In the 19th century, male intimacy was different, as Lincoln scholars have lately been telling us: Pairs of male friends walked hand in hand without anyone assuming that their friendship might have a sexual component; male strangers shared beds without anyone raising an eyebrow. Then came Freud, and the 20th century's new consciousness of the unconscious, and male bonding, like every other human relationship, suddenly became suspect. Machismo, over the century, had to harden into something almost psychopathic to prove that it didn't have a soft underside. In the process, ironically, it became something very nearly duplicating its opposite: Poets knew long before Freud that extreme desire and extreme hate... More >>>