- When Jonathan Died
infobox Book |
name = When Jonathan Died
title_orig = Quand Mourut Jonathan
language = French
Gay Men's Press
release_date = 1978 (eng. trans. 26 September 1991)
media_type = Print (Hardback &
pages = 176 pp (paperback edition)
isbn = ISBN 0-85449-154-6 (paperback edition)
"When Jonathan Died" is a
novelby Tony Duvert, translated by D.R. Roberts. It was first published in Franceas "Quand Mourut Jonathan" in 1978.
Jonathan is a 27-year-old artist living in
Pariswho befriends a single mother and her six-year-old son, Serge. When Serge is eight, his mother asks Jonathan to look after him for a week, which they spend together at Jonathan's country house in southern France.
Jonathan and Serge become intimate friends and their intimacy is highly erotic and sexual. Jonathan, smitten with the boy, is distraught when Serge returns to Paris. They are thrust together again when Serge is age ten and their frequent sex continues. Serge is, sexually, a very demanding child and Jonathan obliges his every whim. Eventually, the molestation graduates to
While Jonathan and Serge are separated, the sexual side of Jonathan's paedophile desires begins to dominate his behaviour. He eventually seeks out other young boys and encounters several in anonymous sexual liaisons; he is rejected by some and finds no real satisfaction in sex with the others.
Serge, fatherless and miserable at home with his aloof and demeaning mother, decides to run away to be with Jonathan. He sets off to find him, but becomes overwhelmed by hopelessness, and when confronted with a busy road to cross at night, commits suicide by throwing himself under a fast-moving car.
The story is not narrated by Jonathan, but it is told in some parts from his point of view. The novel is an unusually frank depiction of love between a man and a boy, and presents what Duvert considers such relationships' potential faults and beauty. The story forms a part of Duvert's radical critique of present-day Western culture's views and valuation of the nuclear family,
child sexuality, sexual abuse, paedophile desires, and the nature of love.
Child sexual abuse
List of books portraying paedophilia or sexual abuse of minors
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