International Journal of Greek Love

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The International Journal of Greek Love (IJGL) was a scholarly publication edited between January 1965 and November 1966 by J. Z. Eglinton, pseudonym of the famous numismatist and boy-lover Walter Breen. According to the blurb inside the journal, IJGL is a "quarterly devoted to literary, historical, sociological, psychological and related studies centered around the phenomenon of Greek love, defined as the love between man and adolescent boy."

Format and content

IJGL is a small size (6x9 inches) periodical of about 60 pages. The cover carried the title of the journal as well as the logo of the publisher—Oliver Layton Press. Below the volume and number enumeration we read the definition of "Greek Love" as "the love and sex relationship between adult men and adolescent boys."

According to the introduction written by the editor, IJGL welcomed for publication original studies portraying patterns or case studies analogous to the pederasty tradition of classical Greece, translation of unavailable literary or scholarly material, reviews of books and films, previously unpublished poetry, prose, and autobiographical material, as well as other anecdotal observations. Apparently, unlike other journals, the contributions in IJGL were not peer reviewed since the journal did not have an editorial board. Most probably, Breen reviewed all the contributions himself.

The two issues together contain eight original articles, two translations of previously published studies, a small anonymous autobiographical essay, eight letters to the editor, eight book reviews, as well as some odds and ends under the title "varia" (see the Table of Contents below).

Circulation

It is unknown how many copies of IJGL were printed and circulated. If we consider that Breen's book Greek Love (1964) had a very small circulation due to its notoriety, we can speculate that IJGL achieved a very small circulation as well. This is reinforced by the fact that, even though the journal was originally scheduled to be published quarterly, only two issues appeared. It seems unlikely that any public or academic library became a subscriber to the journal. IJGL was rather circulated among a handful of academics and boy-lovers who shared a keen interest in the journal's subject matter.

Rictor Norton and Louie Crew in particular, have noted that the two issues of IJGL are so rare that nearly make a collector's item(1). Indeed, today one can find IJGL mostly in specialized libraries which hold large collections of gay and lesbian periodicals, most of which are based on personal collections. It can also be found in the Library of Congress (which holds copies of anything published in the US) and some other major academic and public libraries possibly because someone donated the material.

Impact

Despite its small circulation, the IJGL managed to have a considerable impact on gay and lesbian scholarship for such an obscure journal. As expected, the best researched articles are those that have been most quoted. Jonathan Drake's article on boy prostitution in Turkey remains one of the most cited sources for homosexuality in Turkey, while Hammond's article on "Paidikion", an anonymous 570 page pederasty manuscript ostensibly written by linguist Kenneth Searight circa 1917, and Bradley's survey of lesbian "Greek Love" are two other contributions that have been discussed.

Apart from the handful of original and well researched articles mentioned above, one of the most interesting features of IJGL is the letters section that appeared in the second issue. At a time long before the internet became a mean of communication, these letters to the editor reveal the need felt by scholars and boy-lovers alike to reach to each other and discuss issues that were important to them. Reading this communication is certainly entertaining. There are accusations of plagiarism, suggestions for creating a boy-love movement (Breen thinks not) and discussions whether homosexual men taking youthful lovers can be considered "Greek lovers" (Breen thinks not again) among others.

Despite its obscurity and notoriety, the publication of IJGL remains a pioneering attempt to publish a scholarly journal dedicated to the study of pederasty. IJGL opened the road for other important militant or scholarly publications, the most important of the latter kind being the "notorious" Paidika: The Journal of Paedophilia (1987-1995).

Table of Contents

Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 1965)

  • J.Z.E. "Introducing a new journal" (pp. 3-4)
  • Oliver Drummond, "Ralph Nicholas Chubb: prophet and pederast" (pp. 5-17)
  • Conrad Van Emde Boas, "The boy actor and the 'double disguise' in Shakespeare's works" (pp. 18-23)
  • J. Z. Eglinton, "Shakespeare's boyfriend and sonnet XX" (pp. 24-30)
  • Terence J. Deakin, "Evidence for homosexuality in ancient Egypt" (pp. 31-38)
  • Paul Nacke, "On homosexuality in Albania" (pp. 39-47)
  • M. Z. Bradley, "Feminine equivalents of Greek Love in modern fiction" (pp. 48-58)
  • Recent books (pp. 59-62)
  • Varia (pp. 63-65)

Vol. 1, No. 2 (November 1966)

  • Howard Stonefield, "Burton's Terminal Essay" (pp. 3-12)
  • Jonathan Drake, "'Le vice' in Turkey" (pp. 13-27)
  • Toby Hammond, "Paidikion: a paiderastic manuscript" (pp. 28-37)
  • Anonymous, "Admissions of a director of admissions" (pp. 38-39)
  • J. Z. Eglinton, "The later career of John Francis Bloxam" (pp. 40-42)
  • Varia (pp. 43-46)
  • Letters (pp. 47-56)
  • Recent books (pp. 57-61)

Notes

(1) Rictor Norton and Louie Crew, "The homophobic imagination: an editorial," College English 36, no. 3 (November 1974): 272-290.

External links

  • The two extant issues of this journal may be found here:
http://exitinterview.biz/rarities/ijglfull.htm