This essay establishes how the scholarly labors that brought Edward Taylor’s works to light in the 1930s foreclosed any understanding of them as queer. The absence of a queer critical reception history is this essay’s subject, and to trace that absence, it focuses on the material and intellectual terms of Taylor’s initial critical reception and on the political forces and critical assumptions that bear on those terms. Taylor’s devotional Meditations offer an exemplary case for understanding how many of the ordinary labors associated with recovery and publication—the scholarly acts that stand, ultimately, behind nearly any interpretation of any literary text, including genre classification, editorial presentation, and genealogical authentication—have often been versions of what Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick described in the late 1980s as “the extremely elusive and maddeningly plural ways in which cultures and their various institutions efface and alter sexual meaning.”

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