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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
Classical Literature
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Augustine of Hippo
Although same-sex friendships played a more important role in his emotional and personal life than relationships with women, his hostility to all forms of nonprocreative sexuality caused Augustine to condemn homosexuality.
Bisexual Literature
Although Western culture's reliance upon binary systems of classification and identification has meant the practical erasure of bisexuality, as such, from literary and cultural analysis, bisexual experiences appear in many literary works from ancient times to the present.
Catullus
The Roman poet Catullus incorporated homoerotic themes in his verse, both reflecting the passionate character of same-sex friendships and describing several of his own homosexual adventures.
Classical Mythology
The Greco-Roman myths concerning same-sex love have been of crucial importance to the Western gay and lesbian literary heritage, both as texts and as icons.
Comedy of Manners
The Comedy of Manners, which flourished on the Restoration stage, has been particularly amenable to twentieth-century gay male writers as a vehicle for social satire in both dramatic and nondramatic works.
Elegy
A poetic response to the death of a greatly loved person, the elegy has had since classical times a homoerotic component.
Erotica and Pornography
Erotic and pornographic works have been written in many cultures since ancient times and recently have flourished with the relaxation of censorship.
Greek Literature: Ancient
Ancient Greece holds a unique place in the heritage of homosexual literature as it was a society that openly celebrated same-sex love in its poetry and prose.
Horace
In his highly accomplished and influential poetry, Horace reflects the easy bisexuality of the Roman upper class in the first century B. C.
Juvenal
The works of satirist Juvenal are crucial for exploring attitudes toward (homo)sexuality in ancient Rome.
Lucian
In Lucian's satiric works, homosexuality is treated as one of a related series of personal traits that characterize villainy, pretension, and ignorance, while the Erôtes of pseudo-Lucian advocates male-male love as honorable and as a sign of social progress.
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.
Petronius
Petronius' Satyricon is both the best evidence for homosexual behavior at the height of the Roman Empire and one of the most bumptious homoerotic picaresque narratives ever written.
Plato
Among Greek writers on homosexual themes, Plato is preeminent not only as a major philosopher but also as the greatest master of Greek prose.
Plutarch
No ancient is more instructive about pederasty than the Greek biographer and essayist Plutarch.
Poetry: Gay Male
The gay tradition in literature from ancient times to the present is primarily a tradition not of prose but of verse.
Poetry: Lesbian
Since the 1960s, the general trend in lesbian poetry has been collective and political rather than purely aesthetic.
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.
Roman Literature
Roman writers on homosexual or bisexual themes generally followed Greek models; but unlike the Greeks, Romans condoned sex with slaves.
Sappho
Admired through the ages as one of the greatest lyric poets, the ancient Greek writer Sappho is today esteemed by lesbians around the world as the archetypal lesbian and their symbolic mother.
Theocritus
The ancient Greek poet Theocritus is the first great voice in the homoerotic pastoral tradition in Western literature.
Virgil
Virgil wrote approvingly of male love in many works, and his second eclogue became the most famous poem on that subject in Latin literature.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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.
 
Musical Theater
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.
 
Michelangelo Buonarroti Michelangelo Buonarroti
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
 
African-American Literature: Gay Male African-American Literature: Gay Male
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.
 
Camp Camp
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.
 
Baldwin, James Arthur Baldwin, James Arthur
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
 
Wilde, Oscar Wilde, Oscar
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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