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Journal Article

See Josephus: Viewing First-Century Sexual Drama with Victorian Eyes

Simon Goldhill
Victorian Studies
Vol. 51, No. 3, Special Issue: Papers and Responses from the Sixth Annual Conference of the North American Victorian Studies Association (Spring 2009), pp. 470-479
Published by: Indiana University Press
DOI: 10.2979/vic.2009.51.3.470
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Page Count: 10
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See Josephus: Viewing First-Century Sexual Drama with Victorian Eyes
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Abstract This article looks first at how the art of J. W. Waterhouse responds to the classical world: how complex the scene of reception is, triangulated between artist, the ancient past, and his audiences, and extended over time. Second, it looks at how this scene of reception engages with a specific Victorian problematic about male sexuality and self-control. This is not just a question of Waterhouse using classics as an alibi for thinking about desire, but also of the interference of different models of desire and different knowledges of the classical world in the reception of the painting's narrative semantics.

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