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Arnold Aletrino (April 1, 1858 - January 16, 1916)

Arnold Aletrino (1 April 1858 - 16 January 1916) was a Dutch criminal anthropologist and writer, who published works on homosexuality in Dutch and French. He was a member of the Tachtigers, a group of young and revolutionary Dutch authors, who despised the pious poetry and prose of the mid-nineteenth century Dutch Victorian writers.

Arnold Aletrino was born 1 April 1858 in Amsterdam to Salomon Aletrino and Selima Pineda. As a medical student, he befriended Frederik van Eeden, who was to be a well-known psychiatrist and one of the most famous Tachtigers. In 1892, he married Rachel Mendes da Costa, who committed suicide five years later. Later, he married Jupie van Stockum. Aletrino never had children.

Aletrino published between 1889 and 1906 a few novels and collections of stories, all extremely bleak and cheerless in atmosphere. During this time, he worked as a medical doctor for the city of Amsterdam, especially for its firemen.

In his final years, an incurably ill man, he lived with his wife in Switzerland. Aletrino died 16 January 1916 in Chernex, Switzerland, near Geneva, aged 57.

Aletrino had been schooled by Cesare Lombroso, who attempted to explain criminality in light of a degenerating central nervous system. Aletrino broke with Lombroso over homosexuals in a Dutch article in 1897, in which he claimed that homosexuality could occur in otherwise perfectly normal and healthy individuals. In later works he campaigned against the legal intolerance and prohibition of homosexuality in Europe.

In 1901 he defended homosexuals at the Fifth Congress of Criminal Anthropology in Amsterdam. He was accused of "defending immorality." He continued to fight throughout his life to engender a more tolerant and understanding attitude of homosexuality. In 1912 he participated in founding the Dutch branch of the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, which was first founded in Germany in 1897 by gay rights pioneer Magnus Hirschfeld.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Aletrino

Further Readings:

Queer Sites: Gay Urban Histories Since 1600 by David Higgs
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Routledge (May 14, 1999)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0415158982
ISBN-13: 978-0415158985
Amazon: Queer Sites: Gay Urban Histories Since 1600

There are areas which can be described as gay space in that they have many lesbians and gays in the population. Queerspace: A History of Urban Sexuality, edited by David Higgs, offers a history of gay space in the major cities form the early modern period to the present. The book focuses on the changing nature of queer experience in London, Amsterdam, Rio de Janiero, San Francisco, Paris, Lisbon and Moscow.

This book provides an interdisciplinary analysis of extensive source material, including diaries, poems, legal accounts and journalism. By concentrating the importance of the city and varied meeting places such as parks, river walks, bathing places, the street, bars and even churches, the contributors explore the extent to which gay space existed, the degree of social collectiveness felt by those who used this space and their individual histories.

Gay Men and the Sexual History of the Political Left by Gert Hekma, Harry Oosterhuis and James Steakley
Paperback: 408 pages
Publisher: Haworth Pr Inc (April 1995)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1560230673
ISBN-13: 978-1560230670
Amazon: Gay Men and the Sexual History of the Political Left

Explore the development of left-wing sexual politics from the 1830s to the present, documenting communist, socialist, and anarchist views toward homosexuality and the involvement of homosexuals with the left. Chapters in this fascinating book are authored by an array of international scholars who examine key developments in Western Europe, the Soviet Union, and the United States, exploring the attitudes and policies of leftist thinkers, parties, and regimes toward homosexuality.

Chapters cover a diverse array of topics, including openness toward homosexuality of French utopian socialists in the 1830s, the hate-filled pronouncements of Marx and Engels, responses to Stalin's anti-gay policies, gays in Germany before and since the fall of the Wall, Spanish anarchists in the 1930s, gay spies Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt, and relations between the left and gay liberation movements of France and the United States. A major addition to the growing field of gay historical studies, Gay Men and the Sexual History of the Political Left is the first book in any language devoted to tracing the attitudes of the socialist left toward male homosexuality.

More LGBT History at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics


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Tags: essayist: arnold aletrino, gay classics
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