21 votes

"Not married, but willing to be": Photos of men in love from the 1850s to 1950s

5 comments

  1. [3]
    ohyran
    (edited )
    Link
    Just browsing through this and I worry that we impose our view of romantic, platonic, physical and emotional love on the past - or rather oversimplifying it to fit what we see as a norm now. Or...

    Just browsing through this and I worry that we impose our view of romantic, platonic, physical and emotional love on the past - or rather oversimplifying it to fit what we see as a norm now. Or removing problems and issues to better make it fit in to a narrative.

    Thats not said that they aren't awesome ANDthat its not just me reading my worries on the presentation of the material (analysis-ception)... so maybe I should stfu and just enjoy them :)

    EDIT: I now noticed that they mention this in the link too

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      kfwyre
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I think that's definitely important. So much about their experiences and identities doesn't necessarily match up with our modern ones, so we can definitely overreach on projecting onto them things...

      I think that's definitely important. So much about their experiences and identities doesn't necessarily match up with our modern ones, so we can definitely overreach on projecting onto them things that weren't necessarily applicable to them. On the other hand, it's also easy to undercount and dismiss things too much and end up in /r/SapphoAndHerFriend territory as well. It's not uncommon for LGBT representation from the past to be viewed through lenses which deny or discredit it.

      4 votes
      1. ohyran
        Link Parent
        True. Issue is do we risk making the past a fiction by redefining platonic (specifically) male love or seeing it as something suspect, or do we risk making the past a fiction by ignoring that...

        True.
        Issue is do we risk making the past a fiction by redefining platonic (specifically) male love or seeing it as something suspect, or do we risk making the past a fiction by ignoring that erotic and amorous love existed before in same sex couples too?

        Then the argument could be what is more commonly overlooked? I guess samesex amorous love is that one because it doesn't fit with our "stock view" of the past. Or maybe its male-to-male platonic love because if it once existed it means that our modern view of what men is allowed to be with each other isnt a magical norm?

        Anyway its not like history will ever be any clearer than a fart in the wind in the attic of a manure factory anyway so we have to make the best with the guesses, assumptions and clues that we have.

        4 votes
  2. [2]
    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    Excerpted from this book:

    Excerpted from this book:

    LOVING: A Photographic History of Men in Love 1850s–1950s is a visual narrative of rare sensitivity showcasing a unique collection of over 2,700 photographs taken between the 1850s and 1950s depicting romantic love between men taken in the most varied contexts (in domestic, military, or natural settings, such as parks and beaches). We all know what it means to fall in love, to manifest one’s feelings, and this awareness emerges with strength to anyone who leafs through LOVING. To love and be loved becomes the one paradigm uniting all humanity. The feelings and emotions that emerge from it are impetuous, all-embracing, and sometimes inexpressible.

    4 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Backordered on Bookshop at present, but hopefully it gets restocked soon. It'll be a nice addition to my shelves, and can sit right next to my copy of Gay in America. Also, this is now the second...

      Backordered on Bookshop at present, but hopefully it gets restocked soon. It'll be a nice addition to my shelves, and can sit right next to my copy of Gay in America.

      Also, this is now the second book that you've posted this week that I've ended up getting. I feel like I owe you a commission or something!

      3 votes