On Uranians

From William A. Percy
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Source (Email, February 1, 2008)

Greek Love does not use the word Uranian (although it does use Urning). It uses Calamites for ALL the group, British and American. It does however make a generous reference to d'Arch Smith's "study in preparation" (p. 376) and credits him as the source for info on several of the Uranians whose books are not to be found anywhere in the US.

The term is not used in the Michael deHartington catalogues, which refer to them only as 'homosexual poets of the 19th and 20th centuries".

D'Arch Smith thus is the originator of the term (in English). He dismisses Greek Love and its use of Calamites - he says he was so horrified by "Mr. John Z. Eglinton" and his thesis "put down with small regard for grammar and a love of pseudo-psychiatric jargon which in places renders comprehension almost impossible", showing his "knowledge of those he calls 'Calamites' is sadly small and [whose] cursory treatment of the group is a bad lacuna in the book." He concludes: "Mr. Eglinton has much of fascinating interest and importance to tell us, but it is so commingled with inaccuracies, blunders, errors in fact and judgement (we are not informed, for instance, in the course of his prolonged description of sexual acts it is possible to perform with boys, that the same demonstrations of affection may be made with any other mammal, adolescent or otherwise) that the overall impression is unlikely to convince anyone, and Greek Love seems not to be destined to become the bible of modern sympathizeers." (page xx). Therefore Smith opts for Uranians, which he judges to be the proper English translation of Ulrich's 'Urnings', a word used among the group themselves. Note: Uranian was not used among the group, but its German 'root', Urnings.

Unpleasant as d'Arch Smith is - after the generous acknowledgment Eglinton gave him - I fear he is the source of the word.

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