Browsing: Frenemies


September-October 2019

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All in the Family came at a time when the LGBT community was just starting to find its public voice. As a vehicle for introducing America to this community essentially for the first time, the show traveled quite a distance during its thirteen-year run.

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What follows is the first English translation (by Mark Oshima) of a piece by the great Japanese novelist, poet, and playwright Yukio Mishima (1925–1970), which appeared in the September 1966 issue of Higeki Kigeki(“Tragedy and Comedy”).

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TENNESSEE WILLIAMS and Yukio Mishima talked about their work and work routines in 1959. The conversation was lightly moderated by Williams’ life partner Frank Merlo, whom Mishima refers to as Williams’ “secretary.” Also present was Williams’ friend Donald Richie, who chimes in near the end.

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For Gorey aficionados, this oddly titled doorstopper, Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey, by Mark Dery, which includes a bibliography, endnotes, and an index, will be welcome. The title is odd if the author means to imply that Gorey was only known posthumously, which is anything but the case.

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Currently, what passes for camp in popular culture is sadly lacking in this innovative critique. In brief, camp has gone mainstream, and there’s no better example than the current mega-exhibition titled Camp: Notes on Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, mounted by its Costume Institute, which attempts to piggy- back on camp’s gay legacy during the Stonewall 50 anniversary.

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Rise Up is timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, but one thing you take away from it is that New York was hardly the origin of the gay rights movement. It really began in Los Angeles and then spread to Washington, D.C.

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Berkson … went on to have a distinguished career as a poet, art critic, and teacher. He and O’Hara remained friends, colleagues, and sometime collaborators. For years, he kept a scrapbook about Frank O’Hara, archiving memories, quotations, reproductions of visual art, and other material related to his mentor.

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These poems often connect one gay poet to another in a lovely and poignant way. The late Reginald Shepherd is memorialized by Timothy Liu and Roberto Santiago. The latter re-uses the title “You, Therefore” from one of the best poems in Shepherd’s 2007 collection Fata Morgana for a new poem that is wonderfully reminiscent of Shepherd’s own merger of line-flow and word-banging.

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