Browsing: Eros and God

November – December, 2007

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Becoming a Woman: A Biography of Christine Jorgensen by Richard F. Docter, M.D. Harrington Park Press. 355 pages, $49.95 ($19.95 paper) WHEN GEORGE JORGENSEN became a woman…More

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Matthew could have included the story of the centurion and his pais simply to illustrate that Jesus reached out to “outsiders.” Jews of first-century Palestine would have considered the centurion a detestable foreigner, regardless of his relationship with the pais. But the contextual and linguistic factors present the possibility of an intimate physical and emotional relationship between this Roman soldier and his “servant.”

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SCOTTI HOUSE, the heroine of Vin Packer’s new novel, is a male-to-female (MTF) transsexual, a pre-op whose metamorphosis is fraught with difficulty. In another life she’d earned a PhD from Princeton and worked as a writer and teacher.

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FRIENDS OF COLEMAN DOWELL must have endured more than most. Edmund White knew Dowell well and has done much to sponsor his writings since the novelist’s suicide in 1985. He provides a preface to Eugene Hayworth’s new book, Fever Vision, that illustrates just how bleak Dowell’s companionship could be.

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CHINA’S VERTIGINOUS RISE as a global economic player is being watched with fascination by those who once dismissed China as a moribund Communist state. This change in perception has triggered an urgent need in the West for the production of knowledge about the country. Over fifty scholarly books have been published since 1990, and several more are forthcoming. Lisa Rofel’s collection of essays entitled Desiring China is the latest offering to a world eager to make sense of this “inscrutable” nation.

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IN 1976, Jonathan Katz published one of the first comprehensive histories of same-sex sexuality in the United States. His Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A. is credited with legitimating gay history as a viable subject for academic inquiry and providing a necessary starting point for this emerging field of study. Long Before Stonewall: Histories of Same-Sex Sexuality in Early America, contributes to and complicates this field considerably.

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Chance and Circumstance is a fascinating document of an American dance company and two gay artists and their times, each occupying a singular place in American culture. Brown doesn’t miss a beat or a gesture of the New York art world. She gives us the minutiae of squabbles, jealousies, and wardrobe malformations, along with the company’s triumphs and setbacks.

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… The equestrian life brought Belle to Europe, where she socialized with aristocrats and the wealthy. The long trips abroad gave her the opportunity to respond to sexual awakenings that began with her love for her friend Evangeline Brewster Johnson. …

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