Browsing: Fall Reading

September – October, 2007

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Commentary on the news

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WITHOUT APOLOGY, without frills-brought to you by Scapegoat Publishing, whose motto is “Blame Us”-Jack Malebranche hacks away at longstanding myths about the gay community in this new book. These myths as he sees them are embedded in the full title of his book, whose four elements I propose to analyze by way of review.

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In this memoir, which is also a cookbook, [Marusya Bociurkiw] covers some well-traveled territory in lesbian literature-a mildly dysfunctional family that was “full of ghosts,” the struggle of coming out, lesbian love affairs gone wrong, progressive politics-yet her lovely prose style elevates the mundane.

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… How does one explicate the tangle of anomalies, abnormalities, and antinomies of double sex? Changing one’s sex has to be one of the all-time most mysterious and daunting of transformations, even exceeding the province of art. …

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FANS of Armistead Maupin’s magnificent “Tales of the City” series have a reading treat awaiting them. As the title of Maupin’s new novel reveals, Michael Tolliver-“Mouse”-is alive.

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THE SHORT FILM The Gendercator has been pulled from this year’s San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Film Festival by the festival producer Frameline at the behest of transgendered people and their supporters. Community organizers declare that the piece by lesbian filmmaker Catherine Crouch is “hateful” and that “there is no space for hatred and transphobia in our community institutions.” It leaves one to wonder how such an opinion can be formed by those who have yet to see the film.

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… While images of women in erotically suggestive situations are less widespread than comparable depictions of men in American advertising, women who seem to prefer the company of other women have been goosed and gandered by Madison Avenue from the turn of the 20th century to the mid-1960’s and beyond. Since becoming fascinated by what I perceived as homoerotic imagery in vintage advertising, I’ve collected and studied over 300 such ads.

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“I WANT to kill myself sometimes when I think I’m the only person in the world and the part of me that feels that way is trapped inside this body that only bumps into other bodies without ever connecting with the only person in the world trapped inside of them,” Johnny agonizes in Terrence McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune (1987). “We gotta connect. We just have to. Or we die.”

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