A primeira edição integral em português do clássico de Havelock Ellis sobre homossexualidade.
No final do século XIX, Ellis teve a coragem de publicar abertamente um estudo detalhado e desapaixonado sobre a problemática da inversão sexual, que recentemente havia condenado Oscar Wilde à prisão e nos séculos anteriores classificara os culpados do "nefando pecado" como hereges e degenerados.
No 2º capítulo, Ellis identifica os principais autores, percursores do estudo da homossexualidade, fazendo breves resenha dos seus pontos de vista e das suas principais obras.
"Em 1894, Edward Carpenter publicou privadamente em Manchester um panfleto intitulado Homogenic Love, em que criticou várias teses correntes da psiquiatria sobre a inversão e alegou que as leis do amor homossexual são semelhantes às do amor heterossexual salientando, porém, que o primeiro possui uma aptidão especial para ser exaltado a um nível mais elevado e mais espiritual de camaradagem, desempenhando assim uma função social benéfica. Mais recentemente, em 1907, Edward Carpenter publicou um volume de artigos sobre a homossexualidade e os seus problemas, com o título The Intermediate Sex e mais tarde, em 1914, um estudo mais especializado sobre os invertidos na religião primitiva e na guerra, que intitulou de Intermediate Types among Primitive Folk."
De fundamental importância para os estudiosos do tema (sexólogos, antropólogos, médicos, psiquiatras), esta obra é acessível e interessante para todos os que queiram aprofundar o seu conhecimento sobre esta temática.
A INDEX ebooks publica a primeira edição integral em português do clássico de Havelock Ellis sobre homossexualidade. No final do século XIX, Ellis teve a coragem de publicar abertamente um estudo detalhado e desapaixonado sobre a problemática da inversão sexual, que recentemente havia condenado Oscar Wilde à prisão e nos séculos anteriores classificara os culpados do "nefando pecado" como hereges e degenerados.
No 3º capítulo, Ellis apresenta um grande número de casos reais de indivíduos homossexuais e bissexuais, muitas vezes relatados pelos próprios. Trata-se de um interessantíssimo retrato da homossexualidade no final do século XIX, rico de detalhes, esclarecedor mas, por vezes, emocionante e pungente, como no caso dos extratos seguintes:
"E a tragédia do nosso destino é que nós, cujas almas vibram apenas ao leve toque da mão de Eros, somos confrontados com o tabu mais feroz, que inibe muito do que poderia dar sentido às nossas vidas. Todos os outros tabus foram ultrapassados um por um. Será que também este, o último dos tabus, desaparecerá em breve? Sei de vidas assombradas por ele, enfraquecidas por ele, esmagadas por ele. Quanto tempo mais irão os moralistas ocidentais mutilar, estigmatizar e perseguir o que não compreendem?"
"Mas no que respeita à minha esperança de melhorar, ir para o Mercy ou para o Inferno vai dar ao mesmo. Sou totalmente incorrigível, completamente incurável e absolutamente insuportável. Em casa, cheguei a pensar que estava curado, mas foi um erro de que me apercebi quando me encontrei com Clifford na passada quinta-feira e fiquei pior que nunca no que se refere à minha paixão por ele. Só o Céu pode saber o quanto tenho tentado transformar-me numa criatura decente, mas a minha vileza é incontrolável e seria preferível, talvez, desistir e morrer".
By "erotic symbolism" I mean that tendency whereby the lover's attention is diverted from the central focus of sexual attraction to some object or process which is on the periphery of that focus, or is even outside of it altogether, though recalling it by association of contiguity or of similarity. It thus happens that tumescence, or even in extreme cases detumescence, may be provoked by the contemplation of acts or objects which are away from the end of sexual conjugation.
In considering the phenomena of sexual selection in a previous volume, it was found that there are four or five main factors in the constitution of beauty in so far as beauty determines sexual selection. Erotic symbolism is founded on the factor of individual taste in beauty; it arises as a specialized development of that factor, but it is, nevertheless, incorrect to merge it in sexual selection. The attractive characteristics of a beloved woman or man, from the point of view of sexual selection, are a complex but harmonious whole leading up to a desire for the complete possession of the person who displays them. There is no tendency to isolate and dissociate any single character from the individual and to concentrate attention upon that character at the expense of the attention bestowed upon the individual generally. As soon as such a tendency begins to show itself, even though only in a slight or temporary form, we may say that there is erotic symbolism.
Erotic symbolism is, however, by no means confined to the individualizing tendency to concentrate amorous attention upon some single characteristic of the adult woman or man who is normally the object of sexual love. The adult human being may not be concerned at all, the attractive object or act may not even be human, not even animal, and we may still be concerned with a symbol which has parasitically rooted itself on the fruitful site of sexual emotion and absorbed to itself the energy which normally goes into the channels of healthy human love having for its final end the procreation of the species. Thus understood in its widest sense, it may be said that every sexual perversion, even homosexuality, is a form of erotic symbolism, for we shall find that in every case some object or act that for the normal human being has little or no erotic value, has assumed such value in a supreme degree; that is to say, it has become a symbol of the normal object of love. Certain perversions are, however, of such great importance on account of their wide relationships, that they cannot be adequately discussed merely as forms of erotic symbolism. This is notably the case as regards homosexuality, auto-erotism, and algolagnia, all of which phenomena have therefore been separately discussed in previous studies. We are now mainly concerned with manifestations which are more narrowly and exclusively symbolical.
The chief key to the relationship of love to pain is to be found by returning to the consideration of the essential phenomena of courtship in the animal world generally. Courtship is a play, a game; even its combats are often, to a large extent, mock-combats; but the process behind it is one of terrible earnestness, and the play may at any moment become deadly. Courtship tends to involve a mock-combat between males for the possession of the female which may at any time become a real combat; it is a pursuit of the female by the male which may at any time become a kind of persecution; so that, as Colin Scott remarks, "Courting may be looked upon as a refined and delicate form of combat." The note of courtship, more especially among mammals, is very easily forced, and as soon as we force it we reach pain. The intimate and inevitable association in the animal world of combat--of the fighting and hunting impulses--with the process of courtship alone suffices to bring love into close connection with pain.
Among mammals the male wins the female very largely by the display of force. The infliction of pain must inevitably be a frequent indirect result of the exertion of power. It is even more than this; the infliction of pain by the male on the female may itself be a gratification of the impulse to exert force. This tendency has always to be held in check, for it is of the essence of courtship that the male should win the female, and she can only be won by the promise of pleasure. The tendency of the male to inflict pain must be restrained, so far as the female is concerned, by the consideration of what is pleasing to her. Yet, the more carefully we study the essential elements of courtship, the clearer it becomes that, playful as these manifestations may seem on the surface, in every direction they are verging on pain. It is so among animals generally; it is so in man among savages. "It is precisely the alliance of pleasure and pain," wrote the physiologist Burdach, "which constitutes the voluptuous emotion."
Nor is this emotional attitude entirely confined to the male. The female also in courtship delights to arouse to the highest degree in the male the desire for her favors and to withhold those favors from him, thus finding on her part also the enjoyment of power in cruelty. "One's cruelty is one's power," Millament says in Congreve's Way of the World, "and when one parts with one's cruelty one parts with one's power."
The chief stimuli which influence tumescence and thus direct sexual choice come chiefly—indeed, exclusively—through the four senses of touch, smell, hearing, and sight. All the phenomena of sexual selection, so far as they are based externally, act through these four senses. The reality of the influence thus exerted may be demonstrated statistically even in civilized man, and it has been shown that, as regards, for instance, eye-color, conjugal partners differ sensibly from the unmarried persons by whom they are surrounded. When, therefore, we are exploring the nature of the influence which stimuli, acting through the sensory channels, exert on the strength and direction of the sexual impulse, we are intimately concerned with the process by which the actual form and color, not alone of living things generally, but of our own species, have been shaped and are still being shaped. At the same time, it is probable, we are exploring the mystery which underlies all the subtle appreciations, all the emotional undertones, which are woven in the web of the whole world as it appeals to us through those sensory passages by which alone it can reach us. We are here approaching, therefore, a fundamental subject of unsurpassable importance, a subject which has not yet been accurately explored save at a few isolated points and one which it is therefore impossible to deal with fully and adequately. Yet it cannot be passed over, for it enters into the whole psychology of the sexual instinct.
In the past that fateful determination has usually been made helplessly, ignorantly, almost unconsciously. It has either been guided by an instinct which, on the whole, has worked out fairly well, or controlled by economic interests of the results of which so much cannot be said, or left to the risks of lower than bestial chances which can produce nothing but evil. In the future we cannot but have faith—for all the hope of humanity must rest on that faith—that a new guiding impulse, reinforcing natural instinct and becoming in time an inseparable accompaniment of it, will lead civilized man on his racial course. Just as in the past the race has, on the whole, been moulded by a natural, and in part sexual, selection, that was unconscious of itself and ignorant of the ends it made towards, so in the future the race will be moulded by deliberate selection, the creative energy of Nature becoming self-conscious in the civilized brain of man. This is not a faith which has its source in a vague hope. The problems of the individual life are linked on to the fate of the racial life, and again and again we shall find as we ponder the individual questions we are here concerned with, that at all points they ultimately converge towards this same racial end.
Since we have here, therefore, to follow out the sexual relationships of the individual as they bear on society, it will be convenient at this point to put aside the questions of ancestry and to accept the individual as, with hereditary constitution already determined, he lies in his mother's womb.