Browsing: Election 2012

September – October, 2012

Gay Lives by Robert Aldrich
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SOME BOOKS are meant to be read cover-to-cover: Madame Bovary, War and Peace, Fifty Shades of Grey. Others may be dipped into at any point, since there is no continuous narrative, only-as in the case at hand-self-contained accounts that take a few pages each. Gay Lives, by Robert Aldrich, a professor of European History at the University of Sydney, belongs to the latter category. …

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ONE SPRING DAY in 1922, Virginia Woolf saw her friend E. M. Forster, then 43, on a London street, and later wrote in her diary: “The middle age of buggers is not to be contemplated without horror.” What would she think of Wendy Moffa’s much-praised biography of Forster, A Great Unrecorded History (2010), with its focus on her friend’s sexuality? …

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As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 by Susan Sontag
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This volume covers Sontag’s life from age 31 to 47. During this period, she wrote some of her best-known essays, including the epic ‘Notes on Camp’ (1964). …

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… I sat down with Professor [Lois] Banner at her Santa Monica home to discuss her new book, Marilyn Monroe: The Passion and the Paradox (Bloomsbury Books), which promises to be as controversial as it is fascinating.

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Into the Garden with Charles: A Memoir by Clyde Phillip Wachsberger
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This memoir is, in a way, the antidote to the much more written-about “fast lane” in which gay men seem to be confined to the urban meat market.

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Ida Rubenstein
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Rubinstein founded her own ballet company, Les Ballets de Madame Ida Rubinstein, in 1928. She starred in each of her shows, commissioning new ballets, scores, and costumes from all the artists with whom Diaghilev collaborated: Ravel, Stravinsky, Bakst, Fokine, Leonide Massine, and many more. Her shows drew crowds, and …

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The Harvey Milk Interviews: In His Own Words Edited by Vince Emery
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[The Times of Harvey Milk] helped to bring Milk closer to household-name status and undoubtedly smoothed the way for The Harvey Milk Interviews, an inviting collection of interviews with and speeches by Milk himself. …

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… Bechdel’s memoir became an international literary sensation-a bestseller that some people wanted to ban from public libraries. This work was game changing for the genre, as Bechdel disrupted the straight male pantheon of comic literature with her unabashedly queer sensibility. Her book was virtuosic and ingenious in its visual construction and literary execution, demonstrating that graphic novels were not solely the domains of youth. Now Bechdel returns with a new graphic work, Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama, which fills in the back story of her tumultuous childhood on up to the writing of her earlier memoir.

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Communists and Perverts under the Palms: The Johns Committee in Florida, 1956-1965 by Stacy Braukman
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Communists and Perverts under the Palms: The Johns Committee in Florida, 1956-1965 by Stacy Braukman University Press of Florida. 250 pages, $69.95 IN 1956, the Florida legislature established…More

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… Making the case for the deep intresections of mysticism and eros-and drawing heavily on Georges Bataille- [Brintnall] argues that the paradoxical symbol of the compromised male body as a symbol of redemption embodies the “self-shattering and fragmentation” that is erotic and mystical transcendence. Nimbly dancing between the Bible, Robert Mapplethorpe, the artist Francis Bacon, and Hollywood action films, Brintnall concludes that representations of suffering male bodies offer “a chance at glimpsing oneself in the other across the wound’s abyss, a headlong fall of dizzying ecstasy.” …

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