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.
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- Wesleyan University Press
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