The Farewell Symphony

by Edmund White

A social history of the first generation of gay men to contract HIV and AIDS. The book has a cumulative effect and is very moving. It will be of special interest to gay men who have lived through this period.


Sex was a shadow we cast wherever we went, which traveled at our speed, like the calm shadow of its wings that an airplane inevitably projects onto the fields and forests below, that assumes the shape of the changing landscape and yet remains constant. None of our friends would have said we were "obsessed". That was a word heterosexuals used, or older envious homosexuals. We thought having sex was a positive good, the more the better.



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