Browsing: Venerability

January-February 2007

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IN HER LATEST NOVEL, The Night Watch, Man Booker Prize nominee Sarah Waters explores the experience of same-sex and other “deviant” forms of love in World War II-era London. Opening in 1947, the novel moves backward to 1944 and concludes in 1941. Although she often alludes to the past when recounting the events of 1947, Waters, in reversing the chronology of her narrative, requires her readers to understand the consequences of the past before fully comprehending their causes.

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Perhaps I say this every year, but it seems we lost an extraordinary number of major figures who contributed significantly to the GLBT community in 2006- people who made a difference in the advancement of gay and lesbian rights, others who created the works of art and literature that illuminate our lives. They will all be sorely missed.

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THERE IS no elegant design to Facing the Night. Ned Rorem’s new book is divided simply into three parts: diary entries made between 1999 and 2005, recent musical writing, mostly about composers Rorem has known, and program notes, including those written for his well-received 2006 opera Our Town.

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FOR NEARLY A QUARTER of a century, Pedro Almodóvar has been crafting films of increasing beauty and complexity. They are films that explore the political and cultural detritus of the Spanish psyche. Like all great art, they transcend their particularities to offer a vision of the human condition that resonates with all of us.

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Takes on news of the day.

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WITH DESIRING WOMEN, Karyn Z. Sproles adds to the large volume of criticism and analysis of Virginia Woolf’s work. Sproles’ focus is on Woolf’s relationship with Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962), an English poet and novelist with whom she had an affair in the late 1920’s.

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IN LOVE’S RITE, Ruth Vanita takes us through a memory hole of Asian history to a world where the forgotten (sometimes suppressed) esoterica of same-sex couplings can be found. The country is India and the time is before British colonial rule. According to Vanita, South Asia had “no premodern history of persecuting people for same-sex relations. … Under colonial rule, what was a minor strain of homophobia in Indian traditions became the dominant ideology. The British introduced in India, as in most countries they colonized, a law criminalizing any type of sex other than penile-vaginal penetrative sex.”

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Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, women’s bookstores and concert events carved out important spaces for cultural expressions of lesbian feminism in North America. During the latter part of that era I belonged to a private lesbian club called Herizon in Binghamton, New York, a community with a large lesbian population …

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EVEN AS the perimeters of GLBT freedom have widened in the 21st century, the once vibrant community of activist gay Republicans finds itself in a crisis threatening its future…More

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