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, was once young; he, too, wanted what we wanted; he, too, refused to believe his parents, but life has taught him that they were right. Saying this, he smiles in a superior fashion: this will also happen to us – in advance he devalues the years we will live, making them into a time of sweet youthful pranks, of childish rapture, before the long sobriety of serious life. Thus the well-meaning, the enlightened.4 The present living of the youth – Erlebnis – is effectively evacuated of content. Youthful Erlebnis is denied substantive reality by this rhetorical manoeuvre

in The new aestheticism
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tortured and impotent woman. In the proliferations of fecundity, in the maelstrom of deception and desire, sexual knowledge, naivety and excruciating sexual cruelty, a question is found; it is not which man has the right to existence, but which projection, which human manifestation, of the sex drive. ‘In the nineteenth century’, writes Joseph Bristow, ‘the idea that the sexes were polar opposites magnetically attracted to each another had a tight ideological grip on the culture’. He suggests that even such ‘sex radicals’ as Karl Heinrich Ulrichs and Edward Carpenter

in Fragmenting modernism