elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

George Stambolian (April 10, 1938 – December 22, 1991)

George Stambolian (born April 10, 1938 – December 22, 1991, New York) was an American educator, writer, and editor of Armenian descent. Stambolian was a key figure in the early gay literary movement that came out of New York during the 1960s and 1970s. He was best known as the editor of the Men on Men anthologies of gay fiction.

Stambolian graduated from Dartmouth College and carried out graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin, earning a Ph. D. in 1969 with a dissertation that was subsequently published as Marcel Proust and the Creative Encounter (1972). From 1966 until his retirement in 1991, Stambolian was a professor in the Department of French at Wellesley College, where he taught courses on French language and literature. He wrote and edited Twentieth Century French Fiction: Essays for Germaine Brée (1975) and, with Elaine Marks, Homosexualities and French Literature (1979).

Men on Men: Best New Fiction, edited by Stambolian and including an introduction he wrote, was published by New American Library (Plume) in 1986. The anthology featured the work of some prominent gay authors of that period as well as others less well established. The critical acclaim accorded this volume and its popular success led to the publication of three sequels which Stambolian likewise edited and introduced. He was awarded the 1990 Lambda Literary Award in the category Gay Men's Anthologies for editing Men on Men 3. The fourth of these anthologies was released after his death in December 1991 from complications of AIDS at the age of 53.

Stambolian's parents were Armenian immigrants, and he explored his Armenian heritage in a short story entitled "In My Father's Car" in the third volume of Men on Men. He inspired the gay Armenian American character in Armistead Maupin's Maybe the Moon.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Stambolian
I'd become acquainted with that consummately sophisticated critic of French literature, George Stambolian. I knew that he was a professor of French and interdisciplinary studies at Wellesley College. I would learn that he'd attended Dartmouth College and received his PhD from the Univeristy of Wisconsin. I'd perused his study, Marcel Proust and the Creative Encounter (1972), and the volume he coedited with Elaine Marks, Homosexualities and French literature (1979).
But rather than the unquestionable intellectual those text represented, it was the sensual side of Stambolian that I ended up connecting with. He had noticed me, he told me sometime later on in our friendship, in the spring of 1978, while he'd been out walking his dog, Bodo, quite early one Sunday morning: I'd been coming home from a night out dancing and drugging. As I unknowingly passed him, I had my arms aroung two other men, dressed like me, out all night like me, George said. Clearly, we'd looked to George like we were on our way to one of our homes for a menage a trois to screw away the rest of the weekend. This moment had intrigued George and he would refer to it - and to glimpses of me together with the young artist Scott Facon he had at the Pines - as being critical to our connection and to our friendship, even though we never had sex, seldom spoke of it, and never did more than exchange friendly kisses when greeting.
George had been doing in-depth anonymous interviews with gay men for Christopher Street magazine, one of which had even found its way into that bastion of Nouvelle Vague, the seminal quarterly Semiotext(e). He wanted to interview me, not as Felice Picano, but as a specific Stambolian type, in my case, "a self-made man". I never actually understood what this term signified, even when the interview came out and I read it. But it somehow fit with Stambolian's other in-depth interviews: "With a Handsome Man", "With a Deformed Man", "With an Intellectual", "With an Artist", "With a Dying Man". For George, the very anonymity he provided would offer not so much cover for further excavation and discovery as a screen behind which various kinds of personae and scenarios might more easily develop and flourish. --Art and Sex in Greenwich Village: A Memoir of Gay Literary Life After Stonewall by Felice Picano

George Stambolian, 1987, by Robert Giard (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl_getrec.asp?fld=img&id=1124060)
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitallibrary/giard.html)

Further Readings:

Male fantasies/gay realities: Interviews with ten men by George Stambolian
Paperback: 167 pages
Publisher: SeaHorse Press; 1st edition (1984)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0933322208
ISBN-13: 978-0933322202
Amazon: Male fantasies/gay realities: Interviews with ten men

Men on Men: Best New Gay Fiction, Volume 1 (v. 1) edited by George Stambolian
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Plume; 1st edition (November 26, 1986)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0452258820
ISBN-13: 978-0452258822
Amazon: Men on Men: Best New Gay Fiction

This collection gathers together the most popular and gifted voices in gay fiction today, with writers such a Robert Ferro, Andrew Holleran, Felice Picano and Edmund White.

Men on Men 2: Best New Gay Fiction (v. 2) edited by George Stambolian
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Plume (November 28, 1988)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0452264022
ISBN-13: 978-0452264021
Amazon: Men on Men 2: Best New Gay Fiction

This collection of gay fiction includes 18 short stories by Christopher Coe, Christopher Davis, Gary Glickman, Allan Gurganus, Albert Innaurato, David Leavitt, Joseph Pintauro, James Purdy and ten others.

Men on Men 3: Best New Gay Fiction, Volume 3 (v. 3) edited by George Stambolian
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Plume; 1 edition (October 1, 1990)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0452265142
ISBN-13: 978-0452265141
Amazon: Men on Men 3: Best New Gay Fiction

Following the remarkable success of the first two editions, Men on Men returns with an all-new collection of stories by some of the leading talents in gay fiction, including Edmund White, Andrew Holleran, Felice Picano, Paul Monette, and Christopher Braun.

Men on Men 4: Best New Gay Fiction (v. 4) by George Stambolian
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Plume (October 1, 1992)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0452268567
ISBN-13: 978-0452268562
Amazon: Men on Men 4: Best New Gay Fiction

The great diversity of cultures, backgrounds, styles, and subject matter reflected in these 18 stories is an eloquent testament to the continuing vitality of gay literature as it attempts to answer new questions and confront old challenges during these problematic times. Includes works by John Rechy, David Feinberg, Matthew Stadler, and many more.

Art and Sex in Greenwich Village: A Memoir of Gay Literary Life After Stonewall by Felice Picano
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Basic Books (June 28, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0786718137
ISBN-13: 978-0786718139
Amazon: Art and Sex in Greenwich Village: A Memoir of Gay Literary Life After Stonewall

A decade after the Stonewall rebellions, a small, all-gay press named Seahorse began along with Calamus Books and JH Press, which all came together to form Gay Presses of New York. Gay Presses of New York was not only the most successful gay press of its day, but the founders had made their move at the right time and place. Gay Presses of New York also played apart in the growth of what is now gay culture, consisting of bookstores, magazines, newspapers, theater companies, and art galleries. Many aspects of the arts, as they swirled around New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco during the 1970s through 1991 were connected to Gay Presses of New York.

More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices

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Tags: essayist: george stambolian, particular voices

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