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UnspeakableA Life beyond Sexual Morality$
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Rachel Hope Cleves

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226733531

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226733678.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Norman Douglas

Norman Douglas

(p.91) Chapter Six Norman Douglas

Rachel Hope Cleves

University of Chicago Press

By 1908, Norman Douglas had exhausted his financial resources and he began pursuing a career as a professional writer. He was assisted by Joseph Conrad, whom he had met in Capri in 1905. The two became intimate friends. Conrad not only fostered Douglas's literary career; back in England, he also took in Conrad's younger son, Robin, during school holidays. Douglas's writings were too erudite to be popular. His 1910 essay "Land of Chaos," about the devastating 1908 Messina earthquake, showed his growing skill as a writer. But the beauty of the piece raises a challenge for the contemporary reader. Douglas was drawn to Sicily for its association with pederasty, and the essay mourns the death of two beautiful boys he had met in Messina on a visit before the earthquake. The essay attracted the attention of publishers. In 1911 Douglas published his first collection of travel writing, Siren Land, including essays he had previously published in the English Review, edited by Ford Madox Hueffer (Ford).

Keywords:   literature, Joseph Conrad, Norman Douglas, Ford Madox Ford, earthquake, pederasty, Wilhelm von Gloeden, English Review, Siren Land, Tunisia

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