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literature
       Alphabetical Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z
Subject Index:  A-B  C-E  F-L  M-Z
English Literature
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Novel: Gay Male
Since World War II, the gay male novel has progressively flourished in England and especially in America.
Novel: Lesbian
From the great modernist writers of the 1920s and 1930s to the pulp writers of the 1950s to the lesbian writers of today, lesbian novelists have had a powerful impact on the lesbian community.
O'Brien, Kate
The popular and critically acclaimed Irish playwright and novelist Kate O'Brien includes lesbian characters and relationships in some of her novels.
Orton, Joe
The gay British playwright Joe Orton, an important precursor of the queer literary movement, is perhaps the finest writer of farce in the twentieth century.
Owen, Wilfred
English war poet Wilfred Owen combined the homoeroticism latent in the elegy tradition with precise observation of the horror of trench warfare.
Pastoral
Both the elegiac and the romantic pastoral have been associated with homoerotic desire from their beginnings in classical literature to their echoes in contemporary literatures.
Pater, Walter
The aesthetic of the important and influential Victorian critic Walter Pater reflected a homosexual sensibility.
Philips, Katherine
Two-thirds of the poems of Katherine Philips, "The Matchless Orinda," concern erotic relationships among women.
Plomer, William
Although overt homosexuality is absent from William Plomer's novels and poems, the relevance of his sexuality to his work is evident.
Poetry: Gay Male
The gay tradition in literature from ancient times to the present is primarily a tradition not of prose but of verse.
Renault, Mary
After five novels which included suggested lesbianism, Mary Renault turned to open male homosexuality in the last nine, which included The Charioteer and eight celebrated historical novels set in ancient Greece.
Rochester, John Wilmot, Earl of
In his poetry and his dramatic farce Sodom, the Restoration rake Rochester depicts heterosexual love as imperfect or incomplete and offers homosexual intercourse as a natural alternative.
Rolfe, Frederick William
Frederick William Rolfe (Baron Corvo) is important for the gay literary heritage because of his distinctive decadent prose style, his outrageous decadent lifestyle, and his unashamed celebration of eroticized male friendships in his works.
Romantic Friendship: Female
Until the beginning of the twentieth century, intimate, exclusive, and often erotic romantic friendships between women were largely perceived as normal and socially acceptable.
Romantic Friendship: Male
Critics use the term male romantic friendship to describe strong attachments between men in works ranging from ancient epics and medieval romances to Renaissance plays, Gothic novels, westerns, and war movies.
Rossetti, Christina
Her sexuality repressed by religion, Christina Rossetti wrote poetry that included highly-charged erotic female-to-female affection.
Sackville-West, Vita
Best known for her relationship with Virginia Woolf and for her scandalous love affairs, Vita Sackville-West was a prolific author of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
Sassoon, Siegfried
For war poet and memoirist Siegfried Sassoon, the grueling years of World War I left an indelible impression of devastation and futility that colored his entire life.
Scott, Paul
British novelist Paul Scott, acclaimed for The Raj Quartet, was a repressed homosexual who found in India a rich metaphor for the interior distances that must be traversed as one person seeks to connect with another.
Scott, Sarah
The eighteenth-century novelist Sarah Scott challenges the sex-gender system of her society and claims narrative authority for women loving women.
Scriblerians
The "Scriblerians," an all-male club flourishing in the early eighteenth century, remains among the most thoroughly homosocial literary groups to be found in modern history.
Seward, Anna
One of the best known English women poets of her time, Anna Seward had several romantic friendships with women and celebrated the Ladies of Llangollen in verse.
Shaffer, Sir Peter
British dramatist Peter Shaffer emerged in the 1960s in the paradoxical guise of the last great twentieth-century poet of the numinous who was also capable of writing commercially successful plays that could be turned into equally successful films.
Shakespeare, William
As one of the key figures that western civilization has used to define itself, William Shakespeare stands in a complicated, fiercely contested relationship to homosexuality.
Sitwell, Edith
Throughout her life, poet and novelist Edith Sitwell surrounded herself with gay men, some of whom became her artistic collaborators. Although it is not clear that she ever experienced a sustained sexual relationship with anyone of either sex, her closest emotional bond was with another woman.
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Popular Topics in Literature
García Lorca, Federico García Lorca, Federico
The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
 
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There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
 
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Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
 
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The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
 
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Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
 
Hughes, Langston Hughes, Langston
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
 
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James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
 
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Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
 
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