Corydon (book)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Corydon is the title of a collection of essays by André Gide about homosexuality, named after Virgil's character of that name. Parts of the text were separately published from 1911 to 1920, and the whole book appeared in its French original in France in 1924 and in the USA in 1950. It is available in an English translation (ISBN 0-252-07006-2) by the poet Richard Howard.

Together, the essays use naturalists', historians', poets', and philosophers' evidence to back up Gide's argument that homosexuality pervaded the most culturally and artistically advanced civilizations (such as Periclean Greece, Renaissance Italy and Elizabethan England) and that this was reflected by writers and artists from Homer and Virgil to Titian and Shakespeare in their depictions of male-male relationships (such as Achilles and Patroclus) as homosexual (rather than platonic or friendship-based as other critics argue they were). All this, Gide writes, strongly suggests that homosexuality is more fundamental and natural than heterosexuality, the latter being merely a union constructed by society.

"My friends insist that this little book is of the kind which will do me the greatest harm," Gide wrote of the book.

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