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By Julian Jackson

In Paris in 1954, a tender guy named André Baudry based Arcadie, a firm for “homophiles” that may turn into the biggest of its variety that has ever existed in France, lasting approximately thirty years. as well as performing because the basically public voice for French gays sooner than the explosion of radicalism of 1968, Arcadie—with its membership and review—was a social and highbrow hub, attracting aid from participants as different as Jean Cocteau and Michel Foucault and supplying help and harmony to millions of remoted contributors. but regardless of its large value, Arcadie has principally disappeared from the old record.


The major reason for this forget, Julian Jackson explains in Living in Arcadia, is that in the post-Stonewall period of queer activism, Baudry’s association fell into disfavor, pushed aside as conservative, conformist, and closeted. via vast archival examine and various interviews with the reclusive Baudry, Jackson demanding situations this reductive view, uncovering Arcadie’s pioneering efforts to coach the eu public approximately homosexuality in an period of renewed repression. during concerning this soaking up background, Jackson bargains a startlingly unique account of the historical past of homosexuality in smooth France.

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Extra info for Living in Arcadia: Homosexuality, Politics, and Morality in France from the Liberation to AIDS

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60 It is also the case that not all homosexuals recognized themselves in this event as can be seen from two autobiographical novels published in 1936. ”61 In the other, Georges Portal’s Le Protestant, the narrator writes: “Never did I feel myself more alone than at this ball. This equivocal masquerade profoundly humiliated me. . Why did these adorable ephebes, the most beautiful adolescents, give themselves female names and mince in this way? . The nauseating smell of makeup emanated from this crowd like the poisoned smell of self-hatred.

It is about our past but about our present too. PA R T O N E THE BACKGROUND Figure 1. Arcadie boys—Maurice Van Moppes. From Arcadie, no. 2 (February 1954) At the beginning of his novel Sodome and Gomorrah, published in 1921 as the fourth part of In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust offers his readers a kind of essay on homosexuality. He writes of France: “We have provisionally avoided the fatal error of creating a sodomist movement and rebuilding Sodom. Having no sooner arrived there, the sodomists would be leaving the town so as not to appear to belong to it.

An outsider in both the literal sense that he lived outside France and in the intellectual positions he adopted, Raffalovich had dropped out from his studies in Oxford, became a London dandy, and began to write decadent poetry. In his 1896 book Uranisme et unisexualité: Étude sur différentes manifestations de l’instinct sexuel (Uranism and Unisexuality: A Study of the Different Manifestations of the Sexual Instinct), Raffalovich attacked the French medical experts who wrote on the subject. He claimed that “unisexuality,” as he called it, was just a variety of sexuality and perfectly compatible with virility.

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