Gay Literature (2496 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Gregory Woods (The Nottingham Trent University)
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  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.


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There are three distinct models of what constitutes gay literature. They are best considered, here, in reverse chronological order, since the most recent is the most reductive; the model least confined to recent culture is more resonant and expansive.

1) In the strictest and narrowest sense, gay literature emerged from the context of the gay liberation movement, post-Stonewall (1969); that is, from the gay movement in the Western world during the last three decades of the 20th century, as distinct from the homosexual rights movement which preceded it. In this sense, gay literature is written only by writers who, in the first place, identify as gay and subscribe to the ethos and ideology of gay liberation; and who also – and t…

Woods, Gregory. "Gay Literature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 July 2002
[, accessed 24 August 2019.]

Related Groups

  1. Queer (GLBT) Literature

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