The Novels of Denton Welch

by Jan 22, 2019Queer Syllabus

The Queer Syllabus is a joint project from The Rumpus and Foglifter Press that allows writers to nominate works for a new canon of queer literature. When we identify our roots, when we point to the work that shaped us as writers and as people, we demonstrate that our stories are timeless, essential, and important—and so are we. The Queer Syllabus is edited by Wesley O. Cohen and Marisa Siegel.

 

My proposal for the Queer Syllabus actually involves three novels, which together constitute a unique autobiographical trilogy: Denton Welch’s Maiden Voyage (1943), In Youth is Pleasure (1945), and A Voice Through a Cloud (1950).  Although Welch (1915–1948) died young, his personally courageous and stylistically daring fiction established itself as a kind of idiosyncratic landmark within the queer canon. 

 

Writers such as E.M. Forster, W.H. Auden, John Updike, William Burroughs, John Waters, and Edmund White have singled him out for praise, and his work, though not always easy to find, continues to attract new readers. Welch studied painting, and his fiction demonstrates an eye for vivid detail; his novels abound with memorable passages of startling modernity. They also contain erotic confessions which, while tame for modern readers, were nonetheless bold confessions in Welch’s time.

 

Submit to Foglifter

Foglifter opens for submissions on September 1st—and we are now a paid market!

Support Foglifter

Help us continue our mission of providing a platform for intersectional queer writing. Donate today!

Follow @foglifter
on instagram

  • On this day in 1945, Marsha Pay It No Mind Johnson was born. An activist, advocate, and key participant in the Stonewall riots, the queer community owes so much of where we are today to her tireless efforts for gay liberation. Happy birthday, Marsha. Rest in power.

Follow @foglifter
on twitter

Brilliant poet @sheer_awe discusses the forthcoming Odes to Lithium @AliceJamesBooks—"Realizing that my experience, and my self, could not be reduced was profound. When I realized this, I started to wonder, how many different ways can I claim my experience?"