reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Joseph Mantello (born 27 December 1962) is an American actor and director best known for his work on Broadway productions of Wicked, Take Me Out and Assassins, as well as earlier in his career being one of the original Broadway cast of Angels in America. Mantello directed The Ritz, his sixth production with playwright Terrence McNally, in 2007.

Mantello was born in Rockford, Illinois and studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts; he started the Edge Theater in New York City with actress Mary-Louise Parker and writer Peter Hedges. He is a member of the Naked Angels theater company and an associate artist at the Roundabout Theatre Company.

Mantello began his theatrical career as an actor in Keith Curran's Walking the Dead and Paula Vogel's The Baltimore Waltz. On the transition from acting to directing, Mantello said, "I think I've become a better actor since I started directing, although some people might disagree. Since I've been removed from the process I see things that actors fall into. Now there's a part of me that's removed from the process and can stand back."

Mantello directs a variety of theatre works, as the New York Times noted: "Very few American directors -- Jack O'Brien (director) and Mike Nichols come to mind -- successfully jump genres and styles the way Mr. Mantello does, moving from a two-hander like Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune to the huge canvas of a mainstream musical comedy like Wicked, from downtown stand-up (The Santaland Diaries) to contemporary opera (Dead Man Walking) to political performance art (The Vagina Monologues)."

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Mantello

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Margaret Cho is Korean American, she’s queer, she’s funny, and she’s on TV—get used to it. Her birth name was Moran Cho, and all the kids at school called her “moron.” Naturally she developed a sense of humor and renamed herself Margaret as soon as possible.

Cho was a successful stand-up comic when ABC asked her to star in a series about a Korean American family, All American Girl. It was a devastating experience for her, as network executives criticized her appearance and injected gay and Asian sterotypes into the show’s content. Having become convinced that she was too fat, Cho literally starved herself, almost to death. The show didn’t make it into a second season.

Following the cancellation of All American Girl, Cho dealt with addiction to alcohol and other demons. She came back with I’m the One I Want, her one-woman show, book, and CD. In 2008 she returned to television in the reality show Cho Show on VH1.

Self-described as “queer,” Cho has dated film director Quentin Tarantino, musician Chris Isaak, and other men. In 2003 she married artist Al Ridenour. She’s more private about her girlfriends, but often uses her lesbian experiences as part of her act. She’s been a very active supporter of gay rights, and was deputized to perform marriages in San Francisco before same-sex marriage was outlawed by Proposition 8.

Stern, Keith (2009-09-01). Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals (Kindle Locations 3495-3506). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
George Paul Solomos (September 16, 1925 – November 8, 2010), also known as Themistocles Hoetis from 1948 to 1958, was an American publisher, poet, filmmaker and novelist.

G. P. Solomos was born in Detroit in 1925, the youngest of five children of Greek-born parents.

The Solomos family were descendants of tobacco tycoon Count Nicolas Solomonee from Venice. They were olive oil producers who settled in Greece before the end of the Greek War of Independence (1821–1829). They were relatives of the Greek poet Dionysios Solomos who had lived on the Greek island Zante (Zakynthos) most of his adult life; his most famous poem "Hymn to Liberty" is the Greek National Anthem.

His father had left Sparta because of a family tragedy when he was still a teenager. Having been educated in the English language he decided to make his way to the USA. His mother - also from Sparta - was taken to the States by her two older brothers for similar tragic reasons as his father. His parents were introduced on landing in New York about 1910, and decided to marry and stay in the USA for a while.

George was born and raised in Detroit; a French - American city which became known as Motor City - the centre of the US car industry - as well as a wellspring of much great popular music; from soul to heavy metal and techno. Prior to Motown, jazz had moved from up from the clubs of Chicago to Detroit in the 1920s, and George spent much of his teenage years in jazz clubs. His father ran a large Mediterranean delicatessen and general food store on Vermont and Henry Street, right near to Michigan Avenue.


George Solomos with Asa Benveniste

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Solomos

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Wilfred Edward Salter Owen MC (18 March 1893 – 4 November 1918) was an English poet and soldier, one of the leading poets of the First World War. His shocking, realistic war poetry on the horrors of trenches and gas warfare was heavily influenced by his friend Siegfried Sassoon and stood in stark contrast to both the public perception of war at the time, and to the confidently patriotic verse written earlier by war poets such as Rupert Brooke. Some of his best-known works — most of which were published posthumously — are "Dulce et Decorum Est", "Insensibility", "Anthem for Doomed Youth", "Futility" and "Strange Meeting".

Wilfred Owen was born the eldest of four children in a house near Oswestry in Shropshire called Plas Wilmot on 18 March 1893, of mixed English and Welsh ancestry. His siblings were Harold, Colin, and Mary Millard Owen. At that time, his parents, Thomas and Harriet Susan (Shaw) Owen, lived in a comfortable house owned by his grandfather but, on his death in 1897, the family was forced to move to lodgings in the back streets of Birkenhead. He was educated at the Birkenhead Institute and at Shrewsbury Technical School (now The Wakeman School), and discovered his vocation in 1903 or 1904 during a holiday spent in Cheshire. Owen was raised as an Anglican of the evangelical school, and in his youth was a devout believer, in part due to his strong relationship with his mother, which was to last throughout his life. His early influences included the 'big six' of romantic poetry, particularly John Keats, and the Bible.

Shortly after leaving school in 1911, Owen passed the matriculation exam for the University of London, but not with the first-class honours needed for a scholarship (his studies suffered as Owen mourned the loss of his uncle and role model, Edgar Hilton in a hunting accident) which in his family's circumstances was the only way he could have afforded to attend.

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilfred_Owen

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Bruce Bawer (born October 31, 1956, in New York City) is an American literary critic, writer and poet. His work focuses mainly on criticism and issues related to Islam.

Bawer received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in English from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he also taught courses in literature and composition.

He moved from New York to Amsterdam in 1998, where he felt that he could live better as a gay man in a more liberal society. He then moved to Oslo in 1999, and throughout the years has translated several books from Norwegian to English. He currently lives with his partner in Oslo, Norway.

Bawer's works have appeared in journals such as The New Republic, The Nation, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The New Criterion, The American Spectator and The Hudson Review.

In A Place at the Table, Bawer argued for what he considers a centrist and mainstream political philosophy at odds with the gay left. In Stealing Jesus, Bawer leveled sharp criticism at evangelical, Pentecostal, and other strains of modern Christianity, including premillennialism and evangelical apologism for capitalism.

In While Europe Slept, Bawer writes that Europe's politically correct culture defends and protects the Islamic fundamentalism that is preying upon its liberal social systems. Bawer argues that Islamists use welfare and religious grants to fund extremist mosques and support imams with a violent past. Once established in Western European nations, Bawer maintains, the Islamists avoid integration and answer only to sharia law, while avoiding the legal systems of their host nations, allowing abuse of women, gays, Jews, and non-Muslims. In his conclusion, Bawer states that rising Muslim birthrates and "refusal" to integrate will allow them to dominate European society within 30 years, and that the only way to avoid such a disaster is to abolish the politically correct and multicultural doctrine that, according to him, is rife within the continent.

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Bawer

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Author and editor Adam Mars-Jones has written short stories as well as longer fiction on gay themes, including AIDS. (Picture: Adam Mars-Jones, credit Sarah Lee)

Born in 1954 into an upper-middle class legal family in London--his father was a judge, his mother a lawyer--Mars-Jones was educated at Westminster School and Cambridge University. He is now film critic of the London Independent.

Mars-Jones won considerable praise for his first book, Lantern Lectures (1981), a set of three novellas written in a post-modern mode. "Hoosh-Mi" is a grotesque story of the British Queen's contracting rabies from a pet corgi's bite, and continuing to fulfill royal functions under increasingly adverse conditions. Told by various narrators, it combines dark humor with sharp analysis of royalty's contemporary futility.

A similar mixture of fiction and documentary is also evident in "Bathpool Park," which takes Harry Hawkes's The Capture of the Black Panther, about a notorious murderer, as a starting point to show a criminal's construction of a crime. The story goes on to show the police, the press, and the judiciary--social institutions specifically designed to find out and publicly narrate the truth--failing to discover it.

Lantern Lecture's technical qualities were noted in a review by Galen Strawson, who cited the "emotionally deadpanned style of delivery, the technical impassivity of the allusive, cloisonné construction."

Read more... )

Citation Information
Author: Normand, Lawrence
Entry Title: Mars-Jones, Adam
General Editor: Claude J. Summers
Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture
Publication Date: 2002
Date Last Updated November 12, 2002
Web Address www.glbtq.com/literature/marsjones_a.html
Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL 60607
Today's Date October 26, 2012
Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.
Entry Copyright © 1995, 2002 New England Publishing Associates

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Carson McCullers (February 19, 1917 – September 29, 1967) was an American writer. She wrote novels, short stories, and two plays, as well as essays and some poetry. Her first novel The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter explores the spiritual isolation of misfits and outcasts of the U.S. South. Her other novels have similar themes and are all set in the South.

She was born Lula Carson Smith in Columbus, Georgia, in 1917. Her mother was the granddaughter of a plantation owner and Confederate war hero. Her father, like Wilbur Kelly in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, was a watchmaker and jeweler of French Huguenot descent. From the age of ten, Lula took piano lessons. When she was fifteen, her father gave her a typewriter on which to compose stories.

Smith graduated from Columbus High School. In September 1934 at the age of 17, she left home on a steamship from Savannah, Georgia, planning to study piano at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. After losing the money set aside for her tuition, she never attended the school. McCullers worked in menial jobs and studied creative writing under the Texas writer Dorothy Scarborough at night classes at Columbia University, and with Sylvia Chatfield Bates at Washington Square College of New York University. In 1936 she published her first work. "Wunderkind", an autobiographical piece which Bates had much admired, appeared in Story magazine. It depicted a musical prodigy's failure and adolescent insecurity. It is also collected in the The Ballad of the Sad Cafe.

From 1935 to 1937 she divided her time, as her studies and health dictated, between Columbus and New York. In September 1937 she married an ex-soldier and aspiring writer, Reeves McCullers. They began their married life in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Reeves had found some work.


Carson McCullers, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1959

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carson_McCullers
Southern-born author Carson McCullers was purportedly bisexual and married to a man who may have been gay. This need to conceal her sexuality in a time and place that weren´t exactly open to her lifestyle was often reflected in stories that celebrated the misfit loner. Nowhere is this theme of the isolated outsider more prevalent than in McCullers´s Southern gothic masterpiece The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. It is hinted that a few characters may be gay or bisexual, while they each embody some difference or eccentricity that sets them apart from the "normal" denizens of their small town. The story includes a shocking, abrupt plot twist that has haunted me since I first read it back in high school. (It was assigned reading my sophomore year, and I was one of the few students in class who actually liked it, perhaps because I identified so readily with the themes presented.) Depressing but poignant, this book isn´t exactly light reading. I recommend it on a day when you´re less in the mood to be entertained and more so to think.--Katrina Strauss
If anything, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers is an anti-romance. No one ends up happy. John Singer is a deaf-mute who lives with his companion, another deaf man named Antonapoulos. At the beginning of the story, Antonapoulos is sent to an aslyum and Singer moves into a boarding house. The rest of the book is about how the inhabitants of the house interact with Singer, each feeling as though he somehow enriches their lives to some extent, though none of them ever really gets to know him or realizes he himself is deeply saddened by the loss of his friend. I don't know if it's considered a GLBT novel or not, but I always felt it could withstand a gay reading, as I saw the friendship between Singer and Antonapoulos as something much more than what was explicitly portrayed in the story. Given the way the book ends, there has to be more than mere friendship between them. If you aren't too hung up on happy ever after and want to lose yourself in some damn fine literature, give this one a try. --J.M. Snyder
Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Bessie Smith (April 15, 1894 – September 26, 1937) was an American blues singer. (Picture: Bessie Smith, 1936, by Carl Van Vechten)

Sometimes referred to as The Empress of the Blues, Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s. She is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and, along with Louis Armstrong, a major influence on subsequent jazz vocalists.

The 1900 census indicates that Bessie Smith was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee in July 1892. However, the 1910 census recorded her birthday as April 15, 1894, a date that appears on all subsequent documents and was observed by the entire Smith family. Census data also contributes to controversy about the size of her family. The 1870 and 1880 censuses report three older half-siblings, while later interviews with Smith's family and contemporaries did not include these individuals among her siblings.

Bessie Smith was the daughter of Laura (née Owens) and William Smith. William Smith was a laborer and part-time Baptist preacher (he was listed in the 1870 census as a "minister of the gospel", in Moulton, Lawrence, Alabama.) He died before his daughter could remember him. By the time she was nine, she had lost her mother and a brother as well. Her older sister Viola took charge of caring for her siblings.


Portrait of Bessie Smith by Carl Van Vechten

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessie_Smith

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Charles Reginald Jackson (April 6, 1903- September 21, 1968) was an American author, best known for his 1944 novel The Lost Weekend (Picture: Portrait of Charles Jackson by Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964, photographer).

Jackson's first published story, "Palm Sunday", appeared in the Partisan Review in 1939. It focused on the debauched organist of a church the narrators attended as children.

In the 1940s Jackson wrote a trio of novels, beginning with The Lost Weekend published by Farrar & Rinehart in 1944. This autobiographical novel chronicled a struggling writer's five day drinking binge. It earned Charles R. Jackson lasting recognition.

The following year Paramount Pictures paid $35,000 for the rights to adapt the novel into the a film version of the same name. The Academy Award winning film was directed by Billy Wilder and starred Ray Milland in the lead role of Don Birnam.

Jackson's second published novel of the 1940s, titled The Fall of Valor, was released in 1946 and takes its name from a passage in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. Set in 1943, it detailed a professor's obsession with a young, handsome Marine. The Fall of Valor received mixed reviews, and, though sales were respectable, was considerably less successful than Jackson's famous first novel.

Jackson's The Outer Edges was released in 1948 and dealt with the gruesome rape and murder of two girls in Westchester County, New York. The Outer Edges also received mixed reviews, and sales were poor relative to his previous novels.

 

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_R._Jackson
A self-proclaimed alcoholic, Jackson's novel, The Lost Weekend, is a heart breaker about Don Biman, a gay man on a five-day binge who is constitutionally incapable of honesty and succumbs to the deadly disease. (Disclosure: my second novel, “A Comfortable Corner”, is about a gay man living with an active alcoholic who successfully enters a recovery program at the end.) Jackson's scorching, unforgettable novel was praised deservedly to the sky when it was published in 1944 and was made into an Oscar-winning movie in 1945--when Oscar was no laughing matter--by Billy Wilder with Ray Milland and the divine Jane Wyman playing Helen, Don's patient friend in the book transformed into his love-object in a fine movie stripped of Don's gay soul. I just reread this masterpiece recently and was moved to tears yet again at its terrifying end when Don crawls into bed wondering, "Why did they make such a fuss?" Oy! --Vincent Virga
Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Leonard Frey (September 4, 1938 – August 24, 1988) was an American actor.

Frey was born in Brooklyn, New York. After college, where he studied art with designs on being a painter, he studied acting at New York City's prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse under famed acting coach Sanford Meisner, and pursued a career in theater instead. In 1968, he received critical acclaim for his performance as Harold, a bitter, pockmarked gay man who dreads his birthday in off-Broadway's The Boys in the Band. This landmark play introduced mainstream audiences to the culture of gay men who supported each other, providing friendship, family and, when necessary, reality checks.

Frey, along with the rest of the original cast, appeared in the 1970 film version, directed by William Friedkin.

Frey was nominated for a 1975 Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in The National Health. Other stage credits include revivals of The Time of Your Life (1969), Beggar on Horseback (1970), Twelfth Night (1972) and The Man Who Came to Dinner (1980). Frey earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Motel the tailor in the film Fiddler on the Roof. (He had appeared in the original Broadway production as Mendel, the rabbi's son.) He played Clare Quilty in the Alan Jay Lerner musical Lolita, My Love which closed, before reaching Broadway, in 1974.

Frey's television credits included appearances on Hallmark Hall of Fame, Medical Center, Mission Impossible, Eight is Enough, Quincy, M.E., Hart to Hart, Barney Miller, Moonlighting, and Murder, She Wrote, as well as a co-starring role as the villainous Parker Tillman on the short-lived ABC western comedy Best of the West.


The cast of ‘Boys in the Band’ with playwright Mart Crowley, left. Next to him are Laurence Luckinbill as Hank, the late Frederick Combs as Donald, the late Robert La Tourneaux as 'Cowboy,' the late Kenneth Nelson as Michael, the late Leonard Frey as Harold, the late Cliff Gorman as Emory, the late Keith Prentice as Larry, Peter White as Alan and Reuben Greene as Bernard. (Photo courtesy of the Karpel Group)

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Frey

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Charles Louis Busch (born August 23, 1954) is an American actor, screenwriter, playwright and female impersonator, known for his appearances on stage in his own camp style plays and in film and television. He wrote and starred in his early plays Off-off-Broadway beginning in 1978, generally in drag roles, and also acted in the works of other playwrights. He also wrote for television and began to act in films and on television in the late 1990s. His best known play is The Tale of the Allergist's Wife (2000), which was a success on Broadway.

Busch was born in 1954 and grew up in Hartsdale, New York. He is the Jewish son of Gertrude (née Young) and Benjamin Busch. His father wanted to be an opera singer but owned a record store. His mother died when Busch was age 7. He has two older sisters: Meg Busch, a producer of promotional spots for Showtime, and Betsy Busch, a textile designer. Busch's aunt, Lillian Blum, his mother's oldest sister and a former teacher, brought him to live in Manhattan after the death of his mother. She told an interviewer: "He was so shy it was almost pathological. ... Before he moved in with me, I would pick him up in Hartsdale on a Friday afternoon, and he would be like a zombie. But the minute we crossed the river to New York he was absolutely a new boy." Busch was intensely interested in films as a young child, especially those with female leads from the 30s and 40s. Blum insisted that Busch read the front page of the newspaper every day to help him keep at least one foot in the real world.

Busch attended the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan. He majored in drama at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and received his B.A. in 1976. While at the university, Busch had difficulty being cast in plays and began to write his own material, such as a play called Sister Act about siamese twin showgirls, which succeeded in drawing interest on campus.



Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Busch

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Edna Annie Proulx (born August 22, 1935) is an American journalist and author. She has written most frequently as Annie Proulx but has also used the names E. Annie Proulx and E.A. Proulx.

Her second novel, The Shipping News (1993), won both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction and was adapted as a 2001 film of the same name. Her short story Brokeback Mountain was adapted as an Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe Award-winning major motion picture released in 2005. She won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for her first novel, Postcards.

Proulx (born Edna Ann Proulx, her first name honoring one of her mother's aunts), was born in Norwich, Connecticut, to parents of English and French-Canadian ancestry. Her maternal forebears came to America fifteen years after the Mayflower in 1635. She graduated from Deering High School in Portland, Maine, then attended Colby College "for a short period in the 1950s", where she met her first husband H. Ridgely Bullock, Jr. She later returned to college, studying at the University of Vermont from 1966 to 1969, and graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1969. She earned her Master of Arts from Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) in Montreal, Quebec in 1973 and pursued, but did not complete, her PhD.

Proulx lived for more than thirty years in Vermont, has married and divorced three times, and has three sons and a daughter (named Jonathan, Gillis, Morgan, and Sylvia, a.k.a. "Muffy"). In 1994, she moved to Saratoga, Wyoming, where she currently resides, spending part of the year in northern Newfoundland on a small cove adjacent to L'Anse aux Meadows.

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annie_Proulx
"Brokeback Mountain" by Annie Proulx is the one of the most homoerotic story I know and nothing at all like the movie. The writing is strange, truncated and yet incredibly moving and revelatory and achieves that rare quality of matching a compelling story with just as compelling a way of saying that story. --Michael Klein
Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, two ranch hands, come together when they're working as sheepherder and camp tender one summer on a range above the tree line. At first, sharing an isolated tent, the attraction is casual, inevitable, but something deeper catches them that summer.
Both men work hard, marry, and have kids because that's what cowboys do. But over the course of many years and frequent separations this relationship becomes the most important thing in their lives, and they do anything they can to preserve it.
This short story was one of the most moving stories I had ever read in any genre. The need, love, fear, hope and despair of these two men was palpable. I can honestly say I found it haunting long after I finish it.
In a kind of reverse inspiration it also strengthened my need to write happy endings, to not only give my characters real life obstacles to overcome but to grant them that goal of love and a lasting, shared relationship. I don't agree with any romances that insist on letting the harsher elements of RL dictate a uncertain happy ending. If readers wanted RL they would read the newspaper or literature, not romance. I believe in giving a reader what I believe they read romance for – that heartwarming, feel good satisfaction at the end of an enjoyable journey of the heart. --Laura Baumbach
When I first started reading Brokeback Mountain, I realized I’d have to slow down, as it seemed to be written in a dialect of English with which I was totally unfamiliar. Unfamiliar territory, indeed, and so authentically wrought western talk. I think the story sneaks up on you. Like so many Americans I probably have a fascination with the West, its promises as well as its dangers. In my case, it’s also my native yet adopted part of the country, though California could be put in another category entirely. I believe the rural parts of my state and Wyoming have more in common than California’s coastal cities have with its interior. Here was a genuine rendering of love between two men, which is so rare in art that when it finally appears it’s really quite astounding and in this particular case, broke my heart. --Jim Arnold
I read a reprint of Brokeback Mountain in the New Yorker while at the gym one day. And while perspiring profusely on the eliptical machine (“…the motel room smelled of sweat and semen…”) I was captivated, stunned and depressed—not only because of the story’s pathos, but also for the realization that I will never attain, as a writer, that perfectly-pitched voice with which Ms. Proulx’s writing sings. --Nick Nolan
I fell in love with Brokeback Mountain when it was still available on-line in the Washington Post archives. It hit me in the gut. I actually belong to a Brokeback Mountain fan group, although I don’t post there much any more. Never did fanfiction, the story was just too pure and simple for me to need to go beyond it. Although we had Friday Haiku days which I joined in on and I actually wrote poetry inspired by it. --James Buchanan
When I read Brokeback Mountain years ago, the sparseness of the story just seemed to rip more gaping holes in my already aching heart! For such a short story it tells such a huge tale of regret and love lost. Just like the best special effects in a movie are the ones you don’t even know are there, in this book it’s the dialogue that is never said, the intentions that are never acted upon, and the words that only seem to exist between the lines that make this such a haunting, impactful, heart-wrenching story. --Geoffrey Knight
Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Renaud Camus (born 1946) is a French writer.

He was born in Chamalières, Puy-de-Dôme, in the Auvergne region of France. He spent some time studying in England and traveling in the United States, particularly New York and California (he taught for a semester in a college in Arkansas). He quickly began to circulate among writers (Louis Aragon, Roland Barthes, Marguerite Duras, etc.) and visual artists (the Warhol circle, the New York School, Gilbert and George, etc.). He also circulated in gay communities and is an outspoken defender of gay rights, although, as with social issues in general, he keeps his distance from doctrinaire positions. One of his first published works (and the only one (partially) translated in English), with a preface by Barthes, is Tricks (1979; enlarged and revised in 1982 and 1988), a “chronicle” consisting of over-detailed descriptions of homosexual encounters in France and elsewhere. Fragments of other works were published in the 75th issue of Yale French Studies (1988).

Camus is an exceptionally prolific writer. His work could be divided into four categories: straightforward prose (travel writing, traditional-form novels, polemic, and lengthy yearly journals (diary) published from 1989 to the present; “creative” prose: “experimental” novels and a large and ever-growing, largely unpublished web text, Burnt Boats (Vaisseaux brûlés); writings on painting and culture; and personal essays.

He has also formed a political party, "Le Parti de l’Innocence", continually evolving its platform, a curious blend of traditional leftist/socialist political values and conservative social values. It plays no role in French politics, but Camus seems to take it very seriously, adding position statements to the party’s website on a nearly daily basis.

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaud_Camus

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Herbert Edwin Huncke (January 9, 1915 – August 8, 1996) was a sub-culture icon, writer and poet, and active participant in a number of emerging cultural, social and aesthetic movements of the 20th century in America. He was a member of the Beat Generation and is reputed to have coined the term.

Born in Greenfield, Massachusetts and reared in Chicago, Herbert Huncke was a street hustler, high school dropout and drug user. Huncke's life was centered around living as a hobo, jumping trains across the vast expanse of the United States, bonding through a shared destitution and camaraderie with other vagrants. Although Huncke later came to regret his loss of family ties, in his autobiography, Guilty of Everything, he states that his lengthy jail sentences were a partial result of his lack of family support. Huncke left Chicago as a teenager after his parents divorced. Despite the fantasies the largely college-educated Beat Generation had about Huncke, he was from as much of a middle-class background as they were.

Huncke hitchhiked to New York City in 1939. He was dropped off at 103rd and Broadway, and he asked the driver how to find 42nd Street. "You walk straight down Broadway," the man said, "and you will find 42nd Street." Huncke, always a stylish dresser, bought a boutonnière for his jacket and headed for 42nd Street. For the next 10 years, Huncke was a 42nd Street regular and became known as the "Mayor of 42nd Street."

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Huncke  

Further Readings  )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Hans Christian Andersen (April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875) was a Danish author, fairy tale writer, and poet noted for his children's stories. These include "The Steadfast Tin Soldier", "The Snow Queen", "The Little Mermaid", "Thumbelina", "The Little Match Girl", and "The Ugly Duckling".

During his lifetime he was acclaimed for having delighted children worldwide, and was feted by royalty. His poetry and stories have been translated into more than 150 languages. They have inspired motion pictures, plays, ballets, and animated films.

Hans Christian Andersen was born in the town of Odense, Denmark, on Tuesday, April 2, 1805. He was an only child. "Hans" and "Christian" are traditional Danish names.

Andersen's father considered himself related to nobility. His paternal grandmother had told his father that their family had in the past belonged to a higher social class, but investigations prove these stories unfounded. The family apparently was affiliated with Danish royalty, but through employment or trade. Today, speculation persists that Andersen may have been an illegitimate son of the royal family. Whatever the reason, King Frederick VI took a personal interest in him as a youth and paid for a part of his education. According to writer Rolf Dorset, Andersen's ancestry remains indeterminate. Hans Christian was forced to support himself. He worked as a weaver's apprentice and, later, for a tailor. At 14, he moved to Copenhagen to seek employment as an actor. Having an excellent soprano voice, he was accepted into the Royal Danish Theatre, but his voice soon changed. A colleague at the theatre told him that he considered Andersen a poet. Taking the suggestion seriously, he began to focus on writing.

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Christian_Andersen

Further Readings  )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Roy Marcus Cohn (February 20, 1927 – August 2, 1986) was an American attorney who became famous during Senator Joseph McCarthy's investigations into Communist activity in the United States during the Second Red Scare. Cohn gained special prominence during the Army–McCarthy hearings. He was also an important member of the U.S. Department of Justice's prosecution team at the espionage trials of Soviet spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Roy Cohn allegedly spent several decades living a discreet life as a closeted gay man. When he brought on Schine as chief consultant, speculation arose that Schine and Cohn had a sexual relationship, although some historians have more recently concluded the friendship was platonic. During the Army–McCarthy hearings, Cohn denied having any "special interest" in Schine or being bound to him "closer than to the ordinary friend." Joseph Welch, the Army's attorney in the hearings, made an apparent reference to Cohn's homosexuality. After asking a witness if a photo entered as evidence "came from a pixie," he defined "pixie" for McCarthy as "a close relative of a fairy." Fairy was, and is, a derogatory term for a gay man. Pixie was also a brand name for a line of cheap cameras. The people at the hearing recognized the allusion and found it amusing; Cohn later called the remark "malicious," "wicked," and "indecent." Cohn and McCarthy targeted many government officials and cultural figures not only for suspected Communist sympathies, but also for alleged homosexuality.

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
John Herbert aka Jack Brundage (13 October 1926 – 22 June 2001) was a Canadian playwright. Best known for Fortune and Men's Eyes, he wrote 24 plays, six of which were published. A Toronto maverick and Gay pioneer, playwright and actor, he talked the talk AND he walked the walk. (Picture: John Herbert (Jack Brundage), 1926-2001, shown here around 1950)

John Herbert was born in Toronto on October 13th 1926. He died June 22nd 2001. he was 75 years of age. He Attended York Memorial Collegiate Institute, Toronto 1939-44. Ontario College of Art 1948-50, National Ballet School 1954-57, Boris Volkoff Ballet School 1953-57, and New Play Society Theatre School 1956-59. Was inspired by American films and actresses like Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, and Joan Crawford. Spending time at the Guelph reformatory prison he was raped beaten and physically assaulted day in and day out which gave him his raw material for his best known play “Fortune and Men's Eyes” which was performed 30 years later. Bill Glassco Director of “Fortune and Mens eye's” said John Herbert was "the single most important figure of the decade" "Fortune and Men's eyes” won the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award in 1975.

Source: http://prezi.com/5lb0qhp1mgbf/john-herbert-playwright/

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
David Goodstein was born in Denver, Colorado in 1932. After graduating from Cornell University in 1954 he earned an LLB degree from Columbia University. He practiced for a time in New York City as a criminal attorney. In 1960 his career moved to Wall Street, where he founded Compufund, a mutual fund that introduced statistical analysis of common stocks using computers. During this period, Goodstein became involved in social issues, serving on the boards of Grand Street Settlement Houses and the United Settlement Houses of New York, and Cornell University's Special Education Program for racial minorities. While in New York City, he served on the Cornell University Council, and was president of the Friends of the Andrew D. White Museum.

He was a collector and dealer of art, and with his brother Edward, established one of the finest collections of Italian Baroque painting in the United States. Goodstein was also an avid amateur horseman and American Saddlebred Horse owner and exhibitor. Goodstein moved to California in 1971 and there became active in the gay rights movement and the California Democratic party. He was instrumental in attaining the passage of California's consensual sex legislation in 1974, and was responsible for the creation of the Gay Rights National Lobby in 1976. He was a co-founder of Concerned Voters of California, a gay rights group which helped defeat a 1978 initiative that would have banned homosexuals from teaching or working in public schools. In the early 1980s, Goodstein made a highly successful national tour to establish a network of gay political fundraisers. He was also the founder and chairman of the Whitman-Radclyffe Foundation, a gay service organization dealing with drug abuse.

In 1975 Goodstein bought the Advocate, a Los Angeles-based gay magazine. Within ten years it was the largest circulation gay news magazine in the country. He served as president of Liberation Publications, Inc., publisher of the Advocate. He also founded the "Advocate Experience," an EST-derived workshop designed primarily for gays and lesbians. He also served as a member of the National Democratic Finance Council, the California State Democratic Central Committee, and the Hunger Project Council. Goodstein died on 22 June 1985 of complications arising from cancer.



Source: http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/EAD/htmldocs/RMM07311.html

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
John William Cheever (May 27, 1912 – June 18, 1982) was an American novelist and short story writer. He is sometimes called "the Chekhov of the suburbs." His fiction is mostly set in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the Westchester suburbs, old New England villages based on various South Shore towns around Quincy, Massachusetts, where he was born, and Italy, especially Rome. He is "now recognized as one of the most important short fiction writers of the 20th century." While Cheever is perhaps best remembered for his short stories (including "The Enormous Radio," "Goodbye, My Brother," "The Five-Forty-Eight," "The Country Husband," and "The Swimmer"), he also wrote a number of novels, such as The Wapshot Chronicle (National Book Award, 1958), The Wapshot Scandal (William Dean Howells Medal, 1965), Bullet Park (1969), and Falconer (1977).

His main themes include the duality of human nature: sometimes dramatized as the disparity between a character's decorous social persona and inner corruption, and sometimes as a conflict between two characters (often brothers) who embody the salient aspects of both – light and dark, flesh and spirit. Many of his works also express a nostalgia for a vanishing way of life (as evoked by the mythical St. Botolphs in the Wapshot novels), characterized by abiding cultural traditions and a profound sense of community, as opposed to the alienating nomadism of modern suburbia.

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cheever
For the title alone, I am grateful. Who’d have thought Cheever—of all writers—would come up with a late-life story about how we learn to love our lives? Oh What A Paradise It Seems, a sublime novel, is about 100 pages long, and just about as chockfull of improbable incidents, uncanny insights, and heartwarming charm as anything by Trollope or Dickens. --Michael Downing.
Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
William Motter Inge (May 3, 1913 – June 10, 1973) was an American playwright and novelist, whose works typically feature solitary protagonists encumbered with strained sexual relations. In the early 1950s, he had a string of memorable Broadway productions, and one of these, Picnic, earned him a Pulitzer Prize. With his portraits of small-town life and settings rooted in the American heartland, Inge became known as the "Playwright of the Midwest". The Last Pad is one of three of Inge's plays that either have openly gay characters or address homosexuality directly. The Boy in the Basement, a one-act play written in the early 1950s, but not published until 1962, is his only play that addresses homosexuality overtly, while Archie in The Last Pad and Pinky in Where's Daddy? (1966) are gay characters. Inge himself was closeted.

Born in Independence, Kansas, Inge attended Independence Community College and graduated from the University of Kansas in 1935 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Drama. While at the University of Kansas, Inge was a member of the Nu Chapter of Sigma Nu. Offered a scholarship to work on a Master of Arts degree, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to attend the George Peabody College for Teachers, but later dropped out.

Back in Kansas, he worked as a laborer on the state highway and a Wichita news announcer. In 1937–38 he taught English and drama at Cherokee County Community High School in Columbus, Kansas. After returning and completing his Master's at Peabody in 1938, he taught at Stephens College, in Columbia, Missouri, from 1938 to 1943.

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Inge

more pictures )

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Edward Sagarin (September 18, 1913 – June 10, 1986), also known by his pen name Donald Webster Cory, was an American professor of sociology and criminology at the City University of New York, and a writer. His book The Homosexual in America: A Subjective Approach, published in 1951, was considered "one of the most influential works in the history of the gay rights movement," and inspired compassion in others by highlighting the difficulties faced by homosexuals.

He was titled "father of the homophile movement" for asserting that gay men and lesbians deserved civil rights as members of a large, unrecognised minority. However, Vern L. Bullough believes the title is undeserved as Sagarin did not actively participate in resistance and did not join any homophile organisations until 1962, a time when he was seeking a topic to analyse in his thesis.

Sagarin was born in Schenectady, New York to Russian Jewish parents. Sagarin was born with scoliosis, which produced a hump on his back. He attended high school, and after graduating, spent a year in France where he met André Gide. Upon his return to New York, he enrolled at City College of New York, but was forced to drop out of college due to the Great Depression.

In 1934, Sagarin met Gertrude Liphshitz, a woman who shared his left-wing political interests. They married in 1936 and soon after, Gertrude gave birth to a boy. Sagarin established himself in the perfume and cosmetics industry, becoming knowledgeable about the chemistry of perfumes, and publishing The Science and Art of Perfumery in 1945.

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Sagarin

The “mysterious bond” between gay men resulted in large part from their participation in the gay subculture and consequent knowledge of its codes and tactics, both almost wholly unfamiliar to the doctors. It resulted as well from their simple attentiveness to the signals that might identify like-minded men; most other city residents were preoccupied with other matters or remained deliberately oblivious to the surfeit of stimuli on the streets. Involvement in the gay world familiarized men with the styles of clothing and grooming, mannerisms, and conventions of speech that had become fashionable in that world but were not stereotypically associated with fairies. Those fashions served as signs, “neither masculine nor feminine, but specifically and peculiarly homosexual,” observed the writer and gay activist Donald Webster Cory in the early 1950s; these were “difficult for [outsiders] to pinpoint,” but enabled men to recognize one another even as they concealed their identities from others.
[...]
The various gay magazines published in the 1950s periodically published articles with titles such as “Can Homosexuals Be Recognized?” One particularly insightful article by that title, although written by Donald Webster Cory twenty-five years after the period under discussion here, noted several of the same signs used by gay men a generation earlier, and it was wryly, but appropriately, illustrated with pictures of men staring into each other’s eyes, men walking in peculiar ways, and articles of clothing and adornment fashionable among gay men: certain kinds of shoes and sandals, large rings, scarves, and the like. (“Can Homosexuals Be Recognized?” ONE Magazine 1 [September 1953]: 7-11.) --Chauncey, George (1995-05-18). Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 (Kindle Locations 3702-3708). BASIC. Kindle Edition.

Many gay historians have claimed a connection between homosexual orientation and artistic avocation. However, Edward Sagarin, the first American historian of gay life in the fifties, argued that homosexuals are hardly confined to the arts. He suggested that artists were simply more likely to leave behind hints about their sexuality than "scientists, businessmen, [and] political lead- ers"-men and women who "not only leave no such evidence," but are forced to engage in "vehement denial and deliberate misinformation."
Read more... )
In October 1968, twelve gay worshippers met at the home of the Reverand Troy D. Perry in Los Angeles. Sixteen months later the tiny group had become the Metropolitan Community Church with 348 members, the first congregation in the country to identify itself publicly as a gay church. As Edward Sagarin had written seventeen years earlier, "Homosexuality is not an anti-religious force, although religion is anti-homosexual." The truth of that statement would become clear as hundreds of gay churches and synagogues of every denomination were founded throughout the seventies, eighties and nineties.
At the same time, the church had lost its direct power over Hollywood after the film censorship office was finally abolished in 1968. It was replaced by the G, R, and X ratings system, which is still administered by the Motion Picture Association of America. --Charles Kaiser. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America. Kindle Edition.

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best-known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the period that "Harlem was in vogue".

Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, the second child of school teacher Carrie (Caroline) Mercer Langston and her husband James Nathaniel Hughes (1871–1934). Both parents were mixed race, and Langston Hughes was of African American, European American and Native American descent. He grew up in a series of Midwestern small towns. Both his paternal and maternal great-grandmothers were African American, and both his paternal and maternal great-grandfathers were white: one of Scottish and one of Jewish descent. Hughes was named after both his father and his grand-uncle, John Mercer Langston who, in 1888, became the first African American to be elected to the United States Congress from Virginia. Hughes's maternal grandmother Mary Patterson was of African American, French, English and Native American descent. One of the first women to attend Oberlin College, she first married Lewis Sheridan Leary, also of mixed race. He joined the men in John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry in 1859 and died from his wounds.

In 1869 the widow Mary Patterson Leary married again, into the elite, politically active Langston family. Her second husband was Charles Henry Langston, of African American, Native American, and Euro-American ancestry. He and his younger brother John Mercer Langston worked for the abolitionist cause and helped lead the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society in 1858.

Charles Langston later moved to Kansas where he was active as an educator and activist for voting and rights for African Americans. Charles and Mary's daughter Caroline Mercer Langston was the mother of Langston Hughes. Hughes's father left his family and later divorced Carrie. He went to Cuba, and then Mexico, seeking to escape the enduring racism in the United States.

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langston_Hughes

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Arthur Annesley Ronald Firbank (17 January 1886 – 21 May 1926) was a British novelist. In Alan Hollinghurst's novel The Swimming Pool Library Firbank's work and life is a key theme.

Ronald Firbank was born in London, the son of society lady Harriet Jane Garrett and MP Sir Thomas Firbank. He went to Uppingham School, and then on to Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He converted to Catholicism in 1907. In 1909 he left Cambridge, without completing a degree.

Living off his inheritance, he travelled around Spain, Italy, the Middle East, and North Africa. He died of lung disease in Rome, aged 40.

He published his first book, "Odette d'Antrevernes", a story, in 1905 before going up to Cambridge. From then, he produced a series of novels, from The Artificial Princess (written in 1915, published posthumously in 1934) and Vainglory (1915, his longest work) to Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli (1926, also posthumous).

Inclinations (1916) takes place mainly in Greece, where Mabel Collins, 15, is traveling with her female chaperone, Miss O'Brookomore; Mabel elopes with an Italian conte, but the plot is of minor importance, the book's interest – as with all Firbank's work – lying in the dialogue. His next novel Caprice followed in 1917.

Valmouth (1918) is based on the activities of various people in a health resort on the West Coast of England; most of the inhabitants are centenarians, and some are older ("the last time I went to the play...was with Charles the Second and Louise de Querouaille, to see Betterton play Shylock.") The plot, such as it is, is concerned with the attempts of two elderly ladies, Mrs Hurstpierpoint and Mrs Thoroughfare, to marry off the heir to Hare-Hatch House, Captain Dick Thoroughfare. Captain Thoroughfare, who is engaged to a black woman, Niri-Esther, is loved frantically by Thetis Tooke, a farmer's daughter, but prefers his 'chum', Jack Whorwood, to both of them. Meanwhile Mrs Yajnavalkya, a black masseuse, manages an alliance between the centenarian Lady Parvula de Panzoust and David Tooke, Thetis's brother. A musical comedy of 1958 by Sandy Wilson gave the novel some popularity in the 1960s. It has been revived several times and recorded on CD.

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Firbank

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Clarence Arthur Tripp, Ph.D. (1919–2003) was a psychologist, writer and researcher for Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey.

Born on October 4, 1919 in Denton, Texas, USA, Tripp studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and was a Naval Veteran.

Tripp worked with Alfred Kinsey at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction in Bloomington, Indiana from 1948 to 1956. He earned a Ph.D. in Clinical psychology from New York University. Tripp drew attention for a book wherein he made the case that Abraham Lincoln had several same-sex relationships.

Burial: Odd Fellows Cemetery, Denton (Denton County), Denton County, Texas, USA. Plot: Section E

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.A._Tripp

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Donna Minkowitz is a writer of creative nonfiction from Brooklyn, New York, United States. She became known for her coverage of gay and lesbian politics and culture in The Village Voice from the late 1980s through the mid-1990s, for which she won a GLAAD Media Award.

In 1998, she published the memoir Ferocious Romance: What My Encounters With the Right Taught Me About Sex, God, and Fury (the Free Press ), which won a Lambda Literary Award. In that book, she went undercover with several anti-gay Christian Right groups including Focus on the Family and wrote about the surprising things she, a lesbian leftist, had in common with them.

Minkowitz has also written for such publications as Salon.com, The Nation, Ms. magazine, The New York Times Book Review, New York Magazine, and The Advocate.

In 1999, she penned a controversial creative nonfiction piece for Salon.com about the Matthew Shepard murder, "Russell, Aaron and Me," that explored the emotions of his 21-year-old killers in terms of the terror of sex and intimacy.

As part of the preparation for Ferocious Romance, Minkowitz successfully disguised herself as a 16 year-old Christian evangelical boy to write about the Christian right men's group the Promise Keepers for Ms. Magazine in 1995. That article, in which she argued that the Promise Keepers movement was both good and bad for women and feminism, was widely read, and Minkowitz won an Exceptional Merit Media Award for the piece from the National Women's Political Caucus and Radcliffe College.

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Minkowitz

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Paul Graham Popham was an American gay rights activist who served as the president of the Gay Men's Health Crisis from 1981 until 1985. He also helped found and was chairman of the AIDS Action Council, a lobbying organization in Washington. He was the basis for the character of Bruce Niles in Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, which was one of the first plays to address the HIV/AIDS crisis.

Born in Emmett, Idaho, and graduated from from Portland (Oregon) State College.

He was a Vietnam War veteran, who was awarded the Bronze Star for valor in 1966, serving as a first lieutenant in the Fifth Air Cavalry. He retired in 1969 as a Special Forces major in the Army Reserve.

From 1969 until 1980, Mr. Popham worked for the Irving Trust Company, leaving as a vice president. Thereafter, he joined McGraw-Hill Inc.

He remained active in the Gay Men's Health Crisis organization and in the lobbying group until his illness, diagnosed in February 1985, became too severe. He died of AIDS related complications. His longtime companion was Richard Dulong.


AIDS Quilt

AIDS Quilt )
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Popham
Because Larry Kramer was so lacking in any ability to get along with his colleagues, much less his adversaries, no one ever considered him for GMHC's presidency. That job went to Paul Popham, a beautiful, closeted ex-Green Beret, who worried that his mailman would realize that he was gay if he saw an invitation for a fund-raiser with Gay Men's Health Crisis at the return address. Popham constantly battled with Kramer about tactics and substance. Later, Kramer admitted that he had been somewhat in love with Popham.
One of the first arguments between Kramer and Popham was over whether GMHC should tell its members to stop having sex altogether, or reduce the number of their sexual partners. Kramer was adamant that they should be warned, but Popham and rest of the board opposed the idea. What if it was determined that there was no infectious agent? Popham asked. Then GMHC would look ridiculous.
The infighting came to a head in April 1983, after Kramer had repeteadly accused Mayor Edward I. Koch of an inadequate response to the health crisis. After months of violent attacks from Kramer, the mayor had finally agreed to a meeting about AIDS with ten representatives of gay groups around the city. But the GMHC board refuses to send Kramer as one of its two envoys. Paul Popham was terrified of how Kramer might behave in a small meeting with the mayor. Kramer was stunned - and promptly resigned from the board. After that, GMHC rebuffed all of his subsequent efforts to rejoin the organization.
[...]
In the program notes for one of GMHC's earliest benefits, Paul Popham wrote, "I think the most impressive thing I've seen over the last year and a half is how affectionate men have grown. We are finding out who we are, what we can do under pressure. And that we're not alone... Although we're paying a terrible price, we're finding in ourselves much greater strength than we dreamed we had." --The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser
Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Although Eliot liked to be thought of as the most impersonal of poets, looking at the world with a detached and objective eye, many personal elements in the poems deserve to be read with the poet's life in mind. Indeed, there may have been personal reasons for his "impersonality." Certainly, one of its effects was to give the impression that he had something to hide. A number of younger writers, including Hart Crane and Harold Norse, assumed he was homosexual.

At the emotional core of Eliot's poetry is his friendship with Jean Verdenal (1889-1915), a young Frenchman. All we know for certain is that the relationship took place in Paris in 1910 and 1911 while Eliot was studying at the Sorbonne and that Verdenal died in the Great War in 1915 at the age of 26.

A month later, Eliot hurriedly married his first wife, Vivien. In 1917, he dedicated Prufrock and Other Observations to Verdenal's memory, over an epigraph from Dante's Purgatorio that expresses "the measure of the love which warms me towards you."

This quotation comes from one of Eliot's two favorite segments of the Divine Comedy, both of which he kept returning to throughout his career: In Inferno XV, Dante meets Brunetto Latini among the sodomites (the "violent against nature"); and in Purgatorio XXVI, he meets Arnaut Daniel among more sodomites and "hermaphrodites."

Eliot's love for Verdenal is one of the central facts of The Waste Land. In particular, it is possible to identify the so-called Hyacinth girl of the poem's opening section with the poet's sentimental memory of "a friend coming across the Luxembourg Gardens in the late afternoon, waving a branch of lilac."

This figure is then subsumed into the theme of death by water, which is in turn mixed with references to the trenches of the Great War. The poem's despair is expressed as both personal and philosophical loss in the crucial line, "He who was living is now dead."

Read more... )

Citation Information
Author: Woods, Gregory
Entry Title: Eliot, T[homas] S[tearns]
General Editor: Claude J. Summers
Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture
Publication Date: 2002
Date Last Updated February 21, 2005
Web Address www.glbtq.com/literature/eliot_ts.html
Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL 60607
Today's Date January 4, 2013
Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.
Entry Copyright © 1995, 2002 New England Publishing Associates

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Allan Ronald Bérubé (December 3, 1946 – December 11, 2007) was an American historian, activist, independent scholar, self-described "community-based" researcher and college drop-out, and award-winning author, best known for his research and writing about homosexual members of the American Armed Forces during World War II. He also wrote essays about the intersection of class and race in gay culture, and about growing up in a poor, working class family, his French-Canadian roots, and about his experience of anti-AIDS activism.

Among Bérubé's published works was the 1990 book Coming Out Under Fire, which examined the stories of gay men and women in the U.S. military between 1941 and 1945. The book used interviews with gay veterans, government documents, and other sources to discuss the social and political issues that faced over 9,000 servicemen and women during World War II. The book earned Bérubé the Lambda Literary Award for outstanding Gay Men's Nonfiction book of 1990 and was later adapted as a film in 1994, narrated by Salome Jens and Max Cole, with a screenplay by Bérubé and the film's director, Arthur Dong. The film received a Peabody Award for excellence in documentary media in 1995. Bérubé received a MacArthur Fellowship (often called the "genius grant") from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 1996. He received a Rockefeller grant from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in 1994 to research a book on the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union, and he was working on this book at the time of his death.


Allan Bérubé with John D'Emilio

read more... )
"I do my work now in the borderlands between social classes, between the university and the community, between heterosexual and homosexual, between educated speech and down-to-earth talk, between Franco-American and Québécois, between my family and the gay community."
"None of us can do our best work until we believe that the life of the mind really does belong to us."
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_B%C3%A9rub%C3%A9
Coming Out Under Fire, by Allan Berube is a non-fiction book, history, really, but so much of it reads like a good detective novel. For gays and lesbians this is just such a good, enlightening and yes, empowering story. It’s also very instructive, as Berube tells us about the coastal origins of what we know today as the American gay community. Today I watched a YouTube video of American soldiers in Afghanistan dancing together to a Lady Gaga song – it’s somehow comforting to know that queer soldiers were doing the equivalent all throughout WWII, and probably long before that! This book was also invaluable research for a WWII period movie script I wrote called “Me and Mamie O’Rourke.” --Jim Arnold
In Coming Out Under Fire, a super study of homosexuals who served in the American military during the Second World War, Allan Bérubé reports that the psychiatric establishment used an economic argument to convince the War Department of the need for psychiatric screenings. The government had spent more than $1 million caring for psychiatric casualties of World War I; in 1940, these victims still occupied more than half the beds in veteran's hospitals.
[...]
Unfortunately, as Bérubé explains, Sullivan and his colleagues "had carved out the territory on which others would build an antihomosexual barrier and the rationale for using it". Sullivan's belief in the relative insignificance of "sexual aberrations" in establishing mental illness was undermined as his plan was digested by the Washington bureaucracy. By the middle of 1941, the army and the Selective Service both included "homosexual proclivities" in their lists of disqualifying "deviations". --The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser
A final reason we have failed to see the gay subculture that existed before World War II is that it has been obscured by the dramatic growth of the gay subculture after the war. As the groundbreaking work of Allan Bérubé and John D'Emilio has shown, the war "created something of a nationwide coming out experience". By freeing men from the supervision of their families and small-town neighborhoods and placing them in a single-sex environment, military mobilization increased the chances that they would meet gay men and explore their homosexual interests. Many recruits saw the sort of gay life they could lead in large cities and chose to stay in those cities after the war. Some women who joined the military, as well as those on the homefront who shared housing and worked in defense industries with other women, had similar experiences. As a result, the war made it possible for gay bars and restaurants to proliferate and for many new gay social networks to form. --Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 by George Chauncey
Millions of young women and men, many of whom may never have heard the words "fairy", "invert", "homosexual", or "lesbian" and may not yet have discovered all aspects of their sexual desires, had enlisted. Being thrown together with so many different people of the same sex gave them an opportunity to understand their lives in new, radical ways. Bérubé weaves a broad, textured tapestry of the lives of same-sex desiring service members during the war. Many speak of erotic, affectional, and sexual relationships with their fellow enlistees. Some of these relationships began before the war and lasted for decades. Others occured during the war, ending when the partners reentered civilian life. Many were brief sexual encounters, similar to heterosexual liaisons on the home front. Many women and men enjoyed same-sex romantic and physical relationship during the war, but for the reminder of their lives engaged in different-sex relationships. --A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski
Allan Bérubé, 1994, by Robert Giard )

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Renaud Camus (born 1946) is a French writer.

He was born in Chamalières, Puy-de-Dôme, in the Auvergne region of France. He spent some time studying in England and traveling in the United States, particularly New York and California (he taught for a semester in a college in Arkansas). He quickly began to circulate among writers (Louis Aragon, Roland Barthes, Marguerite Duras, etc.) and visual artists (the Warhol circle, the New York School, Gilbert and George, etc.). He also circulated in gay communities and is an outspoken defender of gay rights, although, as with social issues in general, he keeps his distance from doctrinaire positions. One of his first published works (and the only one (partially) translated in English), with a preface by Barthes, is Tricks (1979; enlarged and revised in 1982 and 1988), a “chronicle” consisting of over-detailed descriptions of homosexual encounters in France and elsewhere. Fragments of other works were published in the 75th issue of Yale French Studies (1988).

Camus is an exceptionally prolific writer. His work could be divided into four categories: straightforward prose (travel writing, traditional-form novels, polemic, and lengthy yearly journals (diary) published from 1989 to the present; “creative” prose: “experimental” novels and a large and ever-growing, largely unpublished web text, Burnt Boats (Vaisseaux brûlés); writings on painting and culture; and personal essays.

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaud_Camus

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Jean Genet (December 19, 1910 – April 15, 1986) was a prominent and controversial French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing. His major works include the novels Querelle of Brest, The Thief's Journal, and Our Lady of the Flowers, and the plays The Balcony, The Blacks, The Maids and The Screens.

Genet's mother was a young prostitute who raised him for the first year of his life before putting him up for adoption. Thereafter Genet was raised in the provinces by a carpenter and his family who, according to Edmund White's biography, were loving and attentive. While he received excellent grades in school, his childhood involved a series of attempts at running away and incidents of petty theft (although White also suggests that Genet's later claims of a dismal, impoverished childhood were exaggerated to fit his outlaw image).

After the death of his foster mother, Genet was placed with an elderly couple but remained with them less than two years. According to the wife, "he was going out nights and also seemed to be wearing makeup." On one occasion he squandered a considerable sum of money, which they had entrusted him for delivery elsewhere, on a visit to a local fair. For this and other misdemeanors, including repeated acts of vagrancy, he was sent at the age of 15 to Mettray Penal Colony where he was detained between September 2, 1926 and March 1, 1929.

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Genet
Ever since I first picked up Jean Genet in the early 1960s I felt myself close to him. Those were my own years of being a hoodlum and a petty thief, the biggest thing I ever stole was a small typewriter which I later pawned for $15, a big amount in those days. Was picked up by the cops a few times but my thieving was so petty they didn't have anything to pin on me and I was always let go. Still, the audacious behavior of Genet seemed to hold me to my reading, of him and other writers, so close that it became a daily event in my life, which I still do everyday. I did not become a thief like Genet but like Genet I still write, that's more than enough. Thank you Jean Genet. --Mykola Dementiuk
Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Joan Chandos Baez (born January 9, 1941) is an American folk singer, songwriter, musician and a prominent activist in the fields of human rights, peace and environmental justice.

Baez has a distinctive vocal style, with a strong vibrato. Her recordings include many topical songs and material dealing with social issues.

Baez began her career performing in coffeehouses in Boston and Cambridge, and rose to fame as an unbilled performer at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival. She began her recording career in 1960, and achieved immediate success. Her first three albums, Joan Baez, Joan Baez, Vol. 2, and Joan Baez in Concert all achieved gold record status, and stayed on the charts for two years.

Baez has had a popular hit song with "Diamonds & Rust" and hit covers of Phil Ochs's "There but for Fortune" and The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down". Other songs associated with Baez include "Farewell, Angelina", "Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word", "Joe Hill", "Sweet Sir Galahad" and "We Shall Overcome". She performed three of the songs at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, helped to bring the songs of Bob Dylan to national prominence, and has displayed a lifelong commitment to political and social activism in the fields of nonviolence, civil rights, human rights and the environment.

Read more... )

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_Baez

Further Readings )

Profile

reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
reviews_and_ramblings

July 2017

S M T W T F S
       1
2 3 456 78
9 101112 13 14 15
16 17181920 2122
23 2425 26272829
3031     

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Page Summary

Disclaimer

All cover art, photo and graphic design contained in this site are copyrighted by the respective publishers and authors. These pages are for entertainment purposes only and no copyright infringement is intended. Should anyone object to our use of these items please contact by email the blog's owner.
This is an amateur blog, where I discuss my reading, what I like and sometimes my personal life. I do not endorse anyone or charge fees of any kind for the books I review. I do not accept money as a result of this blog.
I'm associated with Amazon/USA Affiliates Programs.
Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. However, some books were purchased by the reviewer and not provided for free. For information on how a particular title was obtained, please contact by email the blog's owner.
Days of Love Gallery - Copyright Legenda: http://www.elisarolle.com/gallery/index_legenda.html

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 28th, 2017 04:38 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios