- Reflections in a Golden Eye (novel)
Infobox Book |
name = Reflections in a Golden Eye
image_caption = First edition cover without paper &
cellophane dust jacket
language = English
media_type = Print (
pages = 182 pp
isbn = ISBN 0618084754 ISBN 978-0618084753
It first appeared in "
Harper's Bazaar" in 1940, serialized in the October-November issues. The book was published by Houghton Mifflinon February 14, 1941, to mostly poor reviews. The book was dedicated to, and inspired by, the Swiss journalist and travel writer Annemarie Schwarzenbach, to whom McCullers had been attracted, but been rejected by--although they remained friends.
The novels takes place at an
Army basein the U.S. stateof Georgia. Private Ellgee Williams is a solitary man full of secrets and desires. He has been in service for two years and is assigned to stable duty. After doing yard work at the home of Capt. Penderton, he sees his wife nude and becomes obsessed with her.
Capt. Weldon Penderton and his wife Lenora, a
feeble-minded Army brat, have a fiery relationship and she takes in many lovers. Lenora's current lover is Major Morris Langdon, who lives with his depressed wife Alison, and her flamboyant Filipino houseboy Anacleto, near the Pendertons.
Capt. Penderton, who is a coward and a homosexual, realizes that he is physically attracted to Pvt. Williams, unaware of the private's attraction to Leonora.
A 1967 film adaptation of Reflections in a Golden Eye bearing the same name was directed by
John Huston. It stars Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Harris, Robert Fosterand Brian Keith.
"Reflections in a Golden Eye" is considered by Anthony Slide, a modern scholar, to be one of only four familiar gay novels of the first half of the twentieth century. The other three novels are
Djuna Barnes' " Nightwood", Truman Capote's "Other Voices, Other Rooms", and Gore Vidal's " The City and the Pillar". [Slide, Anthony. "Lost Gay Novels: A Reference Guide to Fifty Works from the First Half of the Twentieth Century", (Binghamton, NY: Harrington Park Press), page 2.]
According to author Michael Bronski, McCullers tackles the topics of "
homosexuality, sadism, voyeurism, and fetishism[while exploring] the boundaries of eroticism, outsider status and the fragility of normal in "Reflections in a Golden Eye" [Bronski, Michael, ed. "Pulp Friction: Uncovering the Golden Age of Gay Male Pulps". New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2003, page 349.]
*cite book | title=Playing the Game: The Homosexual Novel in America| last=Austen | first =Roger | authorlink= | publisher=The Bobbs-Merrill Company| location = Indianapolis | edition =1st ed. | date=1977 | id=ISBN 978-067252287X
*cite book | title=Pulp Friction: Uncovering the Golden Age of Gay Male Pulps | last=Bronski | first =Michael | publisher=St. Martin's Griffin | location=New York, NY | edition =1st ed. | date=2003 | id= ISBN 978-0312252676
*cite book | title=Lost Gay Novels: A Reference Guide to Fifty Works from the First Half of the Twentieth Century | last=Slide | first =Anthony | publisher=Harrington Park Press | location=Binghamton, NY | edition =1st ed. | date=2003 | id= ISBN 978-156023413X
*cite book | title=Queer Pulp: Perverted Passions from the Golden Age of the Paperback | last=Stryker | first =Susan | publisher=Chronicle Books | location=San Francisco, CA | edition =1st ed. | date=2001 | id= ISBN 978-0811830209
* [http://www.carson-mccullers.com/html/refl.html Reflections in a Golden Eye page]
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=1uoo9v-aV84C&printsec=frontcover&dq=Carson+McCullers&psp=1 Online text of "Reflections in a Golden Eye"]
* [http://www.goodshortnovels.com/archiveissue1.html Book review] from www.GoodShortNovels.com
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