Romantic Appropriations


KAYLOR Michael Matthew

Year of publication 2014
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

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Description This chapter discusses the Graeco-Roman Romantic appropriations. Few in the British Empire anticipated that what Matthew Arnold had dubbed in 1869 "this wonderful significance of the Greeks" would also foster a darker aspect–-the range of desires subsumed under "Greek love"–-and which would prove problematic for Oxford undergraduates about the possibility of a culture in which a mode of sexuality prohibited in their own society was tolerated and even encouraged. The double standard inherent in considering Mediterranean nakedness, whether ancient or modern, real or merely depicted, as permissible while simultaneously considering Anglo-Saxon nakedness as scandalous bespoke an English disingenuousness often chided by the Uranians. Despite what their receptions might suggest about English disingenuousness, paintings such as "August Blue," as well as the multitude of "published" Uranian volumes, reveal less about the dangers of appropriating Graeco-Roman sexualities than do those that were suppressed, refused publication or sale, or officially labelled "obscene."
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