chapter  4
30 Pages

No Scandal in Bohemia

I t is not surprising to find bisexualin. alive and well in artists' colonies and aesthetic subcultures. In Bohemia and the avant-garde, the standard expectation for artists, writers, and cultural innovators has been a style of living that flouted convention, especially sexual convention. From Bloomsbury to Taos, from Harlem to Holl~wood, from Berlin to Paris to Greenwich Village, bisexuality has left its mark on twentieth-century literature, painting, poetry, drama, and music, as well as on that indefinable thing called "culture." What is surprising, and indeed symptomatic, is the degree to which these bisexual lives have been described as everything but bisexual: as gay or lesbian, as "experimental," as transgressive for the sake of transgression rather than as the consequence of sexual attraction or desire. Once again invisibility is produced as a startling by-product of omnipresence.