The Burning Library: Essays [NOOK Book]

Overview

Along with his groundbreaking essays that redefine politics, language, identity, and friendship in the light of gay experience and desire, this magisterial collection of 25 years of White's nonfiction writings includes dazzling subversive appreciations of cultural icons as diverse as Truman Capote and Cormac McCarthy, Robert Mapplethorpe and the singer formerly known as Prince. Reading tour.

From a much-celebrated writer, a richly varied collection of his most ...

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The Burning Library: Essays

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Overview

Along with his groundbreaking essays that redefine politics, language, identity, and friendship in the light of gay experience and desire, this magisterial collection of 25 years of White's nonfiction writings includes dazzling subversive appreciations of cultural icons as diverse as Truman Capote and Cormac McCarthy, Robert Mapplethorpe and the singer formerly known as Prince. Reading tour.

From a much-celebrated writer, a richly varied collection of his most enduring essays through the past 25 years. Beginning with "The Gay Philosopher" and ending with "The Personal Is Political, " Edmund White offers a discerning chronicle of the changes in gay life and culture from the late sixties to the present day.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Selections gathered from 25 years of White's nonfiction writings, with an emphasis on recent developments in gay experience and White's reviews of a variety of contemporary writers. (Nov.)
Library Journal
While White is best known for his novels, particularly A Boy's Own Story (LJ 9/1/82), this collection reveals what a fine essayist he is. White's descriptions of gay male life of the past 30 years and the changes in attitude that have occurred among gay men toward themselves and their sexuality are clear, forceful, intelligent, and thought-provoking. Nongays can learn much about the American gay male experience. White offers other essays and reviews of the work of contemporary writers, American and European, gay and nongay, such as James Merrill, Christina Stead, Darryl Pinckney, and Marguerite Yourcenar. This material, together with White's discussions of his own fiction, provides valuable insights into the reading and writing of literature. Six of the essays are previously unpublished. Highly recommended for literature collections.-Judy Mimken, Boise, Id.
Ray Olson
The doyen of his now middle-aged generation of gay novelists, White writes seductively well. He is facile, amusing, chatty, convivial, accessibly intellectual--in short, he possesses just the qualities that make his cultural journalism, of which this book affords a generous sampling spanning 25 years, delightful even when it is annoyingly elitist and superficial. The contents here are about two-thirds profiles and exceedingly mild critiques of writers and the occasional practitioner in another medium (Robert Mapplethorpe, Prince) and one-third commentary on gay male culture, which White understands to be a province inhabited by himself and his New York circle of randy esthetes and virtually no one else. Whenever the narrowness of his perspectives on gays gets insufferable, you can turn to his remarks on Truman Capote or James Schuyler, on James Jones or Cormac McCarthy, on Christina Stead or Marguerite Yourcenar, and be painlessly enlightened.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307764539
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/22/2010
  • Series: Vintage International
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 535,412
  • File size: 3 MB

Table of Contents

Introduction
Acknowledgments
On Reading: An Exaltation of Dreams
The Gay Philosopher 3
On Becoming a Model for Male Smut 20
The Joys of Gay Life 31
Fantasia on the Seventies 38
On James Merrill 43
Sado Machismo 56
The Political Vocabulary of Homosexuality 69
The Irresponsible Art of Robert Mapplethorpe 82
A Sensual Man with a Spiritual Quest: Christopher Isherwood 86
The Politics of Gender: Michel Foucault 89
Sweating Mirrors: A Conversation with Truman Capote 95
This Is Not a Mammal: A Visit with William Burroughs 107
James Schuyler 115
Thoughts on White on Black on White: Coleman Dowell 125
The Emperor of Signs: Roland Barthes 137
Movies and Poems: Pier Paolo Pasolini 141
Paradise Found 145
Sexual Culture 157
Nabokov: Beyond Parody 168
Writer on a Hot Tin Roof: Tennessee Williams 188
The Woman Who Loved Memory: Christina Stead 194
Keeping up with Jones: James Jones 199
Their Masks, Their Lives - Harry Mathews's Cigarettes 205
Esthetics and Loss 211
Danilo Kis: The Obligations of Form 218
The Critic, the Mirror and the Vamp: A. W. Symons 232
The Paris Review Interview 240
The Angel in the House: Tennessee Williams's Letters 271
Out of the Closet, on to the Bookshelf 275
The Wanderer: Juan Goytisolo's Border Crossings 284
Genet's Prisoner of Love 295
Straight Women, Gay Men 310
Black Like Whom?: Darryl Pinckney 317
Southern Belles Lettres: Cormac McCarthy 321
Two Princes: Prince and Richard Prince 327
Two Eulogies: David Kalstone, Robert Mapplethorpe 338
Pool in Rocks by the Sea: Isherwood and Bachardy 345
Marguerite Yourcenar 350
Herve Guibert: Sade in Jeans 355
The Personal Is Political: Queer Fiction and Criticism 367
Index 379
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