Gay Identity and the Act of Reading in The Well of Loneliness

This lecture examines the retroactive formation of gay identity through the act of reading in a famous lesbian novel of the 1920s, Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness. Appealing to sexologial theory, Hall argues that homosexuals are naturally and immutably different–as we say now, “born this way”–yet the novel’s scene of reading opposes that claim, […]