BRYNE R.S. FONE, American scholar and writer, born; It would be impossible to compile a complete survey of Gay male literature; the very looseness of the definition of “Gay” (not to mention the wealth of possible material) would overwhelm the project. Despite that, Byrne R.S. Fone fashioned a useful, intelligent, and amazingly functional volume that traces Gay male themes from classical antiquity to the present day.

Drawing on a variety of traditions and cultures — from ancient Greece to modern Egypt, from the Hebrew Bible to the Russian revolutionary Sergei Esenin — Fone reviews and reprints not only significant texts, but also supplies readable, intelligent introductions that illuminate the subject in the Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature (ISBN: 0231096712).

Most of the material, apart from a short section on Latin American and Cuban writing, is steeped in a Western European tradition; the book nevertheless conjures a good case for a Gay sensibility–or rather a series of sensibilities–that amazes, alarms, and endures. Fone is also the author of A Road to Stonewall: Male Homosexuality and Homophobia in English and American Literature, 1750-1969 and Masculine Landscapes: Walt Whitman and the Historical Text