Two Shy Stars
Two Shy Stars
This chapter recounts the beginning of Yone Noguchi and Charles Warren Stoddard's correspondence in 1897, when the former declared his affections toward Stoddard, and traces their growing intimacy in the context of their bohemian circle of artist and writer friends until 1900. Noguchi's letters to Stoddard proved unique as compared to correspondence with his other literary colleagues, particularly Blanche Partington, his editorial assistant in San Francisco. Past scholarship has attributed Noguchi and Stoddard's intimacy to a culture of late Victorian bohemian melodrama in which passion among men proved typical rather than exceptional, but this chapter argues that their relationship was different from typical relationships between bohemian men of the time. The correspondence between Noguchi and Stoddard highlights the ways in which men cultivated passionate romantic relationships based on emotional love rather than sex. This chapter also examines the ramifications of the Noguchi–Stoddard romance for same-sex and interracial relationships between Asians and whites in the context of a racially segregated America rife with moralistic movements.
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