Gay books

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proycon
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Gay books

Postby proycon » 2004-05-18, 15:26

Since we have quite a number of gay members, I think it would be nice to recommend some books where one or more of the characters are homosexual, and where it is a key theme in the book.

Of course the book can be written in any language, the more the better :)

Let's make a nice list of books you have read concerning this theme, state title, author and a short description in the language of the book :) Along with personal comments.

I just finished reading the following "Le Secret":

-----------------------------

"Le Secret" -- Anita van Belle

Quand son meilleur ami tombe amoureuse d'un fille, Sandro (+- 15/16 ans je crois) découvrit qu'il sent plus que amitié pour cet ami.

C'est un livre très bon les sentiments de Sando sont décrits en detail, c'est très realistique ! Je récommende ce livre!

-----------------------------

"Lieve Jongens" -- Gerard Réve

Dit is een beroemde Nederlandse auteur. Het boek is redelijk autobiografisch en hij beschrijft vertelt (vooral erotische) verhalen aan zn vriend. De manier van vertellen is ook heel erg apart en je moet er maar van houden.. Het is toch wel een boeiend boek.
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Postby Axystos » 2004-05-18, 18:09

I think all books by Gerard Reve contain some kind of homosexuality. For school I read 'de vierde man' and two other books I can't remember the title of, and they were all in some way homosexual.

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Oscar Wilde

Postby Weldal » 2004-05-19, 11:04

I think that the most famous gay writer of all times was Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), the British author of "The portrait of Dorian Gray" and "Canterville Ghost". He lived in the so called Victorian times, so I think that for this reason he didn't write very much about homosexualism in his books, that subject was a kind of taboo in the late 19 th century...
Anyway, his love with a younger nobleman became a scandal and for this reason he was sent to prison. I think that in prison he became sick and for this reason he died at the age of 46... :roll:
He was a very good writer, I liked very much these two books mentioned previously.

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Postby mocco » 2004-05-27, 12:42

I can't but mention Jean Genet. He's gained popularity in Russia due to famous director Roman Viktyuk who staged a lot of his plays. As for novels, I've read (in Russian) only one called Pompes funèbres (Funeral Rites). Not bad but women's images are rather repellent. Another his novel, The Diary of a Thief, is much recommended, so I'll try it some day.
Gay-tinted poems by Allen Ginsberg are worth reading by all poetry lovers irrespective of orientation, it's really great. Yukio Mishima doesn't need any introduction. Confessions of a Mask is thought provoking, intimate prose. As a matter of fact, I quite like his works that don't concentrate on homosexual issues. Patriotism, for instance.

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Postby LCommi » 2004-05-30, 22:40

I really hate Gerard Reve's style and the person of Gerard Reve. His book lieve jongens made me really sick.
I read a view pages and it began about sex with minors and thes went on about this great third reich SS guy. I didn't finish it so maybe i shouldn't really talk about it.

A great book starring a Homosexual is by Flemish writer Tom Lanoye. It's called Kartonnen Dozen.
I really like his style. The book is autobiographic and tells about him being yound and discovering he is gay. He is not very explicit in erotic details.
He is talking much more about love between to people of the same sex. I like it that he is not pretending that he is gay love is different from hetero love. Being in love when ur young is just full of problems. It doesn't mind wheter ur gay or not.

I don't think I know any other books about homosexuals.

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Tondelli

Postby aelred » 2004-06-07, 14:06

I recommend an italian autor, Pier Vittorio Tondelli, in which novels there are a lot of gay characters. Tondelli died in 1991 for Aids.

P. V. Tondelli
"Camere separate",
è la storia di Leo e del suo compagno Thomas, di come si innamorano e della loro vita insieme, che però non arrivano mai a condividere del tutto; per questo sono come due "camere separate".

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Postby Leviwosc » 2004-07-03, 15:41

I haven't read many gay books.... but those which I've read were pretty good.

"De trimbaan" -- Imme Dros

Filip en Rogier werken elke dag hard aan herstel van een vervallen trimbaan. Beiden weten dat ze het niet doen om te gaan trainen. Toch blijven ze samen bezig. Wanneer Filip een meisje naar de baan meeneemt en Rogier zegt niet op meisjes te vallen, slaat Filip op tilt.

"Lieve Jongens" -- Gerard Reve

Zie Proycon, zijn beschrijving...

"Het hijgend hert" -- Gerard Reve

Aagje, de moeder van de Geschramde Jongen, een vrouw die volgens Wessel alles weet en ziet. Revistische mijmeringen worden afgewisseld met het droogkomische geneuzel waar Frits van Egters in 'De avonden' (1947) z'n tijd mee doodt. Deze symbolische roman geeft een particulier antwoord op de vraag naar de zin van ons bestaan. Wat is het leven, met al z'n religieuze mysteries? Een tragisch liefdesavontuur, antwoordt de 74-jarige volksschrijver Reve. En vanuit zijn unieke levensvisie heeft hij daarin stellig gelijk.

"De avonden" -- Gerard Reve

Een jongeman van 23 die zich de laatste tien dagen van het jaar 1946 helemaal dood verveelt. Dat klinkt heel saai, maar dat is het niet. Hij maakt namelijk genoeg mee om het verhaal leuk te houden. Hij gaat naar vrienden, loopt veel buiten en denkt ook heel erg veel. Dit is erg leuk, omdat je dan weet wat hij allemaal denkt. Het lijkt op een dagboek, maar dat is het niet, omdat het in het hij-perspectief is geschreven. De hoofdpersoon Frits leeft ook een beetje in zijn eigen wereldje. Zo praat hij tegen een knuffelkonijn dat hij heeft gekregen van een tante. Dat is natuurlijk wel een beetje vreemd als je al 23 bent. Ik denk dat dit allemaal komt omdat hij zich verveelt.

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Postby parousia » 2004-08-01, 13:58

I would second mocco's recommendation of Yukio Mishima's Confessions of a Mask. I read three novels by Mishima and that was my favorite - probably because it was the most autobiographical and thereby most authentic.

If you would like to read poetry by gay poets, I think mocco's suggestion of Allen Ginsburg is good. He's very American :D Hart Crane, who has a very different (and maybe more difficult) style, is good too.

Here are some other gay American writers that I like:

Tennessee Williams (from the South) (mostly a playwright but wrote some wonderful shortstories, try the story "The Black Masseur" - I'm still puzzling over that one... :roll: something to do with S&M I think... :shock:

James Baldwin (African American gay writer, try Another Country)

William Burroughs (good friend of Allen Ginsburg) I haven't read much by this writer, but what I've read was intriguing - The Yage Letters (letters to Ginsburg while WB was in South America in search of the elusive hallucinogenic drug "yage").

A couple other famous and worthwhile gay writers :)
Marcel Proust (of course)
E.M. Forster (I haven't read his overtly gay book, Maurice, but I liked A Passage to India and A Room with a View, which incidentally is a charming movie. Also, my gay friends worship the movie version of Maurice, also called Maurice, but I've never seen it myself...)

And here's a contemporary English lesbian writer whose first novel I really enjoyed, Jeanette Winterson and her Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
That's all I can think of for now :D That should keep you busy :wink:


Bonne lecture! :D

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Postby Emandir » 2004-08-04, 8:46

In order of appearance :wink:

Henri Troyat, La malandre

André Gide, L'immoraliste

Marguerite Yourcenar, Alexis ou le traité du vain combat

Valérie Valère, Obsession blanche

Edward Morgan Forster, Maurice

Michel Tremblay, La nuit des princes charmants


These are someI just can remember and that really counted for me.

I could talk about Maurice for hours, pity I don't have time right now! :(
I've seen Ivory's movie on Dec. 14th, 1987 and read the book the day after, in French.
I read it again several time, both in French and English and have the (hopeless) project to translate it in French for the translation that already exists is awful! :evil:

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Postby parousia » 2004-08-20, 11:31

Salut Emandir :D

I read it again several time, both in French and English and have the (hopeless) project to translate it in French for the translation that already exists is awful!


Pourquoi "hopeless" ? Je t'encourage à le traduire :) Ca serait excellent! Et si tu as jamais besoin de quelqu'un pour consulter à propos de l'anglais, je suis là! aussi bien que ce forum. Mais d'abord il me faut lire ce livre célèbre :) Hélas! Ma liste de lecture ne cesse pas d'accroître... :roll:

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Postby Emandir » 2004-08-20, 11:49

Merci beaucoup, Parousia !
I've said "holpless" cause it's a long time job and I'm not sure I'll be able to achieve it: I'm quite moody you know, and feel bored very quickly when doing the same thing for some time...
Anyway, be sure that, when I'll do it, I will for sure ask you and all the UniLang members for help! :wink:
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sova

Re: Gay books

Postby sova » 2004-09-20, 20:33

[quote="proycon"]
"Lieve Jongens" -- Gerard Réve

Dit is een beroemde Nederlandse auteur. Het boek is redelijk autobiografisch en hij beschrijft vertelt (vooral erotische) verhalen aan zn vriend. De manier van vertellen is ook heel erg apart en je moet er maar van houden.. Het is toch wel een boeiend boek.[/quote]

You have read it, Proy, haven't you?! Beautiful but terribly difficult book. Do you remember that passage about the statue? " Een in the buurt van zijn mond zich als een gestrekte mirliton uitrollend tekstlint..." - still cannot make a picture of it... :cry:

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Postby frank74 » 2004-09-22, 21:48

A famous American novelist is David Leavitt, most of his books are gay/lesbian-themed. So far I read two of his novels (and I liked them both):
1. The lost language of Cranes (1986)
In New York, Philip has a rather shallow relationship Eliot. At the same time he realizes he wants to come out to his parents. But his parents are having problems of their own, since the father has been secretly visiting gay porn cinemas for years. The whole family is heading for some drama, although the novel in part also has a happy ending (read it yourself!). A subplot is about Eliot's lesbian roommate Jerene who has a happy relationship, but is, because of that, ignored by her parents who are no longer regarding her as a daughter.
From this novel a motion picture was made (I haven't seen that so far).
2. While England sleeps (1993)
This is quite a different novel: In England in the 1930's, an upperclass writer (Brian) and a self-educated worker and member of the communist party (Edward) are having a relationship. Edward sees no problem in this, but upperclass Brian lets himself be engaged with a "suitable girl" to keep up appearences. Brian ends up in crisis and decides to join the left forces in the Spanish civil war to fight against fascism. After he has disappeared, Brian to starts to look for him in Spain...

The only German gay-themed novel I read so far was funny in way, but sometimes I found the style slightly annoying/ boring:
Clemens Ismann, Das Landei 1998
Steffen bewegt sich in unterschiedlichen Teilen der Ost- & West-Berliner Gay-Szene, kurz nach der Wende. Er hat dort einige komplizierte Verhältnisse. Früher hatte er eine Art Verhältnis mit einem Schulfreund in einem kleinen Dorf in Mecklenburg. Weil er vom Lande kommt, nennen die Berliner ihn "Landei".

I read a several Dutch/Flemish books that I do not all remember (obviously they didn't impress me all). I must say I have a strong dislike against books that tend to be (slightly) pornographic.
I agree to the above messages about the Flemish author Tom Lanoye, i.e. I like his books (they are not all about gay subjects). He has written some more books than Kartonnen Dozen, e.g. Alles moet weg and Spek en Bonen.
An interesting and controversial Dutch author is Maarten 't Hart. The atmosphere in his books is slightly depressing. He comes from a rather strict (Dutch) protestant background, some of his novels are about his escape from that. I read one gay themed book:
Ik had een wapenbroeder (1973)
De hoofdpersoon is in dienst en krijgt een relatie met een andere dienstplichtige in zijn eenheid. Bij een oefening schiet hij hem per ongeluk dood, en komt vervolgens voor het krijgsgerecht. Het is al een paar jaar geleden dat ik dit heb gelezen, dus ik weet eigenlijk zelf niet meer hoe het eindigde (Hmm).

A Dutch youth book:
Edward van der Vendel, De dagen van de blugrassliefde (1999)
Een jongen gaat voor een internationaal kamp een paar weken naar de Verenigde Staten. Aldaar krijgt hij een relatie met een Noorse jongen, en samen spijbelen ze bij een aantal activiteiten. Dat was niet helemaal de bedoeling, dus ze worden weer naar huis gestuurd. De ouders zijn op vakantie, dus besluit hij kortstondig om z'n "vriend" in Noorwegen op te gaan zoeken...

A French poet that should be named is Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891). He wrote poems until he was 21 (!), while having an affair with in elder author. They lived a kind of bohemian life in London. After that he went to Africa and Yemen, and, interestingly, learned quite a number of languages. He appears to be a rather mysterious person in French literature. Most of his work was publishe post-humously (I think).
Malheureusement, je n'ai rien lu de lui jusqu'à maintenant. J'ai trouvé deux sources sur le www (en "googlant"):
http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/rimbaud.htm
http://www.6bears.com/rimbaudverlaine.html
En 1996, on a fait un film au sujet de la vie d'Arthur Rimbaud, joué par Leonardo di Caprio himself. Peut-être un de ses films inconnus!? Je l'ai vue sur la télé Belge une fois.

Alors, this what I can remember right now. Maybe more some other time.

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Postby ReadHarvest » 2004-09-24, 5:05

"The Pilgrim Hawk" by Glenway Wescott (1901-1987) is a critically-acclaimed short novel with a gay subtext.

Also worth note: "Two Serious Ladies" by Jane Bowles (1917-1973), "Other Voices, Other Rooms" by Truman Capote (1924-1984), and "Falconer" by John Cheever (1912-1982).

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Postby Samariya » 2004-09-26, 6:32

I'm attending a very strict religious school and they don't let us read books like that, for which I'm very thankful. I only read 'turks fruit' from jan wolkers once bye myself and it really harmed my soul :?. I'm glad I don't have to read such books.
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Postby parousia » 2004-09-26, 11:00

Samariya wrote:I'm attending a very strict religious school and they don't let us read books like that, for which I'm very thankful. I only read 'turks fruit' from jan wolkers once bye myself and it really harmed my soul :?. I'm glad I don't have to read such books.


Thanks for the recommendation, Samariya! :D I need no other prodding. I will definitely read it. :D

parousia :wink:

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Yourcenar

Postby aelred » 2004-10-08, 9:27

Parousia, You can also read "Les memoires d'Adrien" de Marguerite Yourcenar. It's a great novel and tou can find the romance between roma emperor and greek boy Antinoos.
Sorry for my bad english, :oops:
I'll be grateful if you can correct me

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Re: Yourcenar

Postby parousia » 2004-10-08, 9:55

aelred wrote:Parousia, You can also read "Les memoires d'Adrien" de Marguerite Yourcenar. It's a great novel and tou can find the romance between roma emperor and greek boy Antinoos. [It's more natural to say: "It's a great novel and there's a romance between the Roman Emperor and the Greek boy Antinoos."] Sorry for my bad english, :oops:
I'll be grateful if you can correct me


Thanks for the recommendation aelred :) Another unilanger recommended this book to me as well, so I guess I should read it. So much to read! It's funny, shortly after the other unilanger recommended the book, I saw a hard-cover edition at a yard sale in my neighborhood for two bucks. Unfortunately, it was an English translation and I wanted to read it in the original French. I suppose the local university library will have a copy in French.

I see from your profile that you speak fluent Latin. Cool! :D How would you translate "puella dilectissima" into English or French or what does it mean?

Ciao! :D
parousia

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Postby leppie » 2004-10-08, 10:04

parousia, I'll be the third one:
Mémoires d'Hadrien is a beautiful book, not just a beautiful gay book.
It's one of the best book I've ever read.
And since you know french, you really should read it in original.
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Ma se ignora la zanzara,
allora è davvero addormentato.

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Re: Yourcenar

Postby Guest » 2004-10-08, 11:16

I'm very happy that you'll read this book and I agrre with Leppie: it's a beautiful novel "tout court".

parousia wrote:
I see from your profile that you speak fluent Latin. Cool! :D How would you translate "puella dilectissima" into English or French or what does it mean?

Ciao! :D
parousia


I would translate it "beloved girl".
I hope I can help you :D


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