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„Að hafa svo mikið upp úr lífinu sem auðið er“: Ólafur Davíðsson og hinsegin rými í Lærða skólanum á nítjándu öld.

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Í dagbók frá námsárum sínum skrifar Ólafur Davíðsson fræðimaður (1862–1903) um ástarsamband sitt við skólafélaga sinn Geir Sæmundsson. Hún er þannig einstök heimild fyrir íslenska hinsegin sögu. Í þessari grein er dagbókin skoðuð út frá hugmyndum um hinsegin rými og út frá staðbrigðahugtaki Michels Foucault. Bent er á að á nítjándu öld voru heimavistarskólar á borð við Lærða skólann að mörgu leyti undantekningarými í samfélaginu. Þar var miklum fjölda óskyldra ungra pilta tímabundið safnað saman á einn stað og gert að búa í mikilli nálægð. Á meðan hlutu þeir menntun sem á nítjándu öld miðaði einna helst að þekkingu á hinum klassíska heimi Grikkja og Rómverja. Nemendur lásu gjarnan rit úr fornöld sem lofuðu mjög samkynja ástir karlmanna. Í Englandi vakti þetta fyrirkomulag sífellt meiri grunsemdir eftir því sem á leið öldina. Skólarnir voru þá endurskipulagðir með það í huga að fylgjast mætti betur með nemendum til að draga úr samkynja ástum og kynlífi. Þessarar þróunar gætti einnig í Lærða skólanum, en þótt fylgst væri með skólapiltum gátu Ólafur og fleiri nemendur markað sér rými, til dæmis með lestri skandinavískra raunsæisbókmennta og forngrískra texta um „sveinaástir“, til að finna óhefðbundnum ástum farveg innan skólasamfélagsins.
“To Enjoy Life to the Utmost”: Ólafur Davíðsson and Queer Space in the Nineteenth-Century Reykjavík Latin School The diary of Ólafur Davíðsson (1862–1903) is a unique source for Icelandic queer history. In it, Ólafur describes his love relationship with Geir Sæmundsson, a fellow student at his boarding school, the Reykjavík Latin School („Lærði skólinn“). This article examines the diary from the standpoint of queer history, utilising the concepts of queer space and heterotopia. Nineteenth-century boarding schools, such as the Latin School attended by Ólafur and Geir, represented in many ways exceptional spaces in society. French philosopher Michel Foucault identified them as heterotopias, places where normal societal rules were overturned and a certain otherness was allowed and contained. Numerous upper-class boys and young men cohabited there in close quarters, cut off from traditional societal outlets for love and sexual desire, while studying texts by Greek and Roman authors, many of whom extolled the virtues of male same-sex love. Thus, these schools nourished a culture of same-sex love, sex and even abuse. In the nineteenth century, this age-old tradition started being regarded with suspicion, leading to widespread public-school reforms aimed at curbing same-sex relationships. These reforms seem to have influenced the Reykjavík Latin School‘s supervision of its dormitory from the middle of the century onwards. However, some students, Ólafur Davíðsson and Geir Sæmundsson among them, rented rooms away from the school dormitory and could use them to bunk together, their unsupervised beds serving as queer spaces. A close reading of Ólafur’s diary shows how his education helped support the mental queer space around his love for Geir. While Ólafur did consider the Biblical injunction against same-sex love, the school curriculum and library provided a basis for opposing views. The “realist” literature blossoming in Scandinavia allowed Ólafur to question the moral authority of the Bible, and Plato’s Symposium, read during Greek lessons, praised love between a younger and an older man and could give Ólafur’s relationship with the five-years-younger Geir a positive image. All this contributed to the queer space that is evident in Ólafur’s diary. It was not restricted to Ólafur and Geir alone, which suggests that further research of queer space in the nineteenth-century Reykjavík Latin School could to yield interesting results. Such research might even overthrow the school’s traditionally conservative image in Icelandic historiography.