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Jaime Gil de Biedma
(1929 - 1991) Spain

Jaime Gil de Biedma

Poet

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Gil de Biedma belonged to a wealthy Catalan family, and put most of his time into the family business. In 1956 he spent time in the Philippines, which he detailed in his memoirs Retrato del artista 1956 of the perid. Ostensibly, he was there to write a report on one of the family's companies. But this book reveals his keen interest in sexual exploration.

The portrait that emerges is strikingly guilt-free (in stark contrast with images of homosexuality prevailing at the time) and fun-loving. He reveals his experiences with rent-boys and provides a curious account of sexual flexibility in the country.

Gil de Biedma's poetic outpout is relatively small and is collected in Las personas del verbo, which he kept updating throughout his life, although he practically stopped writing poetry by 1966. He was also a literary critic. As happens with other Spanish poets, hmosexuality has been carefully sidestepped in critical appraisals of Gil de Biedma's work.

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Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History, from WWII to Present Day, Routledge, London, 2001

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