Browsing: Anniversaries

July – August, 2008

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Feeling Backward is a scholarly treatment of queer theory that assumes some knowledge of conventional literary theory. In it, Heather Love makes the argument that we have feelings in common with those who came before us, but early practitioners of queer theory have ignored the effects of oppression on our literature.

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ON THURSDAY, by a 4-3 vote of the state Supreme Court, California followed Massachusetts and became the second state in which same-sex couples can tie the knot as tightly as straight couples can.

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THIS SPRIGHTLY, informative book does a rare thing: it covers entirely new territory in gay literary studies. Queering the Underworld concentrates on the intersection of the fin de siècle phenomenon of “slumming”-that is, taking the bourgeois reader into the urban demimonde-and the emerging expression of gay and lesbian sexual identities.

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THE MAJOR PLAYS of Tennessee Williams- who died just 25 years ago, in 1983-feature women at their core. But for all their centrality as the emotional focal point of these plays, paradoxically enough, these women are without power in the community they inhabit. It is the men who control events; the women are entirely dependent on the men and use them to achieve their goals.

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IN AS MUCH AS the teenage boy at the heart of Gus Van Sant’s new film has nothing funny or articulate to say, Paranoid Park may become this year’s anti-Juno.

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WHEN ALFRED KINSEY’S Sexual Behavior in the Human Male was published sixty years ago, in 1948, I was a very gay, extremely troubled, and nearly suicidal sixteen-year-old high school junior desperately seeking any available evidence that I was not the only queer in the visible universe. …

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This essay is adapted from a piece that first appeared in MoreIntelligentLife.com (Jan. 28, 2008), an on-line edition of The Economist. Published with permission.

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FOUR FROTHY VIGNETTES, perhaps more properly defined as character studies, are strung together in this new comedy by Paul Rudnick, which I saw in a preview performance in New York. While AIDS and 9/11 are sometimes hovering on the periphery, sometimes presented in startling parallels, the author of Jeffrey (1993) and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told (1998) keeps the tone light and the jokes rapid-fire.

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