Unlimited Embrace: A Canon of Gay Fiction, 1945-1995
University of Massachusetts Press, 1998 - 338 pagina's
In this pathbreaking book, a gay literary critic evaluates a half-century of fictional works "by, for, and about" homosexual men and situates them in the context of an emerging American gay culture. Reed Woodhouse shows how the best gay fiction of the period, like all good literature, not only reflected but anticipated social changes that were afoot -- from the founding of the first enduring gay rights organizations through the Stonewall riots to the ambiguous mainstreaming of homosexuality that continues today.
Written in a personal voice, Unlimited Embrace is as much about gay identity as about gay literature. The canon Woodhouse constructs is not merely a list of gay books worth reading, but a guide to "leading a good life as a gay man" as well. In the fiction of Tennessee Williams, James Baldwin, Christopher Isherwood, James Purdy, Edmund White, Andrew Holleran, Larry Kramer, Ethan Mordden, Dennis Cooper, David Leavitt, and Neil Bartlett, Woodhouse finds intimate glimpses of lives previously veiled in euphemism, slander, and contempt and now striving to take new form. More than that, he raises questions about sexual identity and desire, defiance and wit, that are as relevant to straight readers as to gay ones.
Although the book ends with a sober consideration of the literary legacy of AIDS, Unlimited Embrace is more celebration than lament -- an affirmation of the enduring power of literature to shape life.
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Even the moral speculation seems uncharacteristically airy and ungrounded : what is it speculation about – homosexuality , dishonesty , American - ness ? Something about his subject , something probably but not only about homosexuality ...
Indeed , they don't seem men at all , but boys - charming , fickle , dirty . If we forgive them it is only because they are moral children who can scarcely be held accountable for their actions . So the culture clash is unavoidable on ...
The second reason I feel impelled to object to the near - instant elevation of Leavitt to classical rank is that the writing itself , while workmanlike , is so thick and clunky - as full of stylistic clichés as of moral ones .
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Unlimited Embrace: A Canon of Gay Fiction, 1945-1995Gebruikersrecensie - Not Available - Book Verdict
This stunningly good book is an example of literary criticism of the old style--an arguments for what is good and not so good--applied to a field that, although in its infancy, has suffered from a ... Volledige review lezen
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