Aug 25, 2021 • 19M

Gay Achilles & the Vatican Rag

The Trojan War hero blooms as a gay icon on TikTok as new readers turn to Madeline Miller's 'Song of Achilles', triggering memories of homophobia at a Catholic men's college in New York

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Literary fiction and essays by an award-winning writer from the Deep South focusing on the current zeitgeist and the news that stays news.
Episode details
Photo of Dying Achilles sculpture in Corfu
Dying Achilles: Image by YvM from Pixabay .

If all you know about The Trojan War is based on the movie starring Brad Pitt,  I’ve got some surprising news for you.  Achilles was gay. That’s what Madeline Miller says in her award-winning novel Song of Achilles.  The book came out in 2012, but it’s seen an uptick in sales this year thanks to a flurry of TikTok videos celebrating the hero’s sexual orientation. It’s a belief that’s been around  since ancient Greece. Reading it reminded me of homophobia at a mostly white Catholic men’s college in New York, where I was one of a very few Black students.  Which is why today’s installment of The Jazprose Diaries is called “Gay Achilles and the Vatican Rag.” 

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