Browsing: July-August 2004

July-August 2004

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ACCORDING TO Richard Florida, there are three conditions that encourage economic growth in the postindustrial economy: technology, talent, and tolerance. These elements are embodied in a new configuration of workers that comprise what Florida calls the “creative class.” …

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… Leila J. Rupp and Verta Taylor have trumped all the other researchers with Drag Queens at the 801 Cabaret, an in-depth look at a Duval Street institution in Key West. Scholarly, well-informed, and filled with fascinating people and their stories-the drag queens in their double lives as well as those who associate with them-the book is utterly entertaining. …

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ANDRÉ GIDE lived for his art. Born to a wealthy family, as a young writer he had no financial worries and he could afford to be experimental in his writing. For a brief time he associated himself with poet Stéphane Mallarmé and the Symbolist School. Later, his affiliation with the Communist party and his brief attraction to Christianity were both heightened and terminated by his aesthetic sensibility. Throughout his life, however, …

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GREG BEHRMAN’S new book offers a compelling look into the United States’ failure to respond to the global AIDS pandemic starting in the 1980’s. …

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WHEN I FIRST discovered the poetry of Amy Lowell, I was so taken with a group of her erotic poems that I suggested to my writer friend Judith that she do a one-woman show as Lowell reading her work. … But when I started reading some of the poems aloud, I realized that the lesbian love lyrics were too explicit to be read to the target audience, which I envisioned as a largely college-age crowd of mostly women. One of the most explicit, “The Weather-Cock Points South,” was typical of these love poems in its use of flower imagery …

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Graham Robb’s Strangers: Homosexual Love in the 19th Century stands out among recent books for its appreciation of an explicitly gay liberationist scholarly approach to our forgotten but precious past. …

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IN HER 1993 BOOK on Jared French (1905-1988), the first devoted entirely to this painter, Nancy Grimes remarks on the interpretive difficulties that spring from the painter’s private symbolism, difficulties compounded by our inadequate knowledge of his life: …

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Backward Glances is not a memoir but a scholar’s exploration of something gay men often do without a second thought. Cruising is an age-old activity, not necessarily the exclusive domain of gay men, but one that gay men have undoubtedly developed and refined in unique ways. …

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Author Val Holley has brought Mike Connolly to life again in his recent biography, Mike Connolly and the Manly Art of Hollywood Gossip (McFarland, 2003). In the following interview, Holley comments on Connolly’s complex, problematical legacy as a gay gossip columnist in whose life sexual orientation, Hollywood glamour, and politics intersected in an often disturbing mix. …

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One thing that comes through clearly in this new biography by Jeffrey Meyers is that W. Somerset Maugham was not an easy man to know. …

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