I’m generally not a fan of abscribing modern sensibilities to people who lived hundreds of years ago, but the possibilities of this mashup are too intriguing. Literary scholars believe a series of letters from Dracula author Bram Stoker to famed queer poet Walt Whitman reveal the Irish author had a bit of a crush on old Walt.
Stoker married late in life and his marriage is believed to have been all-but sexless. However, his letters to Whitman reveal a great passion beneath Stoker’s conservative surface. “I think that at first a man would be ashamed, for a man cannot in a moment break the habit of comparative reticence that has become second nature to him; but I know I would not long be ashamed to be natural before you. You are a true man, and I would like to be one myself, and so I would be towards you as a brother and as a pupil to his master.” Stoker also praises Whitman’s “candid words” and lauds the poet for being free, while acknowledging that he can only read Whitman’s poems when locked alone in his room.
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