Sins of the Cities presents the first history of a male prostitute as told from his own viewpoint—and without apology. Its main character is Jack Saul, whose life is written up from “his rough notes” commissioned by a certain “Mr Cambon.” The two men first meet in November 1880, when Cambon cruises Saul in Leicester Square, being attracted by the “extraordinary” size of the “lump in his trousers.” He is equally struck by Saul’s expertise at oral sex and asks for an account of how he arrived at such proficiency. Saul agrees to provide a narration of his life, with the understanding that he will be paid for his efforts. Saul is thus frequently cited as the “author” of the resulting book. If so, he must share the title with Cambon. The latter’s introduction takes up seven-and-a-half pages in the Valancourt edition. His voice returns for eight pages at the end of the book in three essays apparently designed as filler to reach the requisite length.
Issue Categories Archives: Art Memo
FORDHAM UNIVERSITY PRESS deserves our gratitude for making available the original 1932 version of A Scarlet Pansy, a minor classic of Modernism attributed to “Robert Scully.”
The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Bernard Perlin was born in 1918 in Richmond, Virginia. He was sent to art school in New York at age fifteen and had early success as a muralist for Depression-era public works projects.
If Schubert was the musical center of this mostly male cultural group, the literary center was his best friend Franz Schooner, …
Carl’s models for the Manifesto were Marx’s Communist Manifesto and the SDS Port Huron Statement. Consequently, it was written in the style of a left-wing screed.
A CHEAPLY MADE black-and-white film, The Beatniks (1960) was voice actor Paul Frees’ only directing venture. It succeeded with neither critics nor the public, and it boasts a pitiful 2.1 rating on IMDB. However, I would contend that this B-minus movie is significant for its homosexual subtext. The Beatniks was badly mistitled. Beatnik […]
PIER PAOLO PASOLINI (1922–1975) did not actively do much for gay rights in Italy, and yet he contributed to progress inadvertently by appearing in headlines over and over again as the country’s most controversial gay person. One reason that he didn’t do much for gay rights is that he was personally homophobic. He saw […]
A STORY often repeated in film history places Groucho Marx at the premiere of the 1949 Cecil B. DeMille epic Samson and Delilah. Posters of the massive, bare-chested Victor Mature served as the visual backdrop for anyone entering the theater that evening. After the movie’s debut, DeMille asked Groucho what he thought of the film. Groucho replied: “No picture can hold my interest where the leading man’s tits are bigger than the leading lady’s.”
MARKING the 25th anniversary of the publication of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s strange and difficult book The Epistemology of the Closet (1990) is a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Let me try in a rather personal way. My first encounter with Sedgwick’s magnum opus occurred when I began researching my honors thesis. […]
EARLIER THIS YEAR, my film programming colleagues and I at Frameline—the San Francisco International lgbtq Film Festival—met to begin the always agonizing process of selecting our favorites from several hundred new films submitted by filmmakers from around the world, the goal being to assemble a representative snapshot of our cinematic moment. There are a […]