Camp "seems such an elastic expression," comments a character in ISHERWOOD's novel, which is often credited with introducing the term into the common parlance. "Actually it isn't at all [elastic]," counters Charles, the gay character who is best acquainted with the meaning of camp. "But I admit it's terribly hard to define." Isherwood's fiction smuggles its random meditations on gay sensibility and the cultural lure of androgyny into a tale largely structured around crises of heterosexual romance. The definition of camp that emerges here has been vastly influential: "[Through camp], you're expressing what's serious to you in terms of fun and artifice and elegance." The attitudes of inverse contempt, fey self-hatred, and insider's aestheticism expressed toward camp in Isherwood's text have been even more influential than this definition, however, as Isherwood's Charles associates the word "camp" with a "swishy" persona, deriding the limitations placed on the term in "queer circles." ("Queer" is used derogatorily here.) Indeed, although Charles is relatively "out" for a gay character in a 1950s American novel, he associates homosexual style with "Low Camp," and when he cites examples of "High Camp" the figures he chooses are nominally heterosexual (for example, EI Greco, Fedor Dostoevsky, and Sigmund Freud).