Pierre Louÿs (December 10, 1870 – June 6, 1925) was a French poet and writer, most renowned for lesbian and classical themes in some of his writings. It has been said that he “expressed pagan sensuality with stylistic perfection.”
Pierre Louÿs was born Pierre Louis on December 10, 1870 in Ghent, Belgium, but moved to France where he would spend the rest of his life. He studied at the École Alsacienne in Paris, and there he developed a close friendship with a future Nobel Prize winner and champion of homosexual rights, André Gide. In the 1890s, he became a friend of the noted English dramatist and homosexual, Oscar Wilde. Although heterosexual, Louÿs enjoyed entree into homosexual circles. Louÿs started writing his first erotic texts at the age of 18, at which point he developed an interest in the Parnassian and Symbolist schools of writing.
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