Sunday, December 10, 2017

Tom of Finland

Either I experienced Duende (Federico Garcia Lorca) yesterday when I went to see Tom of Finland or I missed my calling (or both)!

Friday, November 24, 2017


During our lively Nov. 1 discussion of The Best Little Boy in the World, the 1973 memoir by "John Reid" (Andrew Tobias), David Boxwell shared that he had read the follow-up volume Tobias published 25 years later: The Best Little Boy in the World Grows Up.  David wasn't particularly impressed by either book, if memory serves, but was kind enough to lend the latter installment to me.

Now that I've finished it, I can assure those of you whom the original book's tone put off that you would find TBLBITWGU a relief.  True to his title, Tobias really did grow up (in most respects, anyway), and has the grace to acknowledge that he has rethought some of his past attitudes.  

That said, if you really couldn't stand "John Reid," you won't enjoy the company of Andrew Tobias, either.  But I did.  In fact, if he were to publish a third volume (in the tradition of Michael Apted's acclaimed series of "Up" movies) about being a gay widower in his 70s, I'd be eager to read it.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Pug-Nosed Punk

Came across this while editing Robert's post. Not [!?] in Edmund White's bio. No idea where it comes from or when. The cutest pic of him I've ever seen!  Somehow in the back of my mind I've always had the grizzled geezer glowering o'er the page. Feel as though I owe it to Divine to sit right down at my prie-dieu and reread Our Lady of the Flowers.


Monday, November 6, 2017

The NGA Vermeer-Genet Connection

I stopped by the National Gallery to see the Vermeer Exhibit.  The line was long and my time was limited so I went to see an exhibit called "Posing for the Camera".  Came across this photograph of Genet by Brassaï (1948).

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Floating on a Sea of Letters

We've criticized (with one notable exception) anthologies that organize on the default principle of alphabetization. A review of Anne Carson's recent collection offers another view:

Float' s contents page is alphabetized, a shot across the bows of those expecting Carson to dictate its chronology; "reading can be freefall", she announces in a prefatory note. And why should collections behave like maps? Why shouldn't they — as Carson suggests — be read on shuffle?

And while we're shuffling, why not read the end of a book first, I wonder (NOT)?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A new Bookmen motto? :-)

As we finish discussing Clinton Elliott's Hidden: The Intimate Lives of Gay Men Past and Present, I wanted to share a Langston Hughes quote Elliott recounts in his entry concerning Wallace Thurman: Hughes said Thurman "had read everything and [his] critical mind could find something wrong with everything he read."

Speaking as someone who has been nitpicking Elliott's anthology quite a bit, I resemble that remark!  But I can't exactly deny its applicability, either.

Gay Anger & Erotic Ventriloquism

Off topic — and I would have missed it altogether had it not been an "Editors' Pick" (along with Russell Brand and Tennessee Whiskey) — from today's NY Times  Style  section. (And to regain our high literary ground, notice Vivek Tywary's graphic novel which we might read next year if we're not all graphiced out after Queer Graphic History.)