Browsing: Harbingers

July – August, 2004

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… Clifford Wright was such a retiring person, and living on such a remote island as he did, that writing letters was his chief means of connecting with people, especially his gay friends. And since he had known everyone in the arts, his correspondence in the Danish Archives of Arts and Letters Modern Collection is staggering-12,500 items. In my archive at the University of Delaware, too, are a treasure trove of 85 fat letters from Clifford, a testament to his indomitable gay spirit. …

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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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C. A. TRIPP was born in Denton, Texas, a small town not far north of Dallas, on October 4, 1919. His father was an amiable cabinet-making teacher and hardware store proprietor. His mother, the descendant of early settlers, came from a family that owned much of Denton’s real estate and lived in its grandest residence. More temperamental than her husband, a fierce champion of conservative Christian values, she was quick to condemn what she viewed as immorality. In short, Tripp’s mother was a classic Southern-belle enforcer of “good behavior.”

Perhaps, then, it is something of a wonder that her son went on to write a book that turned traditional notions of sexual behavior upside down. …

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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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TO “LOOK BACK on the history of homosexuality in the West,” writes Louis Crompton in Homosexuality and Civilization, is to view a kaleidoscope of horrors: …

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THE ASSERTION that Hitler may have been homosexual was made by German historian Lothar Machtan in his 2001 book, The Hidden Hitler [reviewed and debated in the Jan.-Feb. and May-June 2002 issues]. Although dismissed by most experts as poor history based on hearsay and speculation, this book was used as the basis for a new HBO documentary, The Hidden Fuehrer. …

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HOW YOU SEE a rainbow depends upon your vantage point. The author of Evolution’s Rainbow is a male-to-female transsexual and a highly respected evolutionary biologist at Stanford University. …

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The first line of dialogue in Big Bill is “Fifteen-love.” In A.R. Gurney’s bio-drama of the pre-World War II tennis phenomenon, Bill Tilden, it is no accident that the tennis term for zero is the adult emotion that, in Tilden’s life, is essentially absent. …

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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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Perhaps the most fascinating item in Time Capsule 21 is a hand-written, pen-and-ink illustrated letter from seventeen-year-old Lance Loud inviting Warhol to a party in late December 1968 at his family’s home in Santa Barbara. …

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