Browsing: Back to the Future

March – April, 2005

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I SAT DOWN to read American Ghosts with high expectations. Here, after all, is the personal story of David Plante, author of fourteen books, including the famed Francoeur Trilogy, The Ghost of Henry James, The Catholic, Difficult Women, and The Family. …

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Take on news of the day.

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WILL FELLOWS’ A Passion to Preserve is really two books. One looks at living gay men who have devoted their lives to restoring and preserving old houses and other American antiquities. The other documents some similar men who did the same sort of work in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. …

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THE MALE NUDE has been a staple of photography since shortly after the invention of cameras and film over a century and a half ago, although for much of that time it was an underground staple owing to various conservative, sexophobic and homophobic cultural forces unwilling to view it as anything but pornography. …

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All these temporary critics have masters degrees with the exception of Merrill, whose reading was nevertheless extensive enough to make his essays on Cavafy, Dante, Ponge, and Bishop more than exercises in pure appreciation.

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GILGAMESH IS the first significant work of literature in history-not Western history, but all of history-an epic that was first written down (ca. 2100 BCE) over a thousand years before The Iliad and The Odyssey or the Bible. …

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… Gay activist Vladislav Topchev echoed Nahorna’s pessimism. “The presentation of us in the media is to satisfy heterosexual interest. Even if journalists are gay-friendly, information tends to be distorted.” He has heard about physical attacks everywhere in Ukraine. Homophobia is rampant both in the industrial, largely Russian-speaking east, and in the Europe-turning, Catholic west, he told me. “There is no difference in the level of homophobia.” …

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… At any rate, psychologist Tripp did most vigorously barge into the realm of history. What the historians didn’t fully grasp, I think, is that Tripp was barging in with the sex-research perspective front and center. They must have known to some degree, because, after all, Tripp had published Matrix and had worked for Kinsey. …

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FOR THE MILLIONS of Americans, including most gays and lesbians, who awoke on November 3, 2004, aghast to find maps of the United States awash in Bush Red, Thomas Frank offers a witty yet incisive study of how conservatives swept the American heartland. …

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The following is the Preface from the recently published book by C. A. Tripp, The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln (Free Press, 2005).

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