Clark, Petra. “Bitextuality, Sexuality, and the Male Aesthete in The Dial: “Not through an orthodox channel”.” English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920, vol. 56, no. 1, 2013, pp. 33-50. Project MUSE muse.jhu.edu/article/493237.
Petra Clark’s article highlights the homoerotic imagery of The Dial’s first volume, especially as it emerges through the complicated and subversive relationships between the illustrations and the text.
John Gray’s “The Great Worm”, inspired by Oscar Wilde’s collection of fairy tales, features self-aware and possibly satirical homoerotic imagery, which is supported, and subverted, through Charles Ricketts’ accompanying lithograph, etching, and textual ornament.
Clark explains the unique relationship between the lithograph and the story of this volume through Lorraine Janzen Koositra’s concept of “bitextuality”, which is a reorganized interplay between image and text that subverts the norm of illustrations “depending on” text (which is a masculine-feminine interplay of dependence and subservience).
Ultimately, the reorganized and homoerotic relationship between the illustrations and the text of this story represent fin de siecle ideas of reimagined masculinity, subversive homoeroticism, allegory, and aetheticism.