Sunday, February 27, 2011

Unspeakable Love, New Edition

Brian Whitaker, the Guardian Middle East correspondent, wrote on (in?) his blog recently that despite covering the uproar that continues to take place in his beat he is preparing a second edition of Unspeakable Love which we read four years ago on homosexuality in the Middle East. He says that in the five years since it was published, much has happened and changed. I for one will be ordering a copy as soon as it's available.

Buy Frank A Drink

Frank Kameny needs no introduction to BookMenDC. Unfortunately his meagre social security check is no longer covering his basic needs. Today and tomorrow all donations to Helping Our Brothers and Sisters go directly to Kameny. HOBS volunteer Ben Carver has set up a FaceBook page "Buy Frank A Drink". If you read this after March 1st and want to contribute, go there.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

"A Man Within"

Two local PBS stations will be broadcasting the latest episode of Independent Lens — "William S. Burroughs: A Man Within," tomorrow, Sunday, February 27: WETA at 2:00 am, and WMPT2 at 10:30 pm. We've read The Wild Boys, and Burroughs was a pal of Allen Ginsberg, whose "Howl" we are discussing this Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


There is an essay in the Canning book on page 183 "Howl and Other Poems." It might be of interest to read it before next week's meeting.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Streetcar Named Desire - the Film

I just finished watching for the second time the complete Streetcar film with Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando, and was tremendously moved by the film. Remembering some of the comments at our discussion two weeks ago, I know some thought that Brando was overemphasized in the film version, and it's true his performance is so mesmerizing you can't take your eyes off him -- or his body -- when he is performing. Leigh was deliberately dressed old fashioned and fussy and somehow it didn't add much to her character, and despite the occasional lapse into her Scarlet O'Hara voice, she delivered most of her lines in an affecting, scattered way that helped tremendously in making the last scene very moving. I now understand why this is one of the great roles for women and why Brando can be accused of skewing it. At the same time I don't believe he gave a better performance in any other film. But those who have never seen it, the wait is worth it.

By the way, the music didn't seem to jive with the music directions in the stage version.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Two Old-Time Brits

A couple of articles of interest to our members and available online: James Fenton in reviewing Christopher Isherwood's second volume of diaries in the TLS makes timely animadversions on the recent heteronormativity of "gay marriage"; and Joan Acocella surveys J.R. Ackerley's œuvre in a recent The New Yorker. To my surprise in checking our list (v.i.) I discover that we have read none of his work! My Father and Myself would be an obvious choice, though My Dog Tulip about his Alsatian bitch "Queenie" is incomparably droll and has much to recommend it.