Browsing: 100 Years of Subterfuge

November-December 2017

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Pennsylvania Station offers a powerful glimpse into gay life in America before Stonewall, and a look at the complicated relationship between two very different men.

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Jeremy Mulderig claims in his introduction that The Lost Autobiography is one of the great queer diaries of the 20th century (one wonders how many of these there actually are; still, the claim does not seem wildly off base). Here is a witness to some of that century’s great personalities, living defiantly through the strictures imposed by society during those times, and asserting at every turn that he had as much right to be happy as anyone else.

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Swords in the Hands of Children: Reflections of an American Revolutionary by Jonathan Lerner OR Books. 216 pages, $22. THE WORDS “fear” and “frightened” pepper Jonathan Lerner’s intriguing account…More

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Born in India in 1947, Sir Salman Rushdie was educated at Cambridge University and came of age in England—indeed he is a knight of the realm—but has lived in New York City for much of his adult life. It was his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, that provoked a fatwa on his life, issued by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989.

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Thomas Mann had had homosexual affairs before marrying Katia Pringsheim, and afterwards still had powerful, though repressed, yearnings for young men. His subtle homosexual themes appeared in Tonio Kröger and Death in Venice. In Mario and the Magician, the conjuror Cipolla hypnotizes the handsome young Mario, who is humiliated and forced to kiss him in public.

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When Leonard Bernstein died on October 14, 1990, Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents, and Stephen Sondheim gathered for an intimate funeral service with Bernstein’s closest friends and family. It was the last time the four men were together.

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Stephan Likosky shares his findings regarding this important episode in queer history as it is reflected on postcards, which were an early medium by which ordinary people could learn about current events and be exposed to new ideas. Indeed, the importance of postcards cannot be overstated.

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Donald L. Boisvert had submitted a review that was quite critical of Martin’s book [Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity], while Brian Bromberger proposed a defense of it, having interviewed the author in early summer. So it seemed logical to share Boisvert’s critique with Bromberger so as to allow the latter to comment.

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‘Queen’ Piece Deemed Unworthy To the Editor: Hidden away in the July-August issue with beautiful commentary on remarkably accomplished people—Lincoln Kirstein, Tennessee Williams, Allen Ginsberg, Gore Vidal—is a silly,…More

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Though he liked to drink (too much, truth to tell), John [Ashberry] didn’t frequent gay bars. People came to him. In Paris he was partnered with the poet Pierre Martory for several years and later provided translations of a volume of his poems.

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