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Bohemian Los Angelesand the Making of Modern Politics$
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Daniel Hurewitz

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520249257

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520249257.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

“A Most Lascivious Picture of Impatient Desire”

“A Most Lascivious Picture of Impatient Desire”

Chapter:
(p.40) ONE “A Most Lascivious Picture of Impatient Desire”
Source:
Bohemian Los Angeles
Author(s):

Daniel Hurewitz

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520249257.003.0003

As Julian Eltinge settled into Edendale and the new phase of his career in the 1910s, he quickly found himself at the center of flurry of activity. Movie-making was a busy business. It was estimated that during this period, film industries in and around Los Angeles were already spending more than thirty million dollars a year. It was Eltinge’s specialty to play challenging roles. This chapter discusses the quest for identity, and focuses on the relationship between sexual desire and identity, particularly gender identity. It seeks to answer whether gendered behavior is an expression of sexual desire—that is, whether men who dress as women in fact desire other men. These concerns are reflections of the questions that began to circulate in Eltinge’s Los Angeles. However, dthe 1910s, ’20s, and early ’30s lacked a single governing paradigm for explaining sexual desire and sexual behavior. Instead, multiple paradigms prevailed; Eltinge’s offered no answers. For a time, that did not matter. Hollywood was still happy to put Eltinge on screen as a female impersonator. However, the demand for authenticity and interest in desire intensified. In part, the fairy paradigm gained wider popularity. While audiences laughed at male effeminacy, they began to believe that the hidden truth of male effeminacy was homosexuality.

Keywords:   Julian Eltinge, identity, sexual desire, sexual behavior, male effeminacy, homosexuality

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