Browsing: Back to the Future

March – April, 2005

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DIARIES ARE curious things. They are private records, but when they document the lives of public figures, those divisions become murky. In the case of Anglo-American writer Christopher Isherwood (1904-86), whose diaries exceed a million words-hundreds of thousands of which have already been published-they can be downright damning. …

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IN THE LATE 1930’s, Alfred Kinsey had what he thought was a rather simple idea: given that no one had the slightest idea what people really did and did not do sexually, and given-as he discovered from a questionnaire he distributed to his students-that a lack of simple information about sex was causing massive confusion and heartache, why not do a survey that would provide some hard information about people’s sexual practices? Why not discuss the unmentionable and replace ignorance and myths about sex with information and education?

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AMONG THE WRITERS whose names are associated with the Beat Generation-Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and the rest-perhaps only Paul Bowles is destined to transcend that association and secure his own place as an artist of the late 20th century. …

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