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 Topic: Homosexuality and Civilization by Louis Crompton

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Jesseboy  



Joined: 15 Mar 2003
Posts: 3
Interests: Left-handed, Cuban-Jewish, nudist leather bear. Freelance writer ("The Book Nook"; "Jesse's Journal") and activist. Likes books, movies, music, history, politics, travel and like-minded individuals.
Physical Location: South Florida

Posted: 19 Mar 2004, 3:11 pm    Post subject: Homosexuality and Civilization by Louis Crompton Reply with quote

It took me a couple of weeks to read this book, but it was worth it. Professor Crompton's book is a comprehensive history of lesbians and gay men, in Europe and Asia, from Classical Greece to the Age of Napoleon. His book runs out of steam after 1810, and does not deal with Africa or the Americas, but within its limitations it is first rate. I enjoyed the illustrations, the brief biographies of "great gays in history," and the extensive bibliography (a guide for further reading). All in all, Homosexuality and Civilization is esential reading for queer history buffs and should be the required text for any future GLBT history course.
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Claude  



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 26
Interests: glbtq culture
Physical Location: New Orleans

Posted: 20 Mar 2004, 10:12 am    Post subject: Re: Homosexuality and Civilization by Louis Crompton Reply with quote

Jesseboy wrote:
It took me a couple of weeks to read this book, but it was worth it. Professor Crompton's book is a comprehensive history of lesbians and gay men, in Europe and Asia, from Classical Greece to the Age of Napoleon. His book runs out of steam after 1810, and does not deal with Africa or the Americas, but within its limitations it is first rate. I enjoyed the illustrations, the brief biographies of "great gays in history," and the extensive bibliography (a guide for further reading). All in all, Homosexuality and Civilization is esential reading for queer history buffs and should be the required text for any future GLBT history course.


I absolutely agree. "Homosexuality and Civilization" is a superb work of historical scholarship. Written by a distinguished pioneer in gay studies, it brilliantly summarizes the state of knowledge about same-sex sexuality over an astonishing range of history. It is a work that needed to have been written.

Claude
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Teiresias  



Joined: 27 Mar 2004
Posts: 2
Interests: Gay History, UnNatural Selection, History of Science
Physical Location: St John

Posted: 27 Mar 2004, 10:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Homosexuality and Civilization by Louis Crompton Reply with quote

Jesseboy wrote:
[Crompton's] book runs out of steam after 1810 ....


Let me say in Crompton's defense that he has already covered much of the 19th century in other works. He produced a stunning study of Lord Byron, a decade or so ago. And, in any event, the 'construction of homosexuality' era (from 1869) runs into a sociological morass of outside interference, confused gay responses, and what I would call 'creationist homosexuality' as opposed to 'evolutionary homophilia'.

Crompton is a so-called 'essentialist', and I find myself very much in that camp. I have found the postmodernist politicization of homophilics, even to comtemporizing gay history with contextualization that deliberately puts it out of context, at once trivializing and self-serving. I would contend that Crompton comprehends gayness in individualistic terms rather than sociological ones: and that to me is the very essence of what gayness is and has always been (even in its freest eras). It is a difference (as everybody agrees) but Crompton is one of few today who can prove that the differences make a difference.

I hope this work means that he will now take on the postmodernists, but frankly I would advise against it. It's a fad that will pass -- just as constructionism, psycho-history, and even existentialism did. We are well into the post-postmodernist mode.

In short, I know Crompton does careful work; and he has a bigger picture of homophilica than those who try to give this impression by generalization. I would defend him too.
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Tamadori  



Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 1
Interests: Literary Criticism, East Asian Studies, China, Chinese Gender and Sexuality, Asian American Studies
Physical Location: California

Posted: 19 Jan 2005, 3:35 am    Post subject: I'd agree... Reply with quote

I also tend to be essentialist, but as a student in history, my belief hinders my research and my ability to construct an argument that withstands constructionist and post-structural criticism.
I find myself reading Crompton as more of an expert of Western and European sexualities and feel that his chapter on China lacks analysis. I don't believe that Crompton prefaced homosexuality in China enough. Perhaps the physical nature of same-sex relationships coincide with his narrative, but the sources he used to support his argument (though legitimate) are not examined enough. His statement of how "free" China was from Judeo-Christian moralism is too simple a blanket statement for why there are more recorded documents. The writings of Xie Zhaozhe and Shen Defu, although describe homoerotic acts, are nothing more than personal opinions on same sex love, which may or may not reflect on what was actually happening during their times. Yet Crompton doesn't address this or the economic aspect of homosexual acts as a majority of his sources report acts between a master and his subordinates. He also doesn't address the issue of gender as most Chinese literature portray the penetrant male as a woman. Despite this, I find his research a great secondary source to further discuss Chinese sexuality and gender.
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JohnLinds  



Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 15
Interests: landscape, politics, information systems,
Physical Location: Surbiton, London

Posted: 17 Feb 2006, 8:45 am    Post subject: civilisation Reply with quote

I thought it a pity he had called the book and civilisation.

there might be a much more important thread to the contribution of homosexuality to civilisation which he doesn't touch upon, concentrating rather instead on what unpleasant people have done to us;

this thread would be the contribution to the abolition of slavery, the emergence of atheism, and the one I have just started finding out about, opposition to war :)
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nielsen522  



Joined: 11 Jan 2010
Posts: 20
Interests: Surfing the web,Reading, Movies

Posted: 8 Mar 2010, 8:16 am    Post subject: Re: Homosexuality and Civilization by Louis Crompton Reply with quote

Jesseboy wrote:
It took me a couple of weeks to read this book, but it was worth it. Professor Crompton's book is a comprehensive history of lesbians and gay men, in Europe and Asia, from Classical Greece to the Age of Napoleon. His book runs out of steam after 1810, and does not deal with Africa or the Americas, but within its limitations it is first rate. I enjoyed the illustrations, the brief biographies of "great gays in history," and the extensive bibliography (a guide for further reading). All in all, Homosexuality and Civilization is esential reading for queer history buffs and should be the required text for any future GLBT history course.


Hello. Is there any e-book or any link that I can download this? I'd been finding a book here and I cant seem to find any. thank you.
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