While working through questions of sexual definition Pratolini and Bassani keep their distance from their sexually perplexed subjects. Homosexuality in their work acts as a prism through which other forms of cultural anxiety are brought into focus. This labour foregrounds the incoherence of homosexuality as a category of social meaning, but, as I noted in the previous chapter, reveals nothing about how men who did have sex with men apprehended what they were doing, or what they thought they were. While Italian letters boasts neither an Andre Gide nor an Oscar Wilde, it does nevertheless have some notable literary talents who gave voice to their experience of homosexuality at a time when sexual identities in a more modern sense were yet to be envisaged. From this perspective, what their writing allows is a sense of what it meant for men to have sex with each other before a discourse of individual sexual identity became more broadly canvassed. It points to the discursive possibilities that a given culture offered to speak about such things, and intimates what men might have had to do in order to realize such possibilities in practice.