Friends with Benefits: Friendship and Queer Temporality in Klaus Mann’s Der fromme Tanz (1926) and Siegfried Kracauer’s Georg (1934)

Domenic DeSocio


What notions and experiences of time does queer friendship cultivate? I analyze Klaus Mann’s Der fromme Tanz (1926) and Siegfried Kracauer’s Georg (1934/73) to argue that the queer friendships depicted in these novels evoke temporalities of continuity, non-fragmentation, and coherency imbued with a robust sense of tradition. Offering close readings contextualized within the history of Western discourses on male friendship and contemporary queer theoretical debates about temporality and sexuality, I demonstrate how these authors portray two different models of queer friendship as hybrid solutions of romantic, erotic, and friendly affects and desires. From these unique combinations their relationships emerge as sites of and tools for engendering new temporalities and temporal lifeworlds around an enduring present. In foregrounding alternative forms of queer relationality and time, I contribute to recent scholarship on queer time, expanding our scope beyond commonly studied romantic-sexual relationships and their temporalities of disruption and discontinuity. (DD)

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