Setting the Record Straight

From William A. Percy
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I wish to set the record straight with regard to a couple of books published years ago by Gay Sunshine Press. Now the Volcano was an anthology of gay Latin-American literature edited by Winston Leyland. In the introduction, Leyland insinuates that he coined the book's title. He does not mention my name. But it was I who coined the title. Leyland asked me to suggest a title and I wrote a poem of which the last line was "Now the volcano!". I sent him the poem. He sent me a copy of the book when it appeared, thanking me for the title. He later asked me to compile an anthology of gay Islamic literature. I ended up translating the late Rene Khawam's French translation of Les Delices des Coeurs. Leyland returned my manuscript with an angry rejection slip. I got it four days after sending it! How could he have had time to read it? A few years later, he published Edward Lacey's translation of the same book under the title of Delight of Hearts. I am not mentioned in the introduction. What is one to think of this? The late Edward Lacey is no longer around to explain what happened. I have no proof, only circumstantial evidence. It is not impossible that Lacey based his version on my translation. This is called plagiarism. I am not saying that he did it, only that he could have done it. At the very least , I deserve credit for bringing this book to Leyland's attention. Khawam invited me to translate the rest of Les Delices des Coeurs, the heterosexual half of it, but I declined. What was published was the homosexual half, which is by no means the entire book.

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