New version of novel ‘From Here to Eternity’ to contain gay references
A new version of the novel ‘From Here to Eternity’ will contain the gay references originally included by author James Jones.
The book inspired one of film’s most famous heterosexual kisses, between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr.
However, neither the 1951 novel nor the 19523 film contained Jones’ references to homosexuality because they were considered too scandalous at the time.
Jones’ editor at Scribner insisted that some scenes be removed, such as the one in which private Angelo Maggio (played by Frank Sinatra in the film) admits having oral sex with a man for money.
In another scene, a military investigation into homosexuality is suggested. The original version of the novel also contained swearing.
Jones’ daughter, the novelist Kaylie Jones, said her father had fought “bitterly” to keep the swearing but eventually conceded to his editor.
The original version of the book will be released as an e-book by https://www.openroadmedia.com/ Open Media.
Sarah Churchwell, senior lecturer in American literature and culture at the University of East Anglia, told the Guardian: “It’s an important historical correction, to allow James Jones his rightful place as one of the earliest mainstream US novelists to try to treat homosexuality sympathetically, without judging or pathologising it.
“People don’t think of Jones as an avant-garde writer, but in his way he was. We know about Hemingway and Allen Ginsberg, but we don’t put James Jones into that story and he deserves to be there.”