Stardom, Spectatorship, and Queer Recognition
This chapter considers the terms by which Rudolph Valentino’s historical female spectatorship is shaped by both identifications with and desires for the feminized star. These entangled spectatorial relations are often associated with Valentino’s negation of cross-sex desire, whether through his onscreen relationships with mannish or asexual female figures, or his offscreen relationships with well-known sapphic figures. The chapter argues that these and other elements of Valentino’s contradictory fantasy image, though constitutive of his sexual ambiguity, comprise a more obscure fantasmatic supporting female same-sex desire and new forms of sexual identity shared by women and men. The spectatorial possibilities that accrue to Valentino are suggestive of the unpredictable but also generative possibilities of the Hollywood star system by which the seeming impossibility of desire between women might register in more diffuse terms as a kind of recognizable queer affect or structure of feeling.
Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.