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Dominique Fernandez
(1929 - living) France

Dominique Fernandez

Novelist and academic

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Fernandez was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine into a middle-class family of Mexican and French parentage, and was educated at the École Supérieure and wrote his doctoral thesis on the gay Italian writer Cesare Pavese. In 1957-58 he taught French at the French Institute in Naples, but the scandal resulting from a lecture on eroticism and communism in the work of Vailland forced Fernandez to abandon his post.

He married Diane Jacquin de Margerie in 1961, had two children with her, and divorced ten years later publicly assuming his homosexuality. His unequivocal literary coming-out, however, was in 1978. Fernandez continued to work in academia as Professor of Italian at the University of Haute-Bretagne, publishing a number of academic works in this capacity.

However, he also wrote a number of novels, often biographical, which addressed homosexuality. Fernandez also wrote a series of novels based on historical and contemporary figures whose homosexuality was more or less known. His depiction of homosexuality as a source of suffering and outsider existence has generated a certain amount of criticism of his work.

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Source: excerpts from: Gabriele Griffin, Who's Who in Lesbian and Gay and Writing, Routledge, London, 2002

His work include:

  • Porporino ou les mystères de Naples (1974 - about a castrato)
  • L'étoile rose (1978)
  • Dans la main de l'ange (1982 - about Pasolini)
  • L'amour (1986 - about Overbeck)
  • La gloire du paria (1987)
  • Le rapt de Ganymède (1989)
  • Le dernier de Médicis (1994)
  • Tribunal d'honneur (1996 - about Tchaikovsky)
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