Browsing: July-August 2010

July-August 2010

Blog Posts

0

Over two months later, this quiet event was recapitulated in a public way in Israel. I was speaking to a crowd of Israeli men at the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Tel Aviv, when the subject became gays in Lebanon. “We’ve heard there is better nightlife there than here,” one man asked, wanting to know about the bars and clubs. The comment shocked some of those in the audience. Beirut was as forbidden to him as Tel Aviv was to Khaled. All the men in the room suddenly leaned forward in attention, wondering what the Lebanese capital, once the Middle East’s most cosmopolitan city, would be like.

More
0

TO WHAT EXTENT did Walt Whitman consciously pitch his books to men who were attracted to other men? We know that he carefully crafted his public persona in general, right down to writing pseudonymous reviews and letters that praised his books but also focused on his character and appearance.

More
0

WHAT’S WITH THE “GOOD” in the subtitle of your book? people ask me. Couldn’t you get the “best” writing? or (tongue in cheek) is it writing by “good lesbians”? The subtitle of Something to Declare: Good Lesbian Travel Writing echoes that of an earlier anthology published by the University of Wisconsin Press, Wonderlands: Good Gay Travel Writing (2004). Editor Raphael Kadushin explained in his introduction that he used “good” because he was tired of every other damn collection’s claim to be the “best” writing—which is logically impossible, after all. I admired his reasoning but avoided repeating his explanation in my own introduction—hence, the questions. Meanwhile, I’d like to address the other questions that the four-word subtitle has raised.

More
0

JON MARANS’ new play, The Temperamentals, is about Harry Hay, Rudi Gernreich, and the beginning of the gay rights movement with The Mattachine Society. Today we can talk about “the gay community,” but Jon’s play is about a time before that—our early history—and about the courageous and strong-willed people who stuck their necks out so that we could find each other.

More
0

THE DISCOURSE on homosexuality is a major part of current American culture, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing. Thus, it is all the more noteworthy that a recent production of As You Like It that ran at the Brooklyn Academy of Music earlier this year, directed by Sam Mendes and cast with a bi-national troupe of American and British actors, seems to go out of its way to suppress the homosexual dynamics that are inherent in Shakespeare’s play. An eerie sense of homophobia comes across as this production unfolds.

More
Materializing Queer Desire: Oscar Wilde to Andy Warhol by Elisa Glick
0

AT THE END of this tantalizing, informative, erudite and resourceful book, English and Women & Gender Studies academic Elisa Glick quotes one of her illustrious predecessors, Rhonda Garelick, on the figure of the dandy: “Critics writing about dandies or their texts fall easily into dandyist style, and succumb to its charms.”

More
Is the Rectum a Grave?: and Other Essays by Leo Bersani
0

LEO BERSANI begins this collection of essays with a concise list of his three major interests: sexuality, psychoanalysis, and æsthetics. To readers not familiar with Bersani’s work, this list suggests that the book will be more traditionally academic—and dull—than it turns out to be. A better sense of what Bersani is about is found in the second of two interviews that conclude the collection.

More
The Golden Age of Gay Fiction Edited by Drewey Wayne Gunn
0

ASSUMPTIONS about what gay life and culture were like before Stonewall—that it was an era of all-consuming repression, secrecy, and shame—might lead one to conclude that depictions of gay people in film and literature were non-existent or, if they did surface, heavily coded. Many film historians have examined the movies of this period, but the history of gay literature, which arguably provides perhaps an even richer history, has not been explored as thoroughly. Of course, one must be willing to allow for a more expansive and inclusive definition of what constitutes “literature.”

More