Erin G. Carlston is Professor of English at the University of Auckland. She is the author of Thinking Fascism (1998) and Double Agents (2013), as well as articles on Wyndham Lewis, Alfredo Véa, Marcel Proust, Paul Celan, Mary Renault, and Audre Lorde. Her current research project is on race and masculinities in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Erin G. Carlston
The work of Wyndham Lewis seems like a strange place to go looking for innovative configurations of gender. Notoriously associated with what Jeffrey Herf termed “reactionary modernism,” Lewis is well known for the flamboyant misogyny and homophobia expressed in both his fiction and his theoretical writing. Unlike male modernists whose work has been subjected to richly revelatory feminist and queer rereadings (James Joyce, Marcel Proust, D. H. Lawrence, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway), Wyndham Lewis was for a long time generally assumed to be unsalvageable for any kind of progressive or even very interesting politics of gender and sexuality.