To celebrate LGBT Pride Month, Special Collections’ featured book for June is The Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature: Readings from Western Antiquity to the Present Day edited by Byrne R.S. Fone.
From the Epic of Gilgamesh to the poems of Allen Ginsberg and gay literature of the 1980s and ’90s, The Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature draws together hundreds of texts from Western literary history that describe experiences of love, friendship, intimacy, desire, and sex among men. Spanning more than two millennia, from ancient Mesopotamia to the late twentieth century, this anthology brings together the best-known texts of gay male writing such as the poetry of Martial and Walt Whitman, and excerpts from E. M. Forster’s Maurice, as well as from lesser known works such as nineteenth-century English homoerotic poetry and selections from two early American novels of homosexual love – Joseph and His Friend and Imre. In The Columbia Anthology readers become acquainted with the early bonds of male companionship found in Homer’s writings on Zeus and Ganymede, and with the homoerotic poetry of Catullus and Juvenal. From Shakespeare’s Sonnets to the philosophy of de Sade, to the political writings of Edmund White, this anthology traces a multifaceted tradition.
As a landmark to the enduring spirit of gay writers, this collection is an essential addition to the library of anyone searching for the historical foundations of gay identities. With its excellent annotations and suggestions for further reading, The Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature will also serve as an invaluable resource to students and scholars in need of a guide to a massive body of literature that has long been hidden, ignored, or misrepresented. (Amazon.com)
Byrne R.S. Fone is professor emeritus of English literature at the City College of New York. He is a recognized pioneer in the field of Gay Studies and has written several books in the field including: A Road to Stonewall: Homosexuality and Homophobia in British and American Literature and a study of Walt Whitman: Masculine Landscapes: Walt Whitman and the Homoerotic Text. He has edited the largest and most comprehensive anthology of gay literature, The Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature (our featured book for June) and in Homophobia: A History he examines the history of homophobia over a period covering almost two millennia.
This book is from our Alumni Authors Collection located in Special Collections. It is also part of the The Byrne Fone Collection of Gay Studies, a gift to the Binghamton University Libraries received in 2009.