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posted Friday, January 8, 2020 - Volume 49 Issue 02
Chopin's Gay love letters shock Poland
Section One
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Chopin's Gay love letters shock Poland

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Swiss music critic Moritz Weber shocked Poles recently with his documentation of Polish composer Frederick Chopin's romantic feelings for another man.

On his radio show, Chopin's Men, Weber revealed 22 erotic letters from Chopin to his friend Tytus Woyciechowski.

In the letters, Chopin addresses as Woyciechowski as "my dearest life" and signs off with "Give me a kiss, dearest lover."

In one letter, Chopin writes, "You don't like being kissed. Please allow me to do so today. You have to pay for the dirty dream I had about you last night."

"As always, I carry your letters with me," Chopin wrote to Woyciechowski in a letter dated March 27, 1830.

"How good it will be for me to take out your letter and make sure that you love me. And at least to look at the writing and the hand of the one I can only love."

In an April 4, 1830, letter, Chopin wrote to him, "I'm going to wash myself. Don't kiss me now, because I haven't washed myself yet - have you? Even if I rubbed Byzantine oils on myself, you wouldn't kiss me if I didn't magnetically force you to do it. There's some force in nature. Today, you'll dream of kissing me."

Weber said that Chopin also sent passionate letters to his female fiancée's brother, Antoni Wodzinska; a male doctor named Jan Matuszynski; and a close friend, Julian Fontana.

Chopin once wrote to Wodzinska, "Believe me that I think of you as I think of Tytus."

Chopin lived with Matuszynski and Fontana in Paris for years.

Chopin was at one time engaged to the artist Maria Wodzinska and had an affair with the French female novelist George Sand. Sand herself had same-sex relationships, notably with actress Marie Dorval.

While Chopin's Gay love letters document an interesting - and as yet little-known - aspect of 19th-century high culture, they are deeply shocking to Poles.

On one hand, Chopin is a national hero for his unwavering Polish nationalism in a period when his country was split between the Russian and Prussian empires.

On the other hand, post-communist Poland is notoriously right-wing, traditionalist Roman Catholic, and anti-Gay.

The governing Law and Justice Party is violently opposed to LGBT rights, and especially marriage equality.

"The affirmation of homosexuality will lead to the downfall of civilization," former Law and Justice Prime Minister Jaroslav Kraczynski said in 2005. "We can't agree to it."

His twin brother Lech, who was the Polish president until his death in 2010, famously refused to meet with LGBT activists, saying, "I am not willing to meet perverts."

According to Weber, Polish historians and Wikipedia editors have often changed the male pronouns in Chopin's letters to female ones or have deleted any mentions of Chopin's male love letters from his online biographies.

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