Browsing: The Mother Country

November – December, 2011

Blog Posts

Victory Deferred: How AIDS Changed Gay Life in America (Second Edition) by John-Manuel Andriote
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Reviews of Victory Deferred, Andy Warhol’s New York City, and Tiny Terror.

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The Brokeback Book: From Story to Cultural Phenomenon Edited by William R. Handley
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I CONFESS to having been somewhat surprised upon learning about another book on that doomed cowboy-on-cowboy love story, Brokeback Mountain. But as editor William R. Handley shows in this new anthology about Jack and Ennis’ tortured, unrealized, lifelong love affair, there is still more to be said about the movie that elicited such a wide range of responses, so many of them extreme and at odds with one another, since the movie’s 2005 release.

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THIS OCTOBER marked the fiftieth anniversary of artist Don Bachardy’s one-man debut at the prestigious Redfern Gallery in London in 1961. It was in the cramped, closely hung confines of a basement gallery that the 27-year-old Bachardy exhibited much of the work he had completed that year, notably a series of celebrity portraits.

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Ambientes: New Queer Latino Writing Edited by Lázaro Lima and Felice Picano
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Ambientes is a timely contribution at this point in history during which demographic shifts are literally changing the face of America. The stories in Ambientes provide a significant model for GLBT Latinos in the U.S.

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POETS WRITING literary criticism do so to generate income, to communicate aesthetic values to the public, and to build an audience for their imaginative work. Would readers of the 1950’s and 60’s have paid much attention to Randall Jarrell the poet if he hadn’t been a sharp-witted and engaging critic? Probably not. As for W.H. Auden, I can offer some personal testimony from nearly four decades ago.

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Writing the Love of Boys: Origins of Bishonen Culture in Modernist Japanese Literature by Jeffrey Angles
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IN THIS relatively short study, Jeffrey Angles explores the theme of love between men and boys in the literature of Japan’s modernist period, concentrating on three writers from this period: the poet, short story writer, and painter Murayama Kaita (1896-1919); the detective novelist and essayist Edogawa Ranpo (1894-1963); and the avant-garde prose writer Inagaki Taruho (1900-1977).

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IN NOVEMBER, 1910, a small but important art show opened in the Grafton Galleries in London. Titled Manet and the Post-Impressionists, the show was curated by Roger Fry, a member of the Bloomsbury group, a painter, art critic, and at different times the lover of Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell. This was one of the earliest shows in London dedicated to Impressionist and Post-Impressionist French art.

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K.D. Lang
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SHE DAZZLED just about everyone when she performed live at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Now fifty, Alberta native k.d. lang still has what it takes to bring an audience to its feet. There’s no denying the power of that voice and lang’s unrivaled range.

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Marketers of men’s underwear and swimwear added to the emerging trends of the sexualized male with new styles specifically designed for erotic exhibitionism. Prior to 1950, men’s swimwear always concealed the navel, even though rubberized Lastex yarns shaped and articulated the genital bulge below. In the early 1950’s, though, styles of men’s swimwear began to reveal more skin. Some inched below the navel, peek-a-boo cutaways bared the hips, and the male bikini made its first appearance on American beaches.

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Change comes when we ask hard questions of our elected and appointed officials-school boards, superintendents, and others-about policies and programs to address bullying in schools, and when we push for better anti-bullying legislation and demand a commitment to GLBT youth empowerment among public servants. Above all, change comes when we take the time to listen to young people and empower them to create messages of survival for each other.

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