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Radclyffe Hall (1880–1943)

Autor(a) de O poço da solidão

22+ Works 3,413 Membros 63 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

Born Marguerite Radclyffe Hall, the writer called herself John as an adult. Educated at King's College, London, Hall began her career writing poetry set to music and performed prominently before World War I. Under the influence of the socialite Mabel Batten, Hall became devoutly Roman Catholic and mostrar mais met Una, Lady Troubridge, who was to become Hall's lifelong companion. The Well of Loneliness (1928), a frank and touching portrayal of lesbian sensibilities, was banned in Britain and America (despite George Bernard Shaw's comment that the novel told of things people should know about), nearly ruining her literary career. Copies of the book were widely confiscated; censors expressed moral outrage, especially because Hall's characters showed no contrition for their "vices" and were portrayed sympathetically. Despite aggressive attempts at censorship, though, audiences clamored for the novel, which attained a strong popularity. Hall wrote of lesbianism as natural and pleaded for tolerance, yet her writing manifests a degree of guilt that in some way affirms her society's widespread prejudice that homosexuality was a deformity. Despite her fierce defense of The Well of Loneliness, none of Hall's later writing explicitly deals with homosexual themes. Still, though Hall was less self-accepting than contemporary gay writers, The Well of Loneliness endures as a relatively rare and valuable documentation of lesbian lives and aesthetics in the early twentieth century. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

Obras de Radclyffe Hall

Associated Works

The Penguin Book of Lesbian Short Stories (1993) — Contribuinte — 300 cópias
Growing Up Gay/Growing Up Lesbian: A Literary Anthology (1993) — Contribuinte — 287 cópias
The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse (1983) — Contribuinte — 238 cópias
Erotica: Women's Writing from Sappho to Margaret Atwood (1990) — Contribuinte — 168 cópias
The Other persuasion: short fiction about gay men and women (1977) — Contribuinte — 121 cópias
The Penguin Book of First World War Stories (2007) — Contribuinte — 111 cópias
The Penguin Book of Erotic Stories by Women (1995) — Contribuinte — 82 cópias
Gender in Modernism: New Geographies, Complex Intersections (2007) — Contribuinte — 12 cópias


Conhecimento Comum



Group Read, October 2020: The Well of Loneliness em 1001 Books to read before you die (Outubro 2020)
The Well of Loneliness em Book talk (Março 2011)


Reason read: Reading 1001, TBR takedown 2024.
I have this on my TBR since 2019, glad to finally get it read. It wasn't my kind of book but I do think the author intentionally or maybe not, did explore factors that might lead to "invert". Also the book definitely looked at the difficulty one would face in 1920s. I think that one would experience a lot of loneliness.
Kristelh | outras 49 resenhas | May 7, 2024 |
A landmark work this may be, literary fiction it is not. This was an absolute grind to read. I agree with Jeanette Winterson on this one: it reads like a misery memoir. I got through it, but only just . . .
fountainoverflows | outras 49 resenhas | Feb 13, 2024 |
Il pozzo della solitudine è quel romanzo che prima o poi si incrocia se si vuole leggere i grandi classici della letteratura LGBTQIA+, in particolare della letteratura lesbica: parliamo, infatti, del primo romanzo che parla apertamente di donne lesbiche e delle loro relazioni. Il che – ve lo scrivo senza tanti giri di parole – è praticamente l’unico motivo per il quale valga la pena di leggere questo libro.

Ho fatto molta fatica, infatti, a entrare in sintonia con questa storia: un po’ perché Hall tende a essere molto prolissa e davvero troppo sentimentale per i miei gusti (è questo è anche colpa del fatto che è un romanzo pubblicato nel 1928 e l’Ottocento romantico era ancora in vista); un po’ perché la teoria dell’autrice sull’omosessualità oggi viene sostenuta solo dallз integralistз.

Secondo Hall, infatti, l’omosessualità sarebbe una condizione patologica innata dalla quale non esiste cura (quindi i termini lesbica o gay non sono mai utilizzati, in favore del bruttissimo invertitз, che a me fa venire in mente un guanto da rovescio e non delle persone). L’unico aspetto che ci dice qualcosa è l’enfasi posta sul fatto che il biasimo della società nei confronti delle persone omosessuali causa enormi sofferenze e disagi materiali, che si sommano a quella che oggi chiameremmo omofobia interiorizzata.

Nonostante comunque oggi la posizione di Hall sia decisamente superata, quando il romanzo uscì scatenò un putiferio e nel Regno Unito (dove probabilmente il ricordo del processo a Oscar Wilde era ancora ben presente) l’autrice dovette subire un processo per oscenità, che si concluse con l’ordine di distruggere tutte le copie pubblicate nel Paese (dove non ricomparve fino al 1959). Ovviamente tutto questo finì per dare molta visibilità a Il pozzo della solitudine, che per anni è stato il testo di riferimento per chissà quante lesbiche.

Quindi se vi va di leggerlo per sapere da dove ha preso avvio la letteratura lesbica per come la intendiamo oggi, armatevi di pazienza e di consapevolezza di non star leggendo un capolavoro, ma un testo che ha più una rilevanza socio-culturale che non letteraria.
… (mais)
lasiepedimore | outras 49 resenhas | Oct 29, 2023 |
*4.5? 4.8?*

Do the best you can, no man can do more — but never stop fighting. For us there is no sin so great as despair, and perhaps no virtue so vital as courage.

Um. Wow.

I came across this book in my many forays of pre-Stonewall queer history when I was writing a novelization of queer 1920s New York. Lucky for my research, my main characters were male, but I still came across the few and far between primary source fictions of queer women and bookmarked them. I received this book as a gift this Christmas, and seeing a lull in school work, dedicated myself to the 166k word, 400-page clunker. (After reading War and Peace, it was a reassuring number, believe me.)

And man am I glad I read it.

A word of caution: If you don't like old-style prose, you probably won't like it. If you don't like a lot of detail that comes inherent to that style, you probably won't like it. And if you can't appreciate Christianity/Religiosity for a queer person and the many sufferings of it, you probably won't like it.

As I began reading, the idea that Stephen is a transgender man, instead of a "butch" lesbian, seemed to take over me. The linguistic and psychological concepts to differentiate same-sex attraction and gender identity were not known at the time, and it made Stephen's character at times both frustration and immensely fascinating. Coming into the book I was expecting a lesbian narrative, and the more I heard Stephen's feeling of being a boy, the more I grew convinced they were probably transgender, and thus a key part of understanding would be lost to me. As the book progressed, however, my theory seemed to waver, and I'm still not sure how Stephen would identify in the modern world. To me I realized, it didn't necessarily matter to my understanding of the novel's themes of a world not accepting something natural. No matter how Stephen would align themselves, the sentiments still stand: All queer people deserve to be treated equally.

From one character to the next we see how unjust the life is for an "invert". From Angela's twisted sense of selfishness to save her own unhappy honor, to Anna's disgusting denunciation of her child, to Puddle's true inclination never uttered to Stephen, to Martin's awkward growth of love and embarrassed leaving, to the deeply tragic story of Jamie and Barbara, and especially down to Stephen's last sacrifice—not only is the message abundantly clear but seems to also strengthen the connection Stephen had with her father, Sir Phillip.

Sir Phillip is the original God in this story, the Father who understands and accepts his child—but is too afraid to tell her or others for fear of hurting them. This then is the God the Father Stephen prays to at the end, the Father who loves and understands her, but for one reason or another is silent. Stephen finds his scrawled book of Psychopathia Sexualis like the commandments, and through it learns her Father accepts her. He just didn't tell her explicitly. The story is ultimately one of Stephen returning to her Father; enjoying his unabashed love as a child before being banished from her Eden of Morton, she must seek to find peace in her silent, God the Father once more.

And so I found attention to religion beautiful. Being religiously-inclined and grappling with my faith as I try to return to my own halcyon days of God (as Hall themselves would so eloquently put it), the struggle of religion was poignant to me. Stephen's life is underlined by a feeling of God: at times she believes in none of it, at others she seems to understand the power that He really is there—the symbolism of Stephen as Jesus comes to mind, sacrificing herself for her love so she may have a better life. If Hall could be a devout Catholic in the face of her sexuality, her trials—and hell—even WWI, then anyone could. I've been praying for my own spirituality recently, trying to understand my encounters with spirits against a world that tells me I must be insane, the outmoded creation stories, and twisted single-mindedness of the Christian we've all come to revile. It seems like a blessing then that I read this book at the time that I did, and I hope one day I'm at peace with my encounters with the unexplained and otherworldly, and the universality of a God for all people on earth no matter what creed. For now, I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes from the book, something I'll hold on to for life:

Then an unexpected, and to her very moving thing happened; his eyes filled with pitiful tears: ‘Lord,’ he muttered, ‘why need this have come upon you — this incomprehensible dispensation? It’s enough to make one deny God’s existence!’

She felt a great need to reassure him. At that moment he seemed so much younger than she was as he stood there with his eyes full of pitiful tears, doubting God, because of his human compassion: ‘There are still the trees. Don’t forget the trees, Martin — because of them you used to believe.’

‘Have you come to believe in a God then?’ he muttered.

‘Yes,’ she told him, ‘it’s strange, but I know now I must — lots of us feel that way in the end. I’m not really religious like some of the others, but I’ve got to acknowledge God’s existence, though at times I still think: “Can He really exist?” One can’t help it, when one’s seen what I have here in Paris. But unless there’s a God, where do some of us find even the little courage we possess?’

(For anyone more interested in Hall's relationship with her spirituality, I recommend this article written by a queer Christian site
The book is not 5 stars only because of the length. Sometimes I felt myself slogging through (sometimes being the keyword), though I genuinely liked the writing style in all its stately obsequiousness to detail I know many do not appreciate. Sometimes the attention to detail, especially of natural elements, went on for paragraphs and I wanted to bang my head against something to wake it up. I felt at times the themes were not completely cohesive either, as the details seemed to muddy the message Hall was going for.

I could write 3 papers on this book and the literary merit it still holds—why it is not in schools hounds me. I feel the value of the book escapes the masses, not by any deficiency of themselves but rather of the time and the subject manner. We have equal protection under the law now and classical religion is dwindling. The pertinent issues were already niche 90 years ago, I understand the canon's ignorance of it, though it makes my heart ache. If only Hall could see the happy, queer marriages able to take place in churches now—though a part of me knows she sees it all already.

‘God,’ she gasped, we believe; we have told You we believe . . . We have not denied You, then rise up and defend us. Acknowledge us, oh God, before the whole world. Give us also the right to our existence!’
… (mais)
Eavans | outras 49 resenhas | Feb 17, 2023 |



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