actual centrality.."31 Such a muddle collapses..122. inaudibility preceded by period For the boundaryof public and privatehas and followedby relativeexplicitness.29 sions of official the policing of that boundary. Miller observes.Drag queens were welcomed as performersin the early 1950s. Hence my attentionto historicalconditions: power and sexuality are always negotiated in particular circumstances. The function of the secret. proved one of the mostunstablein modern culture. yet it must not disappear altogether.. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .from both sides. and the in readdress re-secure to 1954 commissioned was private/public Report also of the Britishlaw reformof 1967. for that would grant it public status.yet alwaysobscurelypresentas a warningagainst deviance.108 on Sat. thiswas the effect erite section 28 legislation of 1988.nor is it open and secret would in the same waysto different groups at anyone time.

it became fashionable for boys in rebellion against school values "to proclaim their genuine or This reinforcedthe implicitassociation(withwhich I affectedhomosexuality.122. did not wasn'ta single complaintor murmur.At some public (i.a hearty. because he felthimself to be an athlete.and you won't hear a the right actor-"somebody really attractive "in the whole of the long run there And so and from did. anything. The and hearties aesthetes saw themselvesas aesthetes between (or athletes).to may speculate conventional notions of masculine sexuality. subordinate. such as Harrow where Terence Rattiganwas a pupil.Wasn'tI Cissy certainly Homosexuality"implied."33 of such heterohear a homosexual advance in the scene (compare the followers Rock Ivor as idols sexualized Hudson." squeak Some people."36 and theater.unavowed a generallyartisticand theatricalstance.108 on Sat.half hearing somethingmore than theyhad expected. they anybody. the situationof homosexualityhas been and remains amenable to strategicmanipulationand culturalcontest.and radical decoding positionsso as to EvelynWaugh'sBrideshead Revisited).And a furthergroup might fall between the others. of himselfas homosexual partly if I 'cissiness'. at least a masculine athlete?"35 Indeed in some schools.unspecific.and Oxford and Cambridge universities. we may suppose. on the contraryif not a tough. in reactionagainst the brutal heartyethos (see them both. artistic the casting. Overall."34Urgent ideological work-and homosexualityhas certainlyattracted I mean to combine in difficulty.. Rudolph allowed the culbegan) between homosexuality tivationof leisure-classmale homosexualityas a part at least. is potentially that-is alwaysa sign thatthe system the open secret with the Parkin model of dominant. perhaps more than theycould cope with. C. and sensitive. therewas a distinction private)schools.Raymond Williamsargues thatideology has alwaysto be produced: "Social orders and culturalorders mustbe seen or theymayquite quicklybreak and continuously. Being in the Know The traces of sexual unorthodoxyin Coward's plays did not take the kind of shape or prominence thatwe mightassume today. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Worsleydid not think forinstance. Novello. Liberace). and theywould divide into those who would welcome this and those who would dislikeit-but (we of homosexuality slightpublic visibility be from their silence) appeased bythe deference.e.At the same time. wasn't. This produced an component within that is stillactive-between whatis recognized in our culturesas a overlap-one leisure-classand "cultivated"manner and what is recognized as a male homoPrivate Lives/ Public Theater 51 This content downloaded from 168.16. made: actively as being actively down. the scope for politicalintervention in the deploymentof homosexual representationin twentieth-century Britain. Some would hear.and virile.

theadjective suddenly every peppered "terribly" with a telea cigarette.108 on Sat."37Aestheticism of of aesthetes as not think does livingin garrets.complex."Even Wilde. of not people.J. James Agate's reviewof HayFever He says." charms of thosewhowereawareof their manner [and] acquired adoptedtheconfident and to Merlin "lotsof fun". likeNoel Coward-sleek and satiny." and thattheaterwas important All kindsof men tationand frivolity. here.38 themselvesagainst a bourgeoisie thatis perceived as utilitarian This partial convergence of subcultural formations-leisure-class. clippedand well-groomed..sexual style. It connotes the bohemian lifestyle at the price. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Coward's playsboth reflected and high spirits. Furthermore.. Boheand at Bohemian. bohemian."There is neitherhealth nor cleanness about any of Mr Coward's char52 REPRESENTATIONS This content downloaded from 168. aesthetic. therewas the possibility thatmightnot have to speak itsname.Cecil Beaton says they "caught the sophisticated affectation. John Marshall suggests.was regarded less as a homosexual than as an "intellectualBohemian" withhomosexualityas "part of and bohemianismare not the same his general moral decadence.or a cocktail Robert Graves and Alan Hodge placed this. and partlymalleable nexus withinwhich homosexualitymightrest unavowed-perhaps implicit.leisure-classaestheticismcould partlymerge with a general bohemianismof attitudeand lifestyle. thecorrect LondonSociety In younger young peoplewith thing and live in "artists" was to call themselves a fixedincomeand no particular vocation. Therethey Chelseastudios.122. "Male homoand sexualityhas long been associated in the public mind withBohemian artistic theatricalcircles.This was the conditionforwhatin timecame to be called the of a love For men in a positionto draw upon thisnexus. to meana gaydisorderliness wasunderstood mianism hoursor sexualstandards. in 1940.16. D. in a "whole new spiritof affecspiritof the age. parties played being gave"amusing" and oflife.This is the basis of the obliquityof The GreenBay Tree:Dulcimer's manner mightpass as characteristic merelyof his class fraction.and the sensibility thing-one be more enthusiasticthan refined. people. of Arc from of calling the"camp"manners everything Joan look of men wanted to All sorts sentence.39 phone. audience.But both define a bohemian mighttypically and philistine. cheerful bad manners. forintelligent . theywere not the whole of the sexual inflection in 1925 indicatesa splitin reception. quite specifying Presumablybrightyoung people would be the most likelyto hear a homoin Coward's plays. Of course. Westremarkedin 1955. In the 1920s bohemianism became a fashion among young leisure-class a stanceof irresponsible and stimulated wit. percloset. at hand. homosexual-afforded a confident.40 no fixed of the bright young Notice the word gay. as part of the "long weekend" between the world wars: todo. it mightplausiblyinclude homosexuality-but it. haps invisible.

except that the prurientpublic was large enough to make Coward the most successfuldramatistof his time-a principal middle-browfascinationwithsuprole of West End theaterhas been to gratify behavior. even of a more or less pruence." two different audiences. "thin". Bitter Wore a Green Carnation"-the sign of Wilde and his circle-and includes the line "We feel we're ratherGrecian. thereby "repartee". correlatewith verypleasant entertainment. tails". youmaysneer Atour disintegration. causing "evening ofrespectable a gratifying number peopletoqueue up at theboxoffice. and irreverent allusions dress".brightyoung people respond directlyto Coward's (which is plays. dear.He was exploitingthe splitbetweenthe twoaudiences-between the uninof a knowing subculture itiatedand those in the know.."And an inclusionof the knowing.122. as being. In a preface to Private LivesCoward remarksthe enthusiasmof Agate's naive audience forthe play: in thepapersvariously. I believe. naughty with affectation. In my view this is very shrewd.108 on Sat. curiosity theypay for the productionbut are nevertheless Coward moves to throwthemoffthe scentwitha referenceto "copulation. Agate adds. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." In their excluded. "brittle". theirexclusion effects Revue was especiallyhospitableto thisproject-Coward's mostspecific homoSweet(1930) has a song entitled"We All sexual allusions are in his songs. connoted. Mayworry Butmatrons richand billowy.deardear! Haughty boys. forAgate declares. tocopulation.theirwider popularitydepends on public curiosity neitherhealthynor typicalof "the countryas a whole"). Their success is one almostentirely a which the as whole is free.His projectwas to construct was whose exclusion insiders in the respectable playgoer. But Coward's homosexual allusions were not for leisure-class posed them.purelyMetropolitanaudiThey appeal to an infinitesimally of curiosity. As a piece of brilliant. It wasdescribed "tenuous"." Pretty boys. sophisticated. witty boys. "cockiridescent".42 Coward relishesthe thoughtof the naiveteof such " transpires.. even here. daring". who are still the same vicious babies sprawlingupon the floor of their unwholesome creche" (he specifiesSimon's unmanliness). Private Public Lives/ Theater 53 This content downloaded from 168. Our lipsincarnadine.and sustained foolingthe play is morality.16. themajority a bit. beyond that. "Such playsare bad forthe theatre. boys. small and. impudent. But. "gossamer". Swooning Our figures sleekand willowy."41 rientitchfrom country Agate is sayingthatonlya few leisured. These two responses. All of which and "delightfully to thepublicmind.acters. defiance of privileged both a necessarydefensivemaneuverand partof thejoke. "it would be foolish to insist upon attackingthis play on the score of truth or .

Invite wit. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Also. Ronald A.but includes one unusuallyclear homosexual line: "Housman suggeststhat really/Wrote'The ShropshireLad' about theboy. and it thereforecan play more freelyand ambiguouslywith the audience and and knowledge. It need not settleon a single level of with levels of fictiveness seriousness or flippancy. it appeals became characteristically camp. Indeed. "To use a phrase which she. the Admiralty of the secret.122.this facilitatedthe formationof a discreet subculture. the rest important. each episode in its pot-pourrisequence of songs need not be sustained and sketchestakesonlya Miller and Sedgwick have audible structure The selectively identified it.once applied to EvelynLaye. in a couldn'tbe more arch. It sophisticated."Mad About the Boy" (fromWords about a movie outto dine. it was to brightyoung things. Butters doubts that it appeared in North America before 54 REPRESENTATIONS This content downloaded from 168. Artis ourinspiration. Andas we [are]thereasonforthe"Nineties" beinggay."The finalrefrain sad-and there is adulation heterosexual the gaysomethingstrangely despite about the boy: Mad abouttheboy butI'm madabouttheboy It'spretty funny He has a gayappeal me feel That makes sad abouttheboy45 There'smaybe something in Britainbeforethe Commentatorsagree thatgaydid not signify homosexuality the United anyrisky implications revue is fastmovingand most of the text. Weall weara greencarnation43 Revue may be The whole manner invitesa knowingwink across the footlights. Gay's the Word The reader may have noticed the word gayin some quotations.In the termsI have derived from Parkin and Williams. In 1950 KennethTynan called a principalrevue artiste." He described her as "heavily roguish."44 sketch.108 on Sat. Perhaps through to cultivate and tends to acute listeners in-jokes. Hermione Gingold.allowed Coward to plant the cues fora subordinatedecoding system withinplay textsthatin the main are close to the dominant.46 from derives in this sense its use that and 1939-45 war.16. jaded boys.Some of Coward's songs use it very applied frequently and Music.1932) is sung by women pointedly."adding. "the best female impersonator of our time. more hospitable to innuendo because it does not pretend to naturalistic illusion. may. in ourphosphorescent Andrevel comewhat Fadedboys.

Design wasunmistakenly itseemed toa number theplay ofheart and openlightness for Living."A newcomerputs on just the shadow of 'Isn't it gay a meaning look.47 not follow. "Bright Young People" (fromCochran's 1931 revue) does this: Gayto theutmost degree. Weplayfunny jokes folks On moredignified Andlaughwith extravagant glee.however.that a specialized usage was unknown in the leisured and circles that I am focusingupon. Law.122. since itis absent froma collectionof graffiti publishedin thatyear. circlesin New Yorkat the Curtinbelieves it was beginningto appear in theatrical latestby 1933: Noel wasused in almost review to describe The adjective every ironically enough. he is lonely no more [would it were so easy!].49 D. forit already connoted leisure-classbohemiitjust slightly more towardsexuality. gay.108 on Sat. Whatcouldbe dullerthanthat? Private Lives/ Public Theater 55 This content downloaded from 168. if he is a presentableyoung man.yet decade bysome to be "gay"in thesensethewordwasbeingused in that of theatergoers circles.48 in theatrical and gaymen.16. code word before other Britishpeople.but apparently euphemism he could Coward was at home in leisure-class/theatrical well have adopted the U. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Westin his studyof 1955 observed.S. An uninformedbystanderwould notice nothinguntoward. By the early 1950s gayhad thisrole in Britainalso (it may have been helped the on its way by GIs during the war)." In 1933thewordstill tomost Coward's meant. only that it had not filtered artistic through to Kaier people whose scope for literaryexpression mightbe limited to graffiti. appointment Ceylon. Wewakeup at lunchtime and find we'restill tight.It does 1935. somestaff with I meta manwith whomI had beenat school.because mostpeople did not know it. "gay. In his unprecedentedlyopen book Against of the after war: in Peter Wildeblood Oxford wrote.J.He had beena navalofficer. thiswassomepassword and lookedat me as though it was an American for had not heard the word before.especially American lesbians Such halfknowledgewas one conditionforthe value ofgay. parties I dressup as a woman and scream with delight. He found it marvelouslysuited to his purposes. I to which he expected me to reply." In 1960 Gordon Westwoodreportedgayas Americanbut knownin Britain.In that sense. remarkswithjust a tingeof the accepted inflexion. By tilting Coward was able to foreground the trace of irregularsexualitythatwas already withinits scope. at had been in He said that most of the officers the station "gay". published could be used as a discreetcode word.50 circlesin New York. anism. Wegivelovely lastthrough that thenight. in here?' and. people.

(365) On the eveningin question. bright "Mad About the Boy" and "We All Wore a Green Carnation. but sometimesCoward seems to be stretching almost playing on the fact that there is not a specifichomosexual implication.They point In fact.I believe thatthe specialized usage of gaygained currencyin Britain throughCoward and his playsand the milieuthattheyhelped to conspecifically stitute. Anddoctors havewarned find outoursex. the men fought. homosexual inflection tinctly less forwardin thisrespect. it was gay. Theytakea degreeifthey Whatcouldbe dullerthanthat?5' This song did not become well known.There's something intoxicating London.Otto fellin the bath. Gilda chose Otto in preferenceto Leo. GILDA: Oh.122. ofouryouth.Weeks says.This historyhelps to explain persistingleisure-classresonances in the Britishuse of gay.(409) ActuallyGilda is exhilaratedbecause she has decided to freeherselfemotionally fromLeo and Otto. (405) Once more This is apropos of how Gilda has preferredOtto and Leo alternately.itis explained. young people-distance maybe the priceof explicitness. knot at theoutset.deliriously gay. meaning gay. Again: of us together and tiedour livesintoa tight thethree ironic chancethrew OTTO: A gay.16. In DesignforLiving "Not a bit of it-I'm gay and witty (1932) gay is used for heterosexual situationswith the merest hint of homosexuality: LEO: A strangeevening. about Sundayin GILDA: I'm alwaysgay on Sundays.but resist.if I rememberrightly.. froma slightinferiority denies thathe is "suffering complex": Nickyin TheVortex and handsome" (211).Verygay.a homosexual where its for toward boundarymightbe."It tended to have an upper-classconnotation.and it is unclear how sympathetic it is to like Nevertheless. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ."it instancesa disin the word gay. themost Making in the Press Theyspeak Of our socialsuccess.Often gay appears in are The plays everywhere itsconnotationsthe general sense.108 on Sat. Butquitethereverse is thetruth. we Psychology experts often perplex us we'llend up as wrecks.. These instancesperhaps flirt with. in thisplay: ERNEST: You seem very gaythis morning.Bright young people. Residues of this associated with the classier clubs. all mirrorsand pillars."52 56 REPRESENTATIONS This content downloaded from 168. and Leo turned the wateron him.

and he the potenand itslanguage in a waythatstrengthened elaborated thatformation tial fora discreethomosexual a place of personal self-making are experienced and testedforemotional reality by auditorsindividually(hence and acquiescence). 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . provesmore difficult to assess than mighthave been supposed. plays fundamentally up to a point. thatalwaysaccompanies unchallenged presentationin there gain the legitimacy enabled him to disavow homosexuality by submergingit in brightyoung people. put stop irregular goings theateris subjectto the ominous official ringon the doorbell.remain today. /Public Private Lives Theater 57 This content downloaded from 168. Like homosexuality.problematizesany claim that the disconcerted. of itself. But his He found homosexuality embedded in. When reaches a peak of interpersonal Coward's Present confusion. intopublic thewordgayin Coward's workenabled himto promotehomosexuality discourse under the cover of a more general context.theateris underwhere plays stood in our cultures.16. suggested insinuating slightly than mostof the audience would ordinarily homomeet. does this signal a rescue? "Withany luck it's the Lord Chamberlain. and they derive from the discreet slippage in Coward's circle around The complex hesitation betweenbright youngpeople and homosexuality. be held at the attitudes? However. I was have that Coward was more ology challenged. That is why theater has often attractedstate are allowed public. The doorbell rings. as the sexualitymightemerge throughthe veil of discretioninto misty visibility alternativethat must.At the same time. It is a place of assembly. again.a more general concept of the bohemian. main contribution haps tryingto emerge from. it is to on. It was a keylocation forhomosexuals to occupy. forit refersus.108 on Sat. straddles the fuzzyline where we imagine a public realm to to begin.This surelymight challengecustomary the breadth of Coward's audiences. sexuality."53 He. beyonda knowinghomosexual subculture. The lord chamberlain'sembargoes end and our private subjectivities referencesto political figures-just those involved slander. for a conventional West End audience. duringa performance. to the pragmatic whose idequestion of who mighthave experienced the plays as transgressive.the concern Laughter of the state with sexual and theatricaldisorder is invoked. religion. areas that are constitutedas personal yet of proper interestto the state. How far Coward's representationsconstituteda radical challenge to their the same the main. Staging Contest Theater is one of the most provocativespaces that mightbe claimed and thingssaid and done for a homosexual presence. perwas quite specific. would a such Like the homosexual. boundaryof thought. They attention-both promotionand censorship. BertoltBrecht'scritiqueof identification therefore.People generallyare titillated.

makes it difficult one of the most excitingquests in culturalanalysisis forthe instanceof strategic textual organization that might plausibly disconcert those actually likely to encounter it. thatwas hardlylikelyto provokemass disaffection.108 on Sat. In play draws gleefulattention the Living.the customaryboundaries are confirmed. and the family-from heterosexuality.He does notjoin in theirheterosexual/ a queen-"precise" (343).only Maule is unable to do thissuccessfully-thelast momentof the to the factthathe is leftbehind. the character like Malvolio. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Ernest (Wildean name) is a fourthcharacter. withina theatricalinstitution 58 REPRESENTATIONS This content downloaded from 168. for bright Design again. scared of women He is evidently homosocial whichleisure-classhomosexuals were generallyallowed to strainconventionaltaboos so long as theymaintaineda decent discretion.In particular. 463). There is a frissonof naughtiness. and fallsover a stackof paintings.and dialogue into collusion withan unaccustomed awarenessand even endorsementof homosexuality. young charactersare definedagainst another character with less pleasing homosexual features(as these were conventionally a friendof Otto. So it is very difficult actuallyto catch and influenceactual readers and audiences. a spectator(355).Conversely.locked in a room. and passion (352-53).122. it may alert us to how an absolutized reading position to address the roles of textsin culturalcontest. Coward shielded himselffromhostilereading on the part in his plays by placing alongside the of those who mightdiscern homosexuality less attractive characters withapparent homosexual other. They mighteven undermine patriarchy. he is a dealerare artists whereas or more a and Gilda.a comretrenchment follows. He marriesGilda for convenienceand itis not a real marriage(453)-Otto and Leo take her back from him. and coercive institutions. brightyoung people is made attributes. who cannot handle the demand to be heterosexually the system at one pointmayhave been retrenchment The price of infiltrating it suited Coward to hold homosexuality at another. Maule in Present and foolish. But itis notsustained.In his playsboundaries are blurred.but rapidly pensating because it is only that. Laughter find for the the others all themselves on the relucat end when pretexts forcing tant Garry. At the end Ernestis made to parrotconventionaldecencies ("I never could understand thisdisgustingthree-sidederotichotch-potch".again.While the hearties controlled the economic.As in Twelfth Night. upper-class at bohemians and aesthetes mightplay fairly safely being brightyoung people.and thereare momentswhen the innocentreader maybe enticedby the logic of character. on.But finally poised at the brink Men like him benefitedfromthe deferentialinterwarsocial of public visibility. In myview Coward hardlytriedto catch the unwary. This pragmaticproblem confounds many discussionsof subversion and transgression.and is placed as that.clumsy.beyondthatpoint. climate.action. festive is excluded.byideas and attitudesthattheyfindimproper. understood).and obsessional. Leo.16. "sterile" (400-401). political.theyrepudiate them. perhaps They hanger and mercenary an unimaginative parasite. he stormsout.

/Public Private Lives Theater 59 This content downloaded from 168.Hugo's claimthat"myprivate at the end.whichwere allowed to be beyondthe censor'swrit. Bartlettadds.but in a manner thatit has been necessaryin part constitute to repudiate.the goal has been not just to establish homosexualityin public discourse but also.122.theaterwas However. Hugo is accused of plantingdeceptive implicationsof heterosexualardor in his books and of being corruptedbycaution. in the wake of John Osborne's LookBack in Anger.In A Songat Twilight Hugo is under pressure fromhis exmistressto allow his lettersto be published (it is as if the women in the earlier playssaw throughand turnedupon the men who pretendto desire them).more political playwrights made it appeared after 1956. largelywithinthe dominant culture.After 1950 these conditionsno longer pertained. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . However.16. should I be embarrassed myself?Should I look the other way?"59One answer is that no subculturecan be unreservedly proud of all its celebrated figures-who achieved celebration. and dangerous to leave its interpretation to others. afterconsidgay activists The to continental discreet theater of 1920-50 Wilde.and it may seem thatdiscretionis being repudiated.58 helped to modern gay culture. In thismore recentphase of theaterwork.56 different point: you should be open withyourimmediateassociatesbut stillsecret withthe public.accounts by have tended to swerveaway fromthe Britishsituation.54 because of the Wilde-Coward tradition. otheractivist groups.Leisure-class male homosexuals contributedlittleto the movementtowardlaw reformand gay liberation. was forcedparticularly of his authority feltable to centera play upon a In 1966 Coward finally orate on thiselsewhere. it is foolishto imagine thatwe can be free of it. This is some of the historythatwe displace the discretionmodel and installinstead some kind of explicit gay identity. therebydiscouragingthe thoughtthatit mighthave some reference to Coward himself. "Should I forgetall seem less positiveaspects of gay history.In this latter process. Most of thisis eventually admitted.55 homosexual character. and audiences that on the topic. This raises a general question about how we are to handle whatnow Neil Bartlettasks. Coward encouraged thethoughtthatthe playalludes to Somerset Maugham. that.108 on Sat. ering Europe. the privilege and reticence of Coward and his circle have been somethingof an embarrassment. substantially an obvious place in which to contest attitudestoward homosexualitywhen it became a "problem"and enteredexplicitpublicdiscoursein the 1950s.and Coward appeared out of step and conservative.57 At the end of the 1960s Gay Liberation occurred alongside urgent work in and thathas been followedthroughin BritainbyGay Sweatshop and the theater.afterall. then the younger. when are not the concernof myreading public"is ratified inclinations it is agreed thatthe letterswillnot be published because theywillbe of no use to A Songat Twilight reinscribes the closetat a slightly the studentof Hugo's books. of the chamberlain's idea taste-the did not that good collapse they accept plain I elabaround the issue of homosexuality. Club theawere able to presentplays ters. withinhomosexual subculture.

108 on Sat.For his strategic will out.Coward was enablinglargerpossibilities to collocate withliberation was gay.Afterall. camp sensibility proved.JonathanDollimore has shown how. and tell them on our own terms. We can onlyprotectit and enjoyit ifwe tellitsstories."Never forget. helped edge the word toward public inventivenessin negotiatingthe conditions of their subordination-it is forced upon them.Like camp stylegenerally.but it may have been a preconditionforone-whatever the wishesof innuendos could not be held indefinitely at the Coward himself. might Six suicides provoked by police action againstgaysin Britainhave been reported However. Never forgetthat it could be taken away again. to forge its own identity chalcategoriesbywhichit has been produced and marginalized. A secrets moment before public could controltendingto produce subjectivities not but facilitatethe formationof a coherent alternativeminority-in some byexclusion. in manyways.and so became available fora new.' lenges the very power structures binary was hardly a reverse gling with the boundaries of the private/public discourse.discreettheateremerges as more various.60 discretion always collaborates with oppression.16. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .""homosexuality beginsto speak through and culture. often. By purposes. in the last analysis during the summer while I have been writing.often in the self-same on its own actuallyfortified Foucault calls "a reverse what discourse."Coward's knowingsubculturehelped to establish a milieu in which some people could live withsome protectionand yetalso of a certainpublic presence. because it acknowledges the of homosexuality where thatacknowledgment mustbe mostdamunspeakability homosexuals.and appropriable than mighthave been supposed.and itsuse the word thatwas selected initially of stillinfuriatesreactionaries.122. of theater as a sitewherecontestfora homosexual presence the scope enhancing thanhe intended.appropriable fora radical sexual politics. 60 REPRESENTATIONS This content downloaded from 168.language and stylesuch as were adapted forothercontextsand other Coward helped to put into circulation to often in direct opposition his discreetand elitistassumptions.and eventually "61Coward's jugresponsible for its 'creation. more dissident phase of gay culture.all thishas been taken away fromus before. be a relevant strategem. Although discretionwas plainly a technique of suitableto the dominantorder.Coward's strategic deployment gay protectedhis to in that veryprocess. respects. ment of the demand and ironic refusalof it. Nor are British withthe consolationand justification indirectionin the traditionof Coward the where all safelybeyond point gays contact ads oftenpromiseand require discretion. aging: among At the same time.negotiable. Discretioneventuallydeconstructeditself. mightoccur. A feature of subordinated cultures. it came to signify not secrecybut acknowledgnition.

1981). BinkieBeaumont (London. 347-48.which would shut the theatres against all decent and respectable playgoers". Jeffrey Feasting Out (London." Genders 6. John Lahr (London.. 270. 19. Miller forreading and commenting 31 March 1973. Curtin.120-25. 361. Fool (London. 1972).ParallelLives (London. 1984). 1986). 26. 2."Textual 4." 3 (1989): 253-60. Findlater.a bibliography discoversno workon theateror drama other than of recent work on homosexuality on Wilde's texts. Curtin.. 10. 14. 66-68. Other Diaries. 399-400.Bulgarians.16.1989).Simon Stern. chap. 1987). Hyde. 185-86. 1979). 1987). 18. 480. Hyde. 229-33. Private Lives (1930). 1 (London. Ibid."Pansies. no. 145-50. The play is quoted fromthisedition. 1967).Bulgarians. see H.A. See Kaier Curtin.108 on Sat. TheGreen 16. Flannelled A Talent toAmuse 12. 13. 371-73. Michael Darlow and Gillian Hodson.introduction Bay Tree. 11. Designfor Living(1932). to Mordaunt Shairp. 254.Jonathan Dollimore.On Iniquity (London. F.Literature. Will Waspe. C. and Culturein Postwar 5. Stephen Greenblatt. 12-15. 462-63. 11."in Kenneth Homosexual Modern Plummer. See Rupert Croft-Cooke. 209-10. ed. See Alan Sinfield. Coward. in Michael Wilcox. 17.ed. Love.. John Lahr. 268."Closet Dramas: Homosexual Represen9 (November 1990): 112-31. TheMakingofthe (London. 8."Spectator. Hay Fever(1925). 250. Peter Burton. 1989.. 183-87. Joe Orton.Sexual Stigma(London. Politics. 7. Pamela HansfordJohnson. 404-5. Politics. 1985). Sinfield. 176-77. 1967).. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 1967). Savedand alluded toJoe Orton'sEntertaining Call Them 15. in 1866 W. 446-57. in Play Parade (London. 264. Sinfield. Richard Ellmann.TheTheatres portingparts in John Osborne's A Patriot 53."Lesbian and Gay Studies: A SelectiveBibliography. Rattigan. Banned. Weeks. (revised John 3."Who Was Afraid ofJoe Orton?. Sheridan Morley. The Orton 168. in ibid.and D. Perverts. in ibid.vol. 273-75. 1989). SmythPigottin 1892. Coming 28-29.ed. IrvingWardle. 1977). Coward (London. see John Marshall. 74.183. and Macho Men: Changing Conceptions of Male Homosexuality. 1. See Darlow and Hodson.WeCan Always Bulgarians(Boston. T. 1978). Devine(London. OscarWilde(London. Other Britain (Oxford. Theatre Post-War British ed. (London. 1967). 9.122. 142. also 22-26. 1979). PeterBurton. Worsley. see also Coward. Richard Findlater. tationin PostwarBritishTheatre. Other Love. However. 94. Noel Coward. In 1965 the Royal Court had considerable difficulty casting both leading and supofGeorge forMe. Bodham Donne (theyhad marvelousnames) said that withoutcensorship there would be "license. 37. and Culture. Kenneth Plummer. Elsom.Notes I am gratefulto Peter Burton. 66-68. 64. 1982). London. So E. "A World Suddenly Less Gay. 1969). On West End public toiletsas meetingplaces. The Love (London. the 20. 1934). 111-14. Terence Rattigan(London.Sloane.. on thisarticle. 176-88. 2 (Summer 1990): 259-77. 53. Sinfield. 82. See also Richard Huggett. MontgomeryHyde. YaleJournal ofCriticism with Panthers 4. 1975). 221.Literature. GayPlays. Playwright PrivateLives/Public Theater 61 This content downloaded from 168. Practice Berkeley. she cited Edward Bond's Mr.Banned (London. (London. 39-43.

trans. asking as he left:"What was his problem?He have cancer?". 25. 175. Calif.16. MeninFrocks (London. 30.Bulgarians. 232. This model is used to explain the situationof women writing ofEros (Bloomington. 53. 5-12.explain. 23. 1972). Caserio. Other law. (revised Homosexuality D." in Hall et al. TheLong Week-End (London. 1-10.SexualStigma. 197-98. 22.J. 38. Other Darlow and Hodson. Christopher Isheron a Visit wood. 40.A. 39-40. 1977). 247. MartinGreen. 26. "Epistemologyof the Closet (I).222-25. temology. in such as to is sometimes adduced a Michel Foucault 201. Europe byAnn RosalindJones. James Agate. 1981). 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .ed. see Chris Kirkand Ed Heath.. in SexualDifference. Literature andMale Homosocial Desire(New Men:English Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick.21.Inequality.173. There is an earlyCoward play withevidently homosexual characters. 31. see Sedgwick. Media.James Strachey(New York.Language(London. way suggest thatresistancehas alwaysbeen anticipatedbypower.For parallel observations Hyde. 30. Jacqui Russell. 32. Beaumont. 1990). special issue of Oxford 1-2 8.108 on Sat.. See also Hyde.Culture See D. see also RobertYoung. 124."South 88 (1989): 267-99.. 175-96. Quoted in Sinfield. 1944).Bulgarians. Raymond Williams.see RobertC. And see Suzanne Pharr. Huggett. 40. 37. in early modern 1980). 70-85."Epis22. West. Immoralist (byRuth and Augustus Goetz. "Supreme Court Discourse vs. see also 30-37.170-71. 62 REPRESENTATIONS This content downloaded from 168. 27. 24. Politics.Between York. Literature Teaching A Weapon Politics 1985 (Bristol. 133-34. Children of theSun (London. TheVortex. Curtin. 170-83.26. 58-63..Culture. 346 and passim. Guy Hocquenhem observes: "Everyeffort isolate. see Stuart and Political Frank Parkin. 1970). 1987). Williams. Harmondsworth. 32.Structuralism in his thought.Semi-Monde was in 1926 but neitherperformednor published till 1977. Homosexual Fiction. whereas in the 1950s itwas the otherwayround. 1989).TheCurrency (Glasgow. (London. 153-55 (myitalics). Hall. "Masculinityand Homophobia. Love. Coward. 1985).Eng. Worsley.Homophobia: of Sexism to (Inverness. (1986): Literary Dollimore. 92-95. 33." member of the New York audience at The In 1954 one 173-74. Jonathan Dollimore. TheInterpretation 545. Eve KosofskySedgwick. 13-23. Flannelled Fool. ofDreams. in respectto American Love. 29. chap. DesignforLiving. Red Letter Nights(London. Atlantic Quarterly On drag in the 1950s. Down There (1962.based on Andre Gide's novel) was overheard 314. 1978).New Yorkreviewers forLivinghad aroused suspicions of "effeminacy". Homosexual Desire.1985). Miller. Noel Coward. Curtin. 1-5. I have the impressionthatin the 1930s audiences in New York were more ready to acknowledgethattheyheard homosexualitythan audiences in London. remarkedthatDesign However. 42.. Robert Graves and Alan Hodge. 203-4. ed. Literature. 1979). Sigmund Freud. Culture." in Helen Taylor. written in Play Parade.361.Class..but on the scope forcontest and the see Eve Tavor Bannet. 3. Plummer. The Noveland thePolice (Berkeley. 1940). ed.. 34.1988). 36. On the intricate decoding of homosexual situations.122. Rattigan.Ind. Hocquenghem. 1988). "Homophobia and Sexual Difference. "Encoding and Decoding. 1984). DesignforLiving was banned in England until 1939 apparentlybecause of itsheterosexualexplicitness.. 20. LogicofDissent Eng.reduce the contaminatedhomosexual simply helps to place him at the trans. eds." Raritan7 (1988): 39-69. 28. File on Coward(London. and Culture.Daniella Dangoor centreof wakingdreams". Marshall. (Basingstoke. 1960). Order(London. 35." Review nos. London.

"Foreword.Talent So the play As TimeGoesBy. ComingOut. 53. Atlantic 88 (1989): 1-5. Wildeblood goes on to use the Peter Wildeblood. 50. Tree. Weeks. Neil Bartlett.reprintedin Agate. 139.quoted byJonathan Dollimore. 56. 74. September 1989. Sinfield. Coward. Cecil Beaton. 59.A Viewofthe EnglishStage(St. Kenneth Tynan. 78. chap. Bartlett. 156-57. in Coward. Admiralty Arch stands between TrafalgarSquare and the Mall. 207." 140-41. 27. and Culture. 58. 1965). 89. In the SundayTimes. in Play Parade.Coming Out. 1983).. Long Week-End. 60.Literature. 5-6. Children oftheSun. Noel Coward. 5. Play Parade. and Sinfield. 48. Bitter Sweet. 57. 105. 180. Desires: Subjectivity and Transgressionin Wilde and Gide. 51. play. 61. 190.File on Coward. (London. Jonathan Dollimore. Ethicand theSpirit Consumerism See Colin Campbell. 190. Newssaid Wilde's "abominablevices . in TwoGay Sweatshop Plays(London. Morley. 1981)..K. Albans. the other extreme of Coward's work were the ultra-straight. 54. 195-98. Politics. 61. 89. 25. In Which WeServe. 1955). 163-64. 52. WhoWasThatMan? (London. see Green. October 1989.42." Textual Practice "Different 1 (1987): 48-67. newspaper criticism 59. Present (1942). Plays:Five (London. 1988). 49. 124.16. Graves and Hodge. A Minority West. 45. patrioticentertainments-Cavalcade. 153-54. 39. chaps. were the nat"Pansies. 156-58.38. Bay the Law (London. 42. 237.Coming Out. 23."South Quarterly of Coward. of Weeks. nos. WhoWasThatMan?. Elsewhere in thisrevue gayappears ten timeswitha general significance. ofModern 1987). 308-9. Plays:Four(London. (London. in Coward. 223. gay is used un-selfCurtin. Russell. 5. 44. Words PlayParade(London."Who Was AfraidofJoe Orton?" Noel Coward. in Second Noel Coward. Laughter See Weeks. consciouslyin a general sense. 1960). Ronald R. 47."Critical 28. toAmuse. 16 Nov 2013 10:43:41 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 418. 179-92. TheRomantic (Oxford. "The Dominant and the Deviant: A Violent Dialectic. 43.. 40.122. At see 98-99. Nights.108 on Sat. 46. 87. and Music(1932). 51. 1939). TheLyrics Coward 109. also in Shairp. 1-2 (1986). In U."Closet Dramas".xiii. Quarterly PrivateLives/Public Theater 63 This content downloaded from 168. GayTimes. For gayin the general sense in this Noel Coward.Bulgarians. Green 90. observe the clever conjunction of theaterlandand sailors. 1954). 41. The Evening ural outcome of his diseased intellectual condition". 76. Gordon Noel Greig and Drew Griffiths. 55.Red Letter 240-42. See Sinfield.170. TheGlassofFashion(London. 1976).Homosexuality. Against word and record itsuse. 1979). Eng. A Songat Twilight (1966). Noel Noel Coward. Butters.