Browsing: March-April 2011

March-April 2011

Blog Posts

Wandering Soul: The Dybbuk’s Creator, S. Ansky by Gabriella Safran
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IN WANDERING SOUL, Gabriella Safran has written an erudite biography of the Yiddish radical, Russian revolutionary, writer, ethnographer, and playwright S. Ansky (or An-sky), who’s best remembered for his haunting play, The Dybbuk: Between Two Worlds. Drawing from Ansky’s own writings, Safran, who teaches Slavic literature at Stanford, depicts Ansky as a person of multiple identities …

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Annabel by Kathleen Winter
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ON THE MORNING that Wayne Blake entered the world, the midwife, Thomasina Baikie, did what came naturally: she checked to see if the baby was male or female, and was shocked to discover that the baby appeared to be both.

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The challenge for photographers faced with portraying the AIDS epidemic was to produce an iconography that extended beyond a health story and to overcome the public’s habituation to graphic and shocking images. The photographs selected for this essay had to evoke the mood of the late 1980’s and early 90’s and capture the epidemic in the imagery of contemporary culture. The images reflect that time frame and are not meant to discount other periods in the epidemic.. …

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Dunstan Thompson: On the Life and Work of a Lost American Master Edited by D. A. Powell and Kevin Prufer
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Dunstan Thompson: On the Life and Work of a Lost American Master collects a number of poems from [his] early books, along with a selection from Thompson’s later, posthumously published works, to yield a folio of over forty pages of his poetry. 

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SAN FRANCISCO, APRIL, 1983. In one of the earliest spoken-word performances that theatrically represented AIDS in the United States, perhaps the first on the West Coast, an emerging playwright and stand-up comedian named Doug Holsclaw performed Eartha at the White House (later retitled Spice Queen) in a monologue competition sponsored by the One Act Theater Company at a county fair. Holsclaw wrote the piece after reading Larry Kramer’s impassioned call to action “1,112 and Counting,” which had been published in The New York Native on March 12. In an impeccably timed, angry, campy yet earnest soliloquy, Holsclaw’s saucy character narrated a story about his friend Jeffrey, a hustler who had died at a young age during the first year of the crisis. Describing their catty yet tender friendship, Holsclaw’s character joked about how Jeffrey, who “could be Cruella Deville sometimes,” would call him “paprika queen” or “Donna Reed like I’m bourgeois—because I garnish my salads” when they would picnic at Land’s End on Memorial Day. Pausing artfully for both comedic and dramatic effect…

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Reviews of Derek Jarman’s Angelic Conversations, Gay Shame, Ballets Russes Style:  Diaghilev’s Dancers and Paris Fashion, and Mustn’t Do It.

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The Flamboyant Life and Forbidden Art of George Quaintance by Reed Massengill
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FEW ARTISTS, even those of great fame or historical importance, receive such magnificent treatment in a published monograph as George Quaintance (1902-1957), painter of beefcake images from the 1940’s and 50’s, receives in this volume. Known mostly to bodybuilders and physical culture fans of those decades and to legions of gay men of the pre-Stonewall years who were starving for images of hot men, Quaintance’s paintings graced the covers of many now-classic physique magazines. …

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IN OCTOBER 2010, the Smithsonian Institution corrected a decades-long oversight by staging the first major museum exhibition focused on GLBT American figurative art. Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, at the National Portrait Gallery, met with critical acclaim and enthusiastic attendance—as well as an explosive controversy worthy of the “culture wars” of the late 1980’s. When reactionary forces demanded the removal of David Wojnarowicz’s video “A Fire in My Belly”—and when the demand was met—many people were reminded of the controversy around a Robert Mapplethorpe retrospective in 1989 and the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s decision to cancel the exhibit …

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The International Homosexual Conspiracy by Larry-bob Roberts
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The International Homosexual Conspiracy is a testament to Larry-bob’s consistent growth as a writer. Always curious and never complacent, this collection may just attract that larger audience of readers who will find themselves challenged, examining their assumptions, and frequently laughing out loud.

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