Dialogue and Deviance
Male-Male Desire in the Dialogue Genre (Plato to the Middle Ages, Plato to the Enlightenment, Plato to the Postmodern)
This book traces the historical relationship between male-male erotic desire and the genre of literary or philosophical dialogue. It describes three literary-philosophical traditions, each of which originates in a different Platonic dialogue whose subsequent influence can be traced, first, through the Roman and medieval periods; second, through the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods; and, finally, through the modern and postmodern periods. Sturges demonstrates that various forms of erotic deviance have been differently valued in these different periods and cultures, and that dialogue has consistently proven to be the genre of choice for expressing these changing values. This study provides a valuable historical perspective on current debates over the place of homosexuality in modern Western culture.
Robert Surges is a professor of English at the Department of English at Arizona State University.