AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2011... 2011 Cleaning up the Queer : Sex, Love and Ideology in Stephen Wallace's For Love Alone
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This article positions Stephen Wallace's adaptation (1986) of Christina Stead's novel, For Love Alone (1944), as a conservative revision of a literary text whose radical engagement with queer desires challenged heteronormative values and institutions. Drawing upon production files, personal correspondence with the film-maker, literary and film criticism and textual analysis, the article quantifies the ideological work of the adaptation. It identifies Stead's treatment of non-monogamous heterosexual relationships, fantasies rooted alternative sexual practices and homoerotic triangulations as the basis for the novel's queer space. It then shows how the film imposed a heteronormative sensibility upon the narrative by eliminating references to any form of same-sex desire, framing the heroine's journey as a marriage quest that ignored other aspects of personal and professional development and confirming her abandonment of free love in favour of wedded bliss. The article traces this eradication of queer space to factors in the adaptation process, logistical issues that arose during production and promotional discourses that encouraged it to be received as a love story. By reflecting on the significance of the film's failure to register the novel's queer resonances, its active promotion of monogamous marriage and the circumstances that produced those creative decisions, the article sheds light on the ideological dynamics of both the film and the creative process as a whole.' (Author's abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 28 Jun 2012 13:24:59
59-70 Cleaning up the Queer : Sex, Love and Ideology in Stephen Wallace's For Love Alonesmall AustLit logo Studies in Australasian Cinema