Browsing: The Persistence of Malice

May – June, 2010

Blog Posts

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The Professor and Other Writings, a collection of previously published essays and a new, jaw-dropping autobiographical piece about a lesbian affair in academia, is as inconsistent as such collections usually are. But the author’s ability to blend her scholarly interests (in the First World War, for instance) with moving details from her personal life and even her ancestry (a British great uncle killed in 1918) offer insights into both her ideas and her life from various angles.

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Boylan has been married to Deirdre Finney (or “Grace” as she’s called in She’s Not There) for 22 years. The couple has two teenage sons, Zach and Sean, who refer to Jenny not as “Mommy” or “Daddy,” but as the hybridized “Maddy.” This interview was conducted in February via e-mail (a medium that Salinger probably dreaded).

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THE FOLLOWING PIECE of writing appears in Family Parables, a collection of short fiction by the Slovene writer Boris Pintar, published by Talisman House in December in my translation. The collection consists of four short stories, each between eight and fifteen pages in length; a novella of some sixty pages, which lends the collection its title; and this piece, “Eros/Thanatos,” placed interestingly between the short stories and the novella, almost as a summing-up of the former (the last of the stories is about a man who brings home a hustler) and an introduction to the latter.

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Ashbery’s latest collection, Planisphere (2009), is dedicated to David Kermani, his partner of 35 years. They met in 1970, when Ashbery was 42 and Kermani was 23. The new book demonstrates that the poet is still hot to trot …

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THIS YEAR marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of William Pahlmann, an internationally acclaimed interior designer who beautified numerous public and private spaces and made a uniquely gay contribution to the U.S. war effort in World War II.

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FOR TWO DAYS in early March 2009, Ugandans flocked to the Kampala Triangle Hotel for the Family Life Network’s “Seminar on Exposing the Homosexuals’ Agenda.” The seminar’s very title revealed its claim: GLBT people and activists are engaged in a well thought-out plan to take over the world. The U.S. culture wars had come to Africa with a vengeance.

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Other than its girl-meets-girl twist, Forgetting the Alamo, Or, Blood Memory has all the ingredients of an old-time Western: …

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MARK ROEDER of Bloomington, Indiana, is the author of the “Gay Youth Chronicles,” a series of interrelated stories about gay youth coming of age in rural America over the span of fifty years. He has authored a total of nineteen novels. While the narratives reflect the improvement in living conditions for gay youths realized as a result of the GLBT civil rights movement, homophobia appears throughout the series as the defining challenge that successive generations must confront in learning to accept themselves and find love.

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THERE’S A LOT that’s improbable in Owen Hill’s mystery novel, The Incredible Double. For starters, there’s the protagonist, Clay Blackburn, who makes his living buying and reselling used books in Berkeley, California, and moonlighting as an unlicensed private detective. Even with rent control, it seems like an untenable arrangement.

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