A History of Gay Literature: The Male Tradition

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Yale University Press, 1998 - Literary Criticism - 456 pages
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While many books have been written about gay writing, this is the first full-scale account of male gay literature, across cultures, languages, and from ancient times to the present. Working within the widest definitions of what constitutes gay literature, it includes chapters on the significant periods of cultural history (the Greek and Roman civilisations, the Middle Ages, the European Renaissance, the American major writers (Marlowe, Shakespeare, Proust) and on common themes (boyhood, mourning, masturbation). A work of reference as well as the definitive history of a tradition, it covers a definitive history of a tradition, it covers a massive field in terms of time (from Homer to Edmund White), literary status (from cultural icons like Virgil and Dante to popular novelists like Clive Barker and Dashiell Hammett), and location (from Mishima's Tokyo and Abu Nuwas' Baghdad to David Leavitt's New York).

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - arberybooks - LibraryThing

Comprehensive but muddled and his sweep too wide in some places. Good for peering into some abandoned closets in the male homosexual past, but surprisingly weak in its presentation and arguments. Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

These finely honed gay readings of selected Western (and some Eastern) literary texts richly reward the careful attention they demand. Woods (Gay & Lesbian Studies/Nottingham Trent Univ., England ... Read full review

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About the author (1998)

Woods is reader in lesbian & gay studies at the Nottingham Trent University

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