Edgar Beach replies to Olivier Solanet:
>>Tchaikovsky was a very troubled man with problems related
>>to his sexuality,
>I too used to think that Tchaikovsky had sexual identity problems but
>after reading Alexander Poznansky's biography "Tchaikovsky, The Quest
>for the Inner Man" the author points out Tchaikovsky did not commit
>suicide because he was homosexual and that he was about to be outed.
>Instead, he actually died of cholera because he accidently drank the
>tainted water. Rumors abound in history that he was a unhappy homosexual,
>but I don't know of any factual evidence that he was that unhappy. Maybe
>someone can make some historical reference as to his troubled state.
>Maybe he was just as comfortable with his sexuality as say Oscar Wilde
The flap over Tchaikovsky's homosexuality has always struck me as a
prime example of our forcing our ideas of What It Must Have Been Like
on history. Because sexual identity is seen as the central definition
of character in our own day, we reason that it must have been the same
in late 19th-century St. Petersburg. Reading Tchaikovsky's letters to
various people, both hetero- and homosexual, it's quite clear that he
defined himself not by sexual orientation, but by nationality. He worried
far more about himself as a Russian than as a homosexual.
Furthermore, St. Petersburg -- at least the upper economic circles
Tchaikovsky moved in -- was far more sophisticated and tolerant than
many other places in Europe. Indeed, members of the royal family were
well-known homosexuals. Guess what? They weren't shunned. Cosmopolitan
Russians sniggered over British "provinciality" in the so-called Wilde
The CLASSICAL mailing list is powered by L-Soft's renowned
LISTSERV(R) list management software together with L-Soft's HDMail
High Deliverability Mailer for reliable, lightning fast mail delivery.
For more information, go to: