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Enhanced and Revised Edition

Samuel R. Delany

Publication Year: 2013

Phallos is a 2004 novel by acclaimed novelist and critic, Samuel R. Delany. Taking the form of a gay pornographic novel, only with the explicit sex omitted, Phallos is set during the reign of the second century Roman Emperor Hadrian, and circles around the historical account of the murder of the emperor's young lover, Antinous. The story moves from Syracuse to Egypt, from the Pillars of Hercules to Rome, from Athens to Byzantium, and back. Young Neoptolomus searches after the stolen phallos of the nameless god of Hermopolis, crafted of gold and encrusted with jewels, within which are reputedly the ancient secrets of science and society that will lead to power, knowledge, and wealth. Vivid and clever, the original novella has been expanded by nearly a third. As well, editor Robert Reid-Pharr has appended to the text an afterword and three astute speculative essays by Steven Shapiro, Kenneth James, and Darieck Scott.

Published by: Wesleyan University Press

Title Page, Further Reading, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-9


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pp. 10-11

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pp. 1-123

In his upstate hometown, Bithynia, New York, a twelve-year-old African American, Adrian Rome, discovers a carton of pornographic magazines and paperbacks in the rear of his older cousin’s van. The chimerical ...

Critical Essays

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p. 125-125

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pp. 127-133

One of the clearest markers of genius, one of the signs that a creative intellectual has unveiled some mode of thought or action that is at once elegant, productive, disruptive, and dangerous is the presence of an ...

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Discourse and Desire, Muddle and Need: Radical Reading In and Around Phallos

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pp. 135-157

The fictive events of the inner narrative of Phallos — a historical fantasy recounting the sexual and philosophical adventures of the young merchant Neoptolomus as he traverses the Roman empire — occur on the margins of ...

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Ars Vitae: Delany’s Philosophical Fable

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pp. 159-171

“ But then, in the profligacy of eggs laid by fowl or fish or spider, in the amount, the intensity, the variety of the sexual instincts themselves, we know that most of life is a riotous superfluity.” One might expect to find ...

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I Can See Atlantis from My House: Sex, Fantasy, and Phallos

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pp. 173-199

The novella Phallos might be historical or philosophical fiction, an affectionate parody or satire of both kinds of fiction or of the kind of literary geekdom, high and low, that generates crazes for...

About the Author and Contributors

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pp. 189-190

E-ISBN-13: 9780819573568
Print-ISBN-13: 9780819573551

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2013