Michael Field's Sapphism: An Ontology of the Feminine in "Long Ago" (1889)

Mayron Estefan Cantillo Lucuara


This article examines the valuable contribution that Katherine Bradley and her niece Edith Cooper made to the vast tradition of queer Sapphism in Long Ago (1889), their first volume of poetry published under the collaborative pseudonym of Michael Field. Taking as my starting point the well-established assumption among contemporary critics that this volume represents an original instance of lesbian writing, I seek to argue that Long Ago not only appropriates and celebrates the figure of Sappho as a lesbian archetype, it also proposes a subversive gender theory that conceptualises the feminine as the essential principle of vitalism, the masculine as the very representation of death, and homoeroticism as the most genuine form of love.

Paraules clau

Michael Field, Long Ago, Sappho, lesbiansm, vitalism

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1344/Lectora2018.24.12

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EDITEN: GRC Creació i Pensament de les Dones (Universitat de Barcelona) i GRC Cos i Textualitat (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

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