Browsing: The Arc of History

March – April, 2009

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Letters between Forster and Isherwood on Homosexuality and Literature Edited by Richard E. Zeikowitz Palgrave Macmillan 196 pages, $74.95 The Creator as Critic and Other Writings by E.M.…More

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… The first feature-length documentary on gay themes to win an Oscar, The Times of Harvey Milk depicts with startling frankness and immediacy Harvey Milk’s political ascendancy as the first openly gay politician elected to public office in a major U.S. city.

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… An analysis of how the pro-8 forces succeeded reveals a campaign of misinformation and unlikely alliances, one that took years of planning dating back to at least the mid-1990’s. It also reveals a shrewd, media-savvy, and well-funded grassroots organization that understood California’s complex geographic and political landscape.

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LARGER THAN LIFE, the statue of John Betjeman (1906-1984) in the newly renovated St. Pancras International Station in London serves as a reminder of the late Poet Laureate’s love of rail travel. But its proximity to the Victorian Midland Grand Hotel has an added poignancy, for the hotel’s dining room was the scene of one of Oscar Wilde’s public humiliations.

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… Paradoxically, most subjects of the early photographs of Gay Liberation, while out enough to be photographed, were not named in any caption and are thus anonymous. However, I was able to identify a number of the people in the “Come Out!” photograph, and even tracked down a number to get their recollections about the photo shoot.

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WITH THE DEATH of John Costelloe, the actor who played Jim “Johnny Cakes” Witowski on The Sopranos, fans of the landmark TV series (1999-2007) lost an important player in the show’s most gay-positive, and perhaps most crucial, story line. The 47-year-old actor and former New York City firefighter shot himself late last year in his basement bedroom in Brooklyn.

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“THE MIDDLE WEST is nowhere; an abstract no-where. However earnestly writers proud of being natives of it may endeavor to give it form and character, it remains out of focus, amorphous, and a mystery,” wrote Glenway Wescott in the introductory essay to his collection of stories Goodbye, Wisconsin, originally published in 1928 and recently reissued in a beautiful edition by Borderland Books.

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… Jordan’s one-person show and his new memoir of the same title tell the story of how he got to where he is. While not a leading man, he has been able to have a very successful career as an actor.

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… Skin Lane, set in 1967 London, centers on Mr F, as the book calls him, a 46-year-old man who is a cutter at a furrier’s. His solitary, regimented life is disturbed by a recurring dream of a dead, dark-haired, white-skinned boy hanging in his bathtub.

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IN HIS INTRODUCTION to Big Trips, Raphael Kadushin-a senior editor for the book’s publisher, the University of Wisconsin Press-affirms his hope that the sixteen entries in this anthology will address two unfortunate tendencies in today’s travel writing.

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