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By Allan Johnson

Alan Hollinghurst and the energy of impression proposes a remarkable process for examining the affects that interlace twentieth-century homosexual British writers. concentrating on the function of the textual photo in literary impression, this e-book strikes towards a brand new figuring out of the interpenetration of literary and visible tradition within the 20th century.

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The expressly biological and reproductive metaphors underlying models of literary influence can only partially explicate the conduction of influence between gay narratives. An image can only remain attached to an author’s work for a generation or a lifetime, not for its own failure, but because its subsequent survival is dependent upon each reader’s successful attempt at imagining it into existence. This may, on one hand, dig a deeper grave for any one individual author – who is not able to exert an influence in death, but exert an influence only for the viability of the images left behind – but it also ascribes an extraordinary sense of vitality to the process of influence itself.

11 But Cooper does not allow the image to be read outside its modern imperialist context, and, in a hazardously tempocentric move, does not engage with the possibility that the stele held stylistic or religious significance for its original Atenist viewers, or that the legend of Akhenaten received a cultural resurgence at both ends of the twentieth century, those periods simultaneously commemorated by Hollinghurst’s novel. Such a reading is symptomatic of the critical move so frequently made in approaches to The Swimming-Pool Library: the out-and-out exclusion of the extratextual and extrahistorical motives which characterize both the content and the form of Hollinghurst’s debut novel.

SPL 76) This final line in Charles’s explanation of Atenism relies on the modern usage of ‘sun-worshipper’ to denote someone who enjoys tanning, and it is Will, the reader has just previously learned, who is ‘jolly brown’ (SPL 71). Like swimming, sunbathing sanctions manly undress, a way of viewing and appreciating the bodies of other men while still ostensibly working towards an improvement of one’s own. ’ Charles suddenly asked. I assured him I was fine, though the sunless room was surprisingly cool after the glare of the street.

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