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A History of Gay Literature : The Male Tradition

Woods, Gregory
Format: Paperback
Published: November 1, 1999
ISBN: 9780300080889
466 pages, black & white illustrations


‘A work of stunning scholarship and intelligence, a core requirement for every library in the field’ – Gert Hekma, Sexualities

‘Breath-takingly well-informed’ – George E. Haggerty, American Literary History

‘Woods is a prodigious scholar who appears to have read more than Samuel Johnson and Harold Bloom combined’ – Louis Bayard, Washington Post Book World

This book examines a broad range of literary texts, from many different cultures and periods, that might be amenable to ‘gay readings’. In a flood of positive reviews, it was variously described as a ‘monument’, a ‘landmark’, a ‘masterpiece’, ‘magisterial’, ‘herculean’ and even ‘superhuman’.

The chapter headings are: 1: The Making of the Gay Tradition. 2: The Greek Classics. 3: The Roman Classics. 4: The Christian Middle Ages. 5: The Orient. 6: The European Renaissance. 7: Christopher Marlowe. 8: William Shakespeare. 9: The Pastoral Elegists. 10: From Libertinism to the Gothic. 11: New Bearings in the Novel. 12: The American Renaissance. 13: Muscular Aestheticism. 14: Spirit versus Physique. 15: Marcel Proust. 16: Homosexual Men by Women. 17: The Harlem Renaissance. 18: The Tragic Sense of Life. 19: Fantastic Realism. 20: Towards the Popular. 21: The Pink Triangle. 22: The Post-War Starting-Point. 23: European Poetry on the Left. 24: Post-War Tragic Fiction. 25: The Homosexual in Society. 26: Black African Poetry. 27: From Solitary Vice to Circle Jerk. 28: Boys and Boyhood. 29: The Age of Antibiotics. 30: The Family and Its Alternatives. 31: The AIDS Epidemic. 32: Poetry and Paradox.

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