Overview

In November of 1978, in an act which shocked and stunned the city of San Francisco. Mayor George Moscone and openly Gay supervisor Harvey Milk were gunned down at City Hall in the middle of a busy working day. The killer was Dan White, an angry and disgruntled homophobic city supervisor who had just resigned his seat and who had debts to settle with both men. After the shooting, Dan White, an ex-fireman and police officer, turned himself in at his old precinct house, and gave a full confession. As the Dan White ...
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Closets

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Overview

In November of 1978, in an act which shocked and stunned the city of San Francisco. Mayor George Moscone and openly Gay supervisor Harvey Milk were gunned down at City Hall in the middle of a busy working day. The killer was Dan White, an angry and disgruntled homophobic city supervisor who had just resigned his seat and who had debts to settle with both men. After the shooting, Dan White, an ex-fireman and police officer, turned himself in at his old precinct house, and gave a full confession. As the Dan White case quickly went to trial, the city mourned its loss, while the city government set about trying to refill both important positions.

Writer Hav Gefter, who had lived in the Bay area since locating there from Los Angeles in 1961, was nearby at the time of the shootings and witnessed both the upheaval and the incredible demonstrations of support by the Gay community. Fascinated by the events, and feeling a direct connection to his own life, he took to the typewriter in his small Oakland apartment, and poured out his thoughts, feelings and outrage. The result, which he titled Closets, would be one of his most powerful works.

While Closets deals extensively with the murders, it also centers on Hav Gefter’s favorite subject, himself. And so woven into his thoughts on the public event are the musings of his own life, personal and private. Hav Gefter had been writing openly and in great detail about his own sexuality for many years and had no fear or reluctance on the matter. Be that as it may, the theme of Closets pushed him into even an greater passion to write about what he termed (in his always original way) the “masculine exclusive energy.”

Despite Hav Gefter’s lifelong obsession with sex, both in the experiencing and the writing, it was never his intention to titillate or arouse. He was not writing pornography. In fact, the unique thing about his writing is that sex was treated no different than any other area of life, and once you get used to the oddness of that, it is refreshing.

Closets is a bold and funny work. But it is not, as is printed on the paperback version, for the squeamish. If frank talk of sex both gay and straight offend you, then stop right here.

Or proceed. You just may experience a whole new literary achievement.


Hav Gefter (1931—2006) was an American original, a prolific writer in love with the English language, who put millions of deliberately chosen words on paper, who wrote a succession of fascinating literary works, and who was only published in the very last two years of his life. If Closets is your first experience with Hav Gefter, you will want to read the articles and information about him contained in the final section of this book.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940016680132
  • Publisher: Three Stars Press
  • Publication date: 6/12/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,166,649
  • File size: 1,015 KB

Meet the Author

Hav Gefter (1931—2006) was an American writer, a prolific craftsman in love with the English language, who put millions of deliberately chosen words on paper, who wrote a succession of fascinating literary works, and who was only published in the very last two years of his life. His books are noted for their honest and graphic descriptions of sex and human behavior, but more for their invention and use of language.

When Hav Gefter died in February of 2006, he left behind a massive legacy. A half century of writing filling thousands of pages, binder upon binder, box upon box. Much of this is in the form of letters and journals, but an appreciable part of it makes up the series of unique and compelling books he wrote, beginning in the late 1960s, with the two volume “Pisse not on Their Ashes.” This milestone work was followed, in the 1970s, by a series of books, each of them a stunning achievement of style and power.

Hav Gefter has been called a “sober Bukowski” and indeed that might be a fitting description of the writer to whom daily life, sex, warts and all, was his subject. It was not easy for him; even his closest friends found his writing uncomfortably naked and raw; it seemed to trespass all normal boundaries of decency. But it was not Hav Gefter’s intention to titillate or arouse. He was not writing pornography. He only wanted to capture every aspect of a life lived, and a huge part of life is sex. And he wasn’t going to exclude it.

He also had no regard for any story telling convention. He cared not for plots, chapters, devices, gimmicks, or anything that might guide a reader’s attention. Like a mad painter attacking his canvas he just sat and wrote. He did go through multiple drafts and spent much time rewriting, but of the bigger picture, the shaping of a story, he had a blind spot.

The result was often a manuscript that started abruptly, went full steam and then stopped. He cared not for a beginning or an ending. There were rarely chapters or any kind of organization. There was little a reader would recognize as a standard literary form. It did not bode well when offering these works to agents and publishers. And yet what power there is in his work!

Hav Gefter is not for everyone. You either hate him or you love him. But if you are a true connoisseur of the English language, you may well become one of the latter.
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