chapter
German Literature
Pages 3

Scattered references to sodomy appear in such literary German medieval texts as Heinrich von Veldeke’s Eneit, Hartman von Au’s Erec, and Ulrich von Lichtenstein’s Frauenbuch. Nonetheless, histories of gay German literature usually begin with eighteenth-century art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann. His sense of aesthetics and history profoundly influenced many subsequent writers. Goethe specifically pointed out the centrality to aesthetics of Winckelmann’s erotic glorification of the male youth as depicted in ancient Greek sculpture.