This week in the LGBT-themed arts:
StoryCorps, the National Public Radio program that records the voices of everyday Americans recounting their life experiences for preservation in the Library of Congress, has announced an initiative called OutLoud, which will collect oral histories from LGBT people. (more…)
This Sunday the San Francisco 49ers will duke it out with the Baltimore Ravens at the Super Bowl. Just when we thought public figures realized they should keep their negative opinions about homosexuality to themselves, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver said during an interview with comedian Artie Lange that he doesn’t want any gay players in the locker room, or on his team at all. After much backlash about these comments, Culliver apologized the following evening:
The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel. It has taken me seeing them in print to realize that they are hurtful and ugly. Those discriminating feelings are truly not in my heart. Further, I apologize to those who I have hurt and offended, and I pledge to learn and grow from this experience.
For those of you who will be ignoring everything about the game besides the commercials and Beyonce’s performance at halftime (and really, it’s only because you’ve got a bet going on whether or not she’ll be lip-synching), check out Curve Magazine’s list of “The 10 Most Underrated Lesbian Books” to give you something else to do on Sunday. Topping the list is the mesmerizing cult classic : Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles, a novel about a wealthy woman who falls for a prostitute. (more…)
“I learn things when people write intelligently about my books. That’s what you want as a writer, you want to be taken seriously and you want to be read intelligently. You can learn from an intelligent review—not necessarily a ‘positive’ review.”
Waiting for the Barbarians , the latest collection of essays by Daniel Mendelsohn, covers a broad swatch of the writer’s critical territory. Having established both his contemporary voice and classical eye over the past twenty years, Mendelsohn presents many of his recent thoughtful and brow-raising critiques in this single volume published by The New York Review Books—dissecting the nostalgia that vaulted Mad Men into the sphere of cultural phenomenon, chronicling the hubris that felled Julie Taymor’s tenure at the helm of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, and sectioning these selections under the headings “Spectacles, ” “Classica,” “Creative Writing, ” and “Private Lives.” (more…)
Dreaming in French (University of Chicago Press) is a fascinating triple biography examining the effects of study abroad on three very different women. In a little over a decade, between 1949 and 1963, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis studied abroad in France. This unexpected combination of women, together in a single book, makes for an engaging read and a notable one for LGBTQ readers.
Reviewing the Reviewer
In “A Very Public Intellectual,” ostensibly a review of Sigrid Nunez’s Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag (Atlas & Co) in last Sunday’s Wall Street Journal, writer Joseph Epstein aptly observes that “[a]nyone with the least intellectual pretension seemed to have heard of, if not read, her.”
But then, just two sentences later, he jarringly describes Sontag as “the beautiful young woman every male graduate student regretted not having had a tumble with, a fantasy that would have been difficult to arrange since she was, with only an occasional lapse, a lesbian.”