Homososialitet og homoseksualitet i Sigurd Mathiesens novelle «Asser Hein» (1903)

This article presents a reading of Sigurd Mathiesen’s (1871–1958) short story «Asser Hein» (1903), with an emphasis on homosocial (and homosexual) desire as presented in Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s Between Men (1985). The first part of the article is a reading of the short story with respect to Mathiesen’s ability to represent male homosocial and homosexual desire by employing the idea of the double – a figure often associated with the gothic genre. By resorting to the gothic, Mathiesen is able to depict «forbidden» homoerotic relations. On comparing the closing scene of this short story with that of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), I find that the author tries to establish an aesthetic, narcissistic rejection of desire – be it heterosexual or homosexual. The shorter, second part of this article is a critique of Knut Brynhildsvoll’s reading of «Asser Hein» as presented in his book Sigurd Mathiesen ? Norges bortglemte laurbærblad (2008), in which Brynhildsvoll seems to suppress the homosocial and homosexual components of Mathiesen’s life and work.

Keywords: Sigurd Mathiesen, gothic, homosexuality, homosociality, «Asser Hein»