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Introduction

In the fall of 2007, a small group of evangelical protesters arrived on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to preach. Most of the slogans on their placards were familiar variations on themes of sexual and cultural corruption, but one banner, which announced that Homo Sex Is a Threat to National Security, seemed to puzzle many who saw it. The protesters were, like the perplexed UNC students, too young to remember the 1950s, when that equation was evoked regularly by government officials and the media. And probably none of them knew that in claiming a connection between sexual conduct and the integrity of the nation-state, these evangelicals were drawing on a discursive tradition reaching back centuries that links sexual deviancea to religious heresy, cultural difference, and political subversion. This book investigates the associations drawn between male homosexuals, Jews, and Communists as iconic threats to national security, particularly in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. By looking at three espionage scandals in three Western countriesthe Dreyfus Affair in France, the defections of Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean from Great
a. A note on usage: In discussing same-sex sexuality I have tried to use the vocabulary appropriate to the relevant time period, while retaining the modern and slightly less value-laden homosexuality as a convenient shorthand; thus male homosexuality and lesbianism are variously termed, in the pages that follow, sodomy, buggery, inversion, perversion, and so on. I often use the term deviance, not as a pejorative judgment but in order to group phenomena that, while varying over time and in different countries, have all been forcefully designated as aberrant.

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Britain, and the Rosenberg trial in the United StatesI elucidate how conceptions of Communism and male homosexuality have been shaped by representations of Jewishness as potentially incompatible with citizenship in the modern Western nation-state. Reading these cases against literary works by Marcel Proust, W.H. Auden, and Tony Kushner, I find that Jewishness, homosexuality, and Communism are comparably and conjointly figured in these texts as liminal, alien, occulted, and disruptive to the nation and, at times, as potential sources of the nations transformative renewal. Dreyfus, Burgess, Maclean, and the Rosenbergs were certainly not the only Jews, homosexuals, or Communists involved in espionage scandals in the modern West. Numerous other examples spring to mind: Roger Casement, a homosexual Irish revolutionary hanged for treason in 1916; Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss, whose alleged espionage was made public in the late 1940s; John Vassall, a homosexual British naval attach blackmailed into espionage by the Soviets and convicted in 1962; Jonathan Pollard, still serving a life sentence in the United States for spying for Israel. But I am a scholar of literature, and so I have chosen to focus on cases that have found reflection in literary texts, texts that both generate political discourses and are inflected by them. Tracing the imaginative and expressive forms in which ideas about, for example, citizenship and difference have been posed enables me to recover the imprints of concepts that have otherwise largely disappeared from public discourse. It allows me to claim that homophobia and anti-Semitism are integrally related, that the conception of homosexuality as a political/politicized identity retains the mark of its origins in the antiSemitic European climate of Prousts time, and that Communism has served as an axis connecting the two in the Anglo-American political context.
Ma pping the T er r ai n : D efinitions a nd Bou n dar i e s

At the outset of this discussion I want to clarify how I am defining treason and espionage, and their relationship. Legally speaking, the crime of treason is defined very differently in different countries and particularly narrowly in America, where the founders, anxious not to recreate the sweeping statutes that made a great range of offenses against the British monarch treasonable in the eighteenth century, constitutionally restricted the definition of the crime to levying War against the United States or adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.1 There are also significant

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evidentiary requirements for proving treason; thus only a handful of people have ever been convicted of the crime in the United States. In fact, in the cases I examine in this book, only Alfred Dreyfus was actually convicted of treason. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage; we will never know what Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean might have been charged with, since they defected to the Soviet Union before being arrested, but in all probability they would have been prosecuted for espionage or treachery, a slightly different offense in Britain from treason. If treason has only limited application within the strict definitions of the law, however, it is a vitally potent and charged concept emotionally and ideologically, long considered the most fundamental violation of any social contract; Dante, after all, consigns traitors to the lowest circle of his inferno, along with the archtraitor, Satan himself. In The Meaning of Treason (1947) Rebecca West defines treason broadly as the betrayal of familiars to strangers, assuming that all members of one tribe, fiefdom, empire, or nation-state are familiars, and that they are bound together by what West calls real interests against untrustworthy outsiders.2 This is undoubtedly much closer to the popular or commonsense understanding of treason than the legal definition. It is, arguably, the real crime for which the Rosenbergs were executed, regardless of the legal charges against them; it still carries enough emotive force to be a dramatically effective, and remunerative, rallying cry for pundits on the political Right. In the United States during the 1950s loyalty tests were established in many areas of government, education, and business in an attempt to distinguish between treasonous and loyal Americans. Voicing skepticism about these tests, legal scholar Ralph S. Brown neatly glosses the distinction between the judicial and popular understandings of terms like treason, disloyalty, and loyalty and adds the critical point that these terms actually refer to affective states without objective correlatives. Brown writes about loyalty that loyalty to a government or a country originally had etymological associations of lawful obligation; in this sense it is akin to allegiance, which in earlier times meant fealty to the monarch or other overlord. A citizen still owes allegiance to the United States; reciprocal rights and duties flow between him and the government. He must obey its lawful commands; government must give him its protection.

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But for most people loyalty has no such narrow legal bounds. It is something one feels, a generous emotion, personal and free.3 Brown notes the long-standing tradition in legal thought that loyalty cannot be coerced.4 In the age of the nation-state, loyalty is meant to coincide with the country of ones birth or naturalization, but there can be no concrete, objective proof that it does so. In an article on treason another legal scholar, referring to loyalty as an inherently subjective and highly elusive condition, has written ruefully that just as poets have struggled in vain to define romantic love, courts will probably never define that sort of political love.5 Thus, any test of loyalty must be imperfect if not entirely quixotic, and any attempt to compel it bound to fail. In the case of spies, who by definition pass as something other than what they are, questions about loyalty become especially fraught with anxiety. Naturally, not all spies are traitors to their own nations, but in one sense all are treacherous; they are supposed to lie and deceive, to perform loyalties that they do not actually feel. So a spys capacity for dissimulation, which makes him useful, also makes him irremediably dangerous, since his employerhis country, usuallycan never be sure that even the most apparently patriotic and dependable spy is not really a double agent, working in the interests of a foreign power. Thus, while treason can take many forms besides spying, spies are particularly liable to fall under suspicion of treason. In addition to these definitions, I wish to issue two caveats about the nature and scope of this book. The first is an admission of deliberate oversight in my failure to address freemasonry, which has for centuries been as consistently imbricated with Jewishness, sexual deviance, and espionage as they have been with one another. Masons have been characterized as the original agents of the Crucifixion, purveyors of perversion, and the unseen power behind both world Jewry and international Communism; within the framework of some conspiracy theories, indeed, they are the progenitors of the entire genealogy of treason that I trace here. My reason for excluding freemasonry is simply that it constitutes a topic so vast that treating it adequately would have required greatly broadening the scope and length of an already expansive investigation. It is my hope that others will find in these pages tools that will allow them to fill in a picture I have thus purposefully left incomplete.

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The second caution I want to offer is that the discussion that follows will be almost entirely confined to male subjects, except in the case of Ethel Rosenberg. This should not be taken as a token of indifference to the ways gender intersects with race, sexuality, culture, and politics; on the contrary. Men and women have such different relations to the nation that a single project of this nature could not coherently contain a discussion of both. In particular, I am primarily interested here in the question of citizenship, and women have not been citizens of most nations on equal terms with men. Jewish and homosexual menbut only rarely lesbians or Jewish womenhave consistently been associated both literally and figuratively with themes of treason and espionage, first in the European cultural imagination and then in that of Americans. Furthermore, and probably consequently, treason and espionage seem to have fascinated a noteworthy number of prominent men writers, while these tropes apparently have less purchase on the imaginations of women writers. Thus, this book takes as its point of departure the following questions: What was it about Jews and sexually deviant men that made them appear, in different countries and over a considerable period of time, such obvious candidates as traitors to the state? Why should these specific groups be so often considered incapable of national loyalty? How did differences in religion, culture, and sexual expression come to be so closely identified with a specific political ideologyCommunism? And why have male homosexual writers found treason and espionage such compelling vehicles for literary explorations of identity? I propose that the answers to these questions have to do with the ability of certain exotic Others to pass across normative, visible boundaries of racial and sexual classification. The secrecy and treacherousness identified with Jewish and homosexual ontology may be attributable to the potentially invisible alterity of the Jew and the homosexual, which, at least as early as the Renaissance, had begun to provoke fears that the nation could be surreptitiously undermined by moles whose true loyalties might turn out to lie with their clan, race, or biological type rather than with their country. As double agents, invisible Others passing as the Same, they could act like, and on behalf of, both the us within the nation and the them outside it. By the end of the nineteenth century Jewishness and homosexuality had become densely imbricated sites of contestation about the meanings of citizenship and the nation. Subsequently, the Communist entered this discursive nexus, identified with both the Jew and the

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sexual deviant as a figure of duplicity. Discussions of Jews, homosexuals, and Communists press relentlessly on the apparently contradictoryyet almost invariably conjoinedbeliefs that they are essentially different yet virtually indistinguishable from normal citizens. This anxiety is distinct from (though often related to) the stereotypes of race, gender, and class applied to visually legible otherness. Unlike racially marked colonial subjects, for example, Jews and homosexuals have typically been described as inclined to treasonand specifically to espionagerather than, say, armed rebellion. Because of this ideological history, it would seem that for men writersand especially for white, middle-class men writers who have enjoyed in most regards an exceptional degree of social privilegeimages of espionage and treason have offered themselves as aesthetically effective and emotionally resonant ways of registering a sense of decisive, yet imperceptible, difference. The spy who appears to be just like everyone elsethat is, just like all other adult white heterosexual male citizensbut is secretly really something else, dangerous, threatening, perhaps reviled or hunted but also intriguing, attractive, even glamorous: is this figure not an admirable representation of the precarious, liminal position of the writer, or the fictional protagonist, who departs from the norms of his society only by some occulted anomaly of sexual taste, political or religious belief, ethnic descent, or cultural affiliation? And the trope of treason, I will argue, is a way of registering a genuine and profound sense of alienation, skepticism, or even outrage on the part of writers who are nonetheless far too assimilated to their social worlds and too embedded in their national identities simply to reject them.
L iterature an d the Natio n a l Im ag i n ary

In the first chapter I offer an overview of historical constructions of Jewishness and sexual deviance as Other to national identities in the West. I trace the interlacing of racial and sexual difference that by the nineteenth century drew ever more tightly together representations of the Jew with newly emerging concepts of sexual perversion and fears of left-wing radicalism. Political beliefs that aimed at radical revision of a nations economy, like religious or sexual practices that conflicted with national norms, challenged the limits of national inclusivity in liberal nation-states, disclosing the profound tension between the ideals of liberal pluralism and the

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requirements of civic unity. Chapter 2 investigates how that stress led to national rupture in France when, in 1894, a Jewish army officer was accused of selling Frances military secrets to the Germans. This chapter looks at the imbricated discourses of race and sexuality that informed the Dreyfus Affair and the way conceptual associations between Germans, Jews, illicit sexualities, and treason were used strategically to further the legal case against Captain Dreyfus. The third chapter considers Prousts use of the Affair in la recherche du temps perdu, whose volumes began appearing a decade after the case had fizzled to an end. At a time when authoritative discourses about homosexuality were almost exclusively medical and juridical, the novel offers the most thorough theorization of homosexuality that had yet been undertaken in fictional form. la recherche gives us not only an immensely, indeed hilariously, complex taxonomy of sexualities but also a subtle and original analysis of the relationship between homosexualities and citizenshipone in which, as has often been noted in Proust scholarship, male homosexuality in particular is insistently analogized to Jewishness. Morris Kaplan has written that Proust dramatized the racial conceptions of Jewishness and homosexuality that emerged from complex negotiations between demands for conformity and assertions of difference in France.6 But the analogys ramifications for republican concepts of political identity are ultimately even farther-reaching: for in examining the relationship of Jews and homosexuals to citizenship, Proust proposes a notion of identity that undermines the stability of the very concept of the nation as a culturally unified contract among publicly identical individuals. The Dreyfus Affair and Prousts response to it provide the imaginative map for my analysis of how particular identities become ever more closely identified with espionage in the course of the twentieth century. In the second part of the book I look at the way W.H. Auden and his literary contemporaries in the interwar period fashioned themselves as secret agents, developing and adapting Prousts narrative to focus on the ambiguous social positioning of ruling-class homosexuals rather than that of Jews. The trope of espionage enabled writers in Audens circle to articulate the status of the upper-middle-class, left-wing British homosexual as both emblem of, and traitor to, an empire he was bred to rule. The writers thus helped construct the framework within which the treason of the so-called Cambridge spiesBurgess, Maclean, Kim Philby, and Anthony Blunt would eventually be received and understood. Chapter 4 examines Audens

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reliance in his early poetry on tropes of conspiracy, frontiers, wars, and espionage as a means of dramatizing the internal and external forces bearing on the bourgeois homosexual, whose sexual desires and gender position so complicate his relationship to institutional and cultural power. While Auden eventually abandoned the figure of the spy and turned to an exploration of the homosexual mans claim to citizenship, the early poetry registers an entrenched suspicion of the establishment and characterizes homosexuals as socially alienated and psychologically conflicted. As I show in chapter 5, when Burgess and Maclean defected to the Soviet Union in 1951, this sexual and political typology seemed confirmed, and the stereotype of the furtive Jewish conspirator was recast, in both Britain and America, as paranoia about a homosexual fifth column working in conjunction with international Communism, motivating McCarthyite witch hunts for sexual deviants and political subversives in both countries. In the United States in particular, the containment policies of the Cold War established an equation between national integrity and the impenetrable body of the normatively sexed man, partly in reaction to the heterodox sexualities and cosmopolitan transnationalism of both the British spies and European modernists like Proust and Auden. The approach and aims of these later chapters are necessarily different from my treatment of Proust, who wrote directly and explicitly about the Dreyfus Affair after it took place. Auden never wrote poems about his friends Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt or their coconspirators. Indeed, by the midfifties, when Moscow officially admitted that Burgess and Maclean had defected, the themes of conspiracy and espionage had largely disappeared from Audens work. Instead, the poets preoccupation with spying developed in the late 1920s and flourished in the early 1930s, roughly the same period during which the Cambridge spies became Communists and then were launched on their careers as double agents. So rather than investigating a historical event that surfaces as theme and metaphor in a work of fiction, as I do in chapters 2 and 3, in chapters 4 and 5 I look at a historical period and cultural climate that produced a number of notorious spies and a curious quantity of literature about spyingand at the connections between those two things. In the books sixth chapter I consider both the Rosenberg case and Tony Kushners 1992 attempt in Angels in America to restage the meanings of McCarthyism. By midcentury red-baiters had easy access to familiar tropes equating Communists, Jews, homosexuals, and treason.

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Anti-Communists were thus able to mobilize popular fear of and antagonism to the Red Menace quickly and decisively, using a shorthand that referred the public immediately to well-established assumptions about the nature of internal enemies. At the same time, however, a range of factors converged to encourage Jewish integration into the American polity, resulting in a strenuous conflict within American Jewry between those who advocated radical social and economic change, on the one hand, and those who espoused assimilation to a national ethic of patriotism, gender conformity, and religious piety, on the other. I read the Rosenbergs trial and Kushners play as interventions into that struggle over Jewish American identity. The outcome of the Rosenberg case was the firm suppression of Jewish American Communism and the imposition of a conservative consensus represented, in Angels, by Roy Cohn and vigorously contested by the plays queer politics. Explicitly highlighting the longstanding ideological relations between Jewishness, homosexuality, Communism, and treason, Kushner allows Cohns prosecution of the Rosenbergs to conjure all the knotty issues of loyalty and betrayal at the dramatic heart of both the trial and his own text. He also introduces Ethel Rosenbergs ghost into the play, in what we might assume is an attempt to restore a consensus of the Left, recalling Jewish Americans to the radical tradition of the 1920s and 1930s and thus valorizing Jewish political subversion as well as sexual deviance. I will argue, however, that the play fails to enact such a consensus, instead drawing its characters and, ultimately, its audience into an ongoing dialectic between modes of queer and Jewish citizenship. The public discourses generated by the Dreyfus Affair, the Burgess-Maclean scandal, and the trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg reveal that regardless of the innocence or guilt of the accused, in each case Jews, homosexuals, or Communists signified more readily as traitors because they problematized sacrosanct tenets about national identity while passing as citizens. Cases of treasona profound affront to a national communitybring to light the substantial religious, cultural, and ideological requirements for full citizenship, which far exceed the limited criteria of formal enfranchisement. Alfred Dreyfus, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, and the Rosenbergs were charged with betraying national secrets. Yet the discourses surrounding them suggest that they also stood accused of betraying a more fundamental secret about the modern nation-state: that national self-understandings are always unstable, what James Joyce called a necessary fiction.

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introduction

It is for that reason that deliberate fictions, in the form of literary texts, can be such a useful record of and response to the rhetorical investments of nationalism, prodding at inconsistencies in nationalist narratives and calling them to account for their blind spots. It is also why I have felt licensed to approach this project by producing close readings of such different kinds of cultural artifacts, from poems to trial transcripts. This is not to suggest that all texts have the same function or that all can be similarly read as manifestations of a vaguely defined zeitgeist. Rather, I attempt in the following chapters to offer site-specific exegeses of an ideational complex that both persisted in the nation-state over a sustained period and erupted forcefully into public consciousness and textual expression at particular historical moments. The archival materials and historical documents I draw on register instances in which instabilities in national self-conceptions in France, Britain, and the United States became especially visible; the literary works do the same thing deliberately and productively, using these moments to interrogate the relationship of subalterns to particular nations and to citizenship more generally. From that interrogation arises, for each of the three authors I treat in this study, a richly generative tension between their acknowledgment of the seductions of national belonging and national identity and their interest in resisting that pull, rewriting the terms of citizenship and enlarging or unsettling the concept of the nation. In 1939 Auden wrote, Loyalty and intelligence are mutually hostile. The intelligence is always disloyal. There must always be a conflict between the loyalty necessary for society to be, and the intelligence necessary for society to become.7 Paradoxically, I will claim, that intelligent, productive disloyalty is precisely what Auden, Proust, and Kushner contribute to the polity, helping it not only to be but also to become.