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Belle Époque Noire
Samuel Pozzi was every-where, like a Parisian Zelig. A brilliant surgeon, he had a following in Parisian society and affairs with some of his patients.
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            The Tea Club members broke school rules by brewing tea and sneaking snacks into the library, where they engaged in passionate discussions about the role of art in civilization. When a more inviting space was discovered—an elongated compartment at the café at Barrow’s Stores in Birmingham center—the original name morphed into the Tea ClubMore
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THE HORROR FICTION of H. P. Lovecraft (1890–1937) is best known for its tentacled monsters, demented occultists, and adjective-heavy phrases like “dissonances of exquisite morbidity and cacodaemoniacal ghastliness.” Lovecraft’s work appeared primarily in cheap pulp magazines like Weird Tales, and while he died penniless, he is now considered one of the world’s great horror writers.More
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IT HAS BEEN almost three decades since the publication of my novel The Confessions of Aubrey Beardsley, which is being re-issued as a digital edition. This event coincides with the first major exhibition of Beardsley’s work in fifty years, which is scheduled to open at the Tate Britain in London in June (as of pressMore
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Beardsley’s drawings seem to indicate that he intended to shock, even though he was safely detached from the reality of sexual experience.
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  CATHERINE DE’ MEDICI, Dowager Queen of France in the age of Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Rabelais, had bad luck with her sons. Although each was to ascend a throne, as Nostradamus had predicted to her, each came to a sticky end. François II died in a freak jousting accident. Charles IX succumbed to a “bloodyMore
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Short Reviews
There couldn’t be a better time for Brian Harrison’s book than an election year in which the country is more polarized than ever. ...
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WE’VE ALL come across people who say they don’t like fiction because it doesn’t teach them anything. I contend that a person could read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica website and not learn as much about human nature as they would by reading an especially fine novel, such as Peter Cameron’s What Happens at Night.
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            Keith Haring’s Line is neither a biography nor a general assessment of Haring’s work as an artist. Rather, it is a queer musing upon the intersections of sex and race in Haring’s work, drawing heavily upon the influence of Roland Barthes’ Mythologies and Jose Esteban Munoz’ Cruising Utopia. Montez writes with authority about photography,More
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The first half of The Shadowgraph centers on a dysfunctional Iowa childhood. … … The second and more engaging half of the book consists of poems under titles of movies starring Stanwyck. Wonderfully witty as viewing companions, they function on other levels, too.
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Another Family in Transition
            This book is about Jeremy’s transition and his family’s growth in understanding and acceptance, but it’s also the story of the Ivestors role in becoming advocates for transgender rights. Once a Girl, Always a Boy is a story of an intimate journey that informs the cisgender world about the complexities of gender identity andMore
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THE QUEST to discover one’s true identity is a central theme in much of world literature. Zeyn Joukha-dar’s new novel, The Thirty Names of Night, explores this issue from a multiplicity of angles.
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The US Is a Harsh Mistress
[Unrequited Love] is filled with reminiscences about Altman’s friendships with authors like Christopher Isherwood, Gore Vidal, and Edmund White, as well as insightful commentary on other novelists. He notes, for example, that André Aciman, who is straight, gently avoids answering questions about whether Call Me by Your Name is based on his own life experiences.
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Prairie Dynamics
[Daryl] Palmer is especially good at digging deeper into Cather’s early stories, which have too often been dismissed or treated as journeywork by past critics.
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            There are discussions of beauty and art here, including Wilde’s concern that art should not raise nature on high (reminiscent of J. D. McClatchy’s view that nature was an uncongenial subject for poetry, suitable only as a backdrop for human issues). One of the best is a revisit to Crane’s “The Bridge,” in whichMore
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The Comics of Alison Bechdel: From the Outside In, edited by Janine Utell, contains essays by sixteen scholars in the fields of comics studies, gender studies, and popular culture. Bechdel, who lives in Vermont with her wife, artist Holly Rae Taylor, was awarded a Mac-Arthur Fellowship in 2014. This is the first book to focusMore
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No Modernism without Lesbians is important for 2020 because it rips apart the prevailing patriarchal model. What Souhami calls for is abandoning the Modernist canon and rebuilding it one lesbian at a time to create a new, inclusive, 21st-century model. This project will send readers back, not only to a cast of characters that SouhamiMore
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So, was Calamity Jane a lesbian, or what we would call gender fluid, or something else altogether? In light of all the other tall tales and outright lies that were perpetuated by and about her, that question may never be answered.
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Tiger Mania Uncaged
            With its alliterative subtitle, “Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” Tiger King is a true crime show that filmmakers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chailkin assembled out of footage stretching back five years. It’s Duck Dynasty meets Shittown (a must-hear of the early podcast era that also spotlights a redneck’s queer quirks and criminality).
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SUBLET BELONGS to a small genre of movies that chart a love affair whose arc rises and falls within a narrow window of time from first meeting to final farewell. It’s all telescoped into a period of days rather than months or years—or even into a single day, as in the 1995 film Before SunriseMore
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            At first glance, Wilde and Doyle seem the quintessential literary odd couple: the literary æsthete, trailing clouds of French décadence, and the stereotypical Victorian man: a hearty cricket-playing defender of the British Empire, opponent of women’s suffrage, and creator of the hyper-rationalist Sherlock Holmes. Other than sharing hansom cabs and impressionistic fog-shrouded streets dimlyMore
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B.T.W.
Takes on news of the day.
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Letters to the Editor
Readers thoughts.
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  THIS ISSUE’S THEME does not refer to the long-running Off-Broadway play The Fantasticks but instead to a collection of writers and artists who might better be described as “fantasists”: those who trade in fantasy. In any case, we could all use an escape in these viral times, and that’s exactly what these artists provide.            More
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MY NAME is Jonathan Alderete Loussaief, and I live in Grand Prairie, Texas. My husband’s name is Bilel Loussaief, and he is a gay Tunisian citizen. We fell in love and lived together for two years. Unfortunately, ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] picked him up at work on July 26, 2019, and brought him toMore
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ANNA HOWARD SHAW (1847–1919) aptly titled her autobiography The Story of a Pioneer because she was the consummate trailblazer. A poor immigrant, a frontier settler, an ordained female minister, a self-made woman in an age of self-made men, a renowned feminist orator and voting rights activist, she was also a lesbian whose orientation was hiddenMore
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FOUR-TIME Tony-Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally (1938–2020) died on March 24th at his winter home in Sarasota, Florida, an early casualty of Covid-19. His death followed a stream of recent honors ...
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WIDELY acknowledged as the cofounder, with Del Martin, of the first lesbian organization in the U.S., the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), Phyllis Lyon died of natural causes in San Francisco on April 9, 2020, at the age of 95. ...
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An interview with Adriaan van Klinken.
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