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Issues Archives: Anniversaries

July – August, 2008

Short Reviews

Short reviews of It’s Late, I Can’t Breathe, Drifting Toward Love, and The Boy with Black Eyes.

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Poet of the Cinéma

WHILE COCTEAU IS perhaps best known to Americans for two of the movies he wrote and directed- La belle et la bête (1946) and Orpheus (1949), which figure on most short lists of great French films-he started as a poet and always saw himself as such.

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Rambunctious Liaisons

A FROTHY COMEDY of parlor-room etiquette and sexual wish fulfillment, Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander is the bizarro cousin of a Jane Austen novel, in which Regency manners and nuptial expectations are turned inside out. Ann Herendeen’s novel is a lively romp in which girl meets boy, boy meets boy, and everyone falls in love and lives happily ever after.

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Epitaph to a Photographer

Writer Mary Oliver celebrates her longtime partner’s accomplishments as a photographer.

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AIDS Tales from the Terrified Years

In this book, Richard Canning, who teaches courses about AIDS literature to college students, has assembled eighteen short stories, written at what he calls “the epidemic’s darkest time of unknowing,” the early 1980’s through 1998. What is startling about these stories, especially for readers who lived through that era, is not how distant but instead how familiar they seem.

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Doom Is in the Air

The Stone Gods exemplifies what has come to be known as the eco-millenarian novel. In this case, Winterson cross-pollinates Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe with Nietzsche’s theory of “eternal recurrence,” a little Orwell, and a dash of quantum physics, to tell the cosmic odyssey of the renegade Sapphic scientist, Billie Crusoe and of her love for Spike, a sexy female robo-sapiens …

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A Story of Brotherly Love

I MUST CONFESS that I had never heard of Agustín Gómez-Arcos’ The Carnivorous Lamb before learning of this new translation of the book, which was originally published in 1975, but now I want to read all of his works. …

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When a Gay Bar Closes Its Doors Forever

AS THE FINAL LINE of Whitney Houston’s I Want to Dance With Somebody faded into the ether of disco lights and carcinogenic party fog, two men managed a furtive glance across the dance floor.

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BTW

Commentary on the issues of the day.

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Tory Rebels in an Age of Prudery

Feeling Backward is a scholarly treatment of queer theory that assumes some knowledge of conventional literary theory. In it, Heather Love makes the argument that we have feelings in common with those who came before us, but early practitioners of queer theory have ignored the effects of oppression on our literature.

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