Pontus Wikner (1837-1888)

Pontus Wikner. Source: Revolt (nr. 10, 1984)
Pontus Wikner. Source: Revolt (nr. 10, 1984)
Pontus Wikner was a Swedish philosopher and writer, as well as professor at the University of Oslo from 1884 until his death four years later.

In 1879 he delivered the text "Psychological confessions" to the Medical Faculty in Uppsala, Sweden, stressing that the envelope was not to be opened before 1930, or after his wife and two sons had passed away. In "Psychological confessions" Wikner details his experiences of being a man who loved men in the 1800s. He wrote about how it was for him to live in a marriage with a woman when he never really had loved or been in love with women, and the sufferings it caused him to not be able to live accordingly to his orientation. Wikner wrote:

"Doctors and legislators, I am asking you to help my brothers. I cannot speak with the priests: they are handicapped by the mosaism and the law of Paulus. When some millennias have passed, the mosaism in Christianity will probably be dead, and then perhaps a priest can be merciful as well. However, it is useless at this time. But to you, doctors and legislators, I am screaming from my grave. (You who read this and have the power to do even the smallest effort for my brothers' liberation, my prayer shall follow you night and day)," (Elmer, 1971, p. 32).

Wikner made several additions to the text in the period between 1879 and 1887. The last version was dictated to his wife when he himself was too sick to write. Wikner also wrote that he eventually opened up to her, and that she remained a good support, wife and friend for him.

"Psychological confessions" was first published in 1971 in the book Trivsel også for de homofile ("Well-being also for the homosexuals") by the Danish writer and editor Martin Elmer.

 

Sources:

Elmer, Martin. 1971. Trivsel også for de homofile. København: RHODOS.