Browsing: Photographic Memories

November – December, 2009

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WHAT HAPPENS when a seventeen-year-old gay boy from Missouri, high on Proust, arrives at Harvard, in 1941, on a quest for love, sex, and greatness? One man’s answer is revealed in rich, exasperating, and touching detail in The Journal of Claude Fredericks.

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FOLLOWING THE PASSAGE of Proposition 8 in California last November, the battleground for marriage equality has now shifted to the nation’s capital as efforts are under way to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA), which precludes the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage even in states where it is legal. One group that strongly supported Proposition 8-with seventy percent voting yes, according to some exit polls-was African-American voters.

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WRITTEN IN A BURST of inspiration in 1913 and ’14 and set in the

England of the Edwardian Age, E. M. Forster’s Maurice was “dedicated to

a happier year,” though the author had no conception of when that might

be. Forster shared the manuscript with trusted friends, including D.H.

Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, T. E. Lawrence, Lytton Strachey, and Paul

Cadmus, but would not publish the novel during his lifetime. Only in

1971, a year after Forster’s death, would the novel appear in print.

 

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Bigger than Life reads like a work of journalism about the rise and development of a hugely successful industry that feeds the fantasies of gay men, whose growth spurts and mutations over time have aligned with social and technological forces.

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IN 1972, the Rho-Delta Press of Los Angeles published Tamotsu Yato’s book Otoko: Photo-Studies of the Young Japanese Male. The book has long been out of print, and it usually commands a hefty price from rare book dealers. But the story of its origins and eventual publication is notable-and ultimately poignant-because it intersects with the life of one of Japan’s most complex and fascinating literary figures.

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News of the queer and quirky

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… the ever adventurous Field put his fears aside and embarked on a trip that produced Kabuli Days: Travels in Old Afghanistan, one of the most interesting travel diaries I’ve read.

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PHOTOGRAPHER, artist, and designer Andrew J. Epstein has had behind-the-scenes access to some of the most important and influential gay artists of the last forty years, and fortunately he has had his camera in hand to record much of it. In the 1970’s, living in New York City’s West Village, he met artist Tom of Finland and photographed many of the artist’s gallery shows. Epstein’s photos are featured in Taschen’s recent, massive tribute to the artist titled Tom of Finland XXL.

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HAUTE COUTURE took a distinct “downtown” turn in the 1980’s with

the emergence of Stephen Sprouse, who set the fashion world on fire as

the first designer to successfully merge street culture, punk, and high

fashion in edgy clothing designs incorporating graffiti, vibrant and at

times even garish colors, plus a fine arts sensibility.

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Allah Made Us: Sexual Outlaws in an Islamic African City by Rudolf Pell Gaudio Wiley-Blackwell. 256 pages, $29.95 IN 2002, a film company based in the northern Nigerian…More

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