OUT OF THE BLUE : RUSSIA'S HIDDEN GAY LITERATURE : AN ANTHOLOGY
Given the pervasive sexophobia in Soviet culture, it is no wonder gay people and gay literature appeared to be completely absent. Yet the material in this collection shows that Russian gay writing was nothing new in the 1990s. As Simon Karlinsky demonstrates in the essay, same-sex love appears in some of the earliest documents of Russian culture. Nevertheless, years of Soviet censorship of any mention of homosexuality and criminalization of sex between men rendered gay-themed writing invisible even to most Western observers.
This anthology was conceived as a collection of homoerotic and gay-themed writing in Russian by Russians. It includes a broad range of genres: novel, short story, poem, diary, letter, and essay forms are all represented. We made a conscious decision early in the compilation to include some homoerotic stories from the new gay journals that may not qualify as high literature. These, like some of the letters to the editors of the gay journals, help flesh out the context of gay life in Russia. --Kevin Moss, Editor
SOPHIA PARNOK: THE LIFE AND WORK OF RUSSIAN SAPPHO
(CUTTING EDGE: LESBIAN LIFE AND LITERATURE)
THE SEXUAL LABYRINTH OF NIKOLAI GOGOL
Through careful textual readings of Gogol's most famous works, Karlinsky argues that Gogol's homosexual orientation - which Gogol himself could not accept or forgive in himself - may provide the missing key to the riddle of Gogol's personality.
"A brilliant new biography that will long be prized for its illuminating psychological insights into Gogol's actions, its informative readings of his fiction and drama, and its own stylistic grace and vivacity."--Edmund White, Washington Post Book World