Books Acquired Recently: Holiday Edition

My family exchanged gifts today rather than on the 25th. Here is a list of all of the books I was fortunate enough to receive: Bechdel, Alison. The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For. Boston: Houghton, 2008. I read an article in the New Yorker about Bechdel earlier this year and decided that I wantedContinue reading “Books Acquired Recently: Holiday Edition”

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My Grandfather’s Diary

My maternal grandfather died peacefully two weeks ago, and going through his things the family discovered that he had kept a diary for much of his life. It is surprising that he lived to be 96 and no one knew that he engaged in this practice. He wasn’t being secretive about it; he was justContinue reading “My Grandfather’s Diary”

Thoughts on the R.A. Dickey Trade

Barring a failed physical this afternoon, the Mets will trade R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays for several blue chip prospects. Rany Jazayerli explains in an article on grantland.com why this is a bad move for the Mets, but I think it is a reasonable move for the Mets (and for the Blue Jays, thoughContinue reading “Thoughts on the R.A. Dickey Trade”

Zadie Smith on Music and Obsession

Zadie Smith has an article in the 17 December 2012 issue of the New Yorker about her journey to appreciating Joni Mitchell’s work in which she also offers some thoughts on being a connoisseur of various art forms. Smith writes that she distrusts those who claim to be true connoisseurs of more than one form, noting that theContinue reading “Zadie Smith on Music and Obsession”

Books Acquired Recently: Queerness and Race

Reid-Pharr, Robert. Once You Go Black: Choice, Desire, and the Black American Intellectual. New York: New York UP, 2007. Somerville, Siobhan B. Queering the Color Line: Race and the Invention of Homosexuality in American Culture. Durham: Duke UP, 2000. Stockton, Kathryn Bond. Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame: Where “Black” Meets “Queer.“ Durham: Duke UP, 2006. IContinue reading “Books Acquired Recently: Queerness and Race”

Paul Lukas’s Fascination With Interesting Things

I’ve written here before about Paul Lukas’s Uni Watch site, which is a daily stop in my internet wanderings. One of the reasons I love Uni Watch is that Lukas’s material aesthetic is very close to mine: he’s obsessed with fine craftsmanship, enjoys older objects, and has an eye for fine detail (and, like me,Continue reading “Paul Lukas’s Fascination With Interesting Things”

Books Acquired Recently

Kane, Daniel. All Poets Welcome: The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960s. Berkeley: U of California P, 2003. I am a major fan of the New York School of Poets (John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Frank O’Hara, James Schuyler, et al.) and its descendants. Kane’s book covers both groups, so I bought it to readContinue reading “Books Acquired Recently”

Writing About Black Sexuality

A friend passed along this article by Stacey Patton from The Chronicle on Higher Education. It provides a helpful summary of the ever-growing history of the intersection between Black Studies and queer theory. This dialogue is a crucial one for my work on Samuel R. Delany, thus it is pleasing that others outside of theContinue reading “Writing About Black Sexuality”

Reality Imitating Art

I went to the dentist this morning. As I was lying prone in the chair in pain, I thought of Frank Norris’s novel McTeague, in which the title character is a dentist whose grip is so strong that he is able to extract teeth with his bare hands. Later in the visit, I received aContinue reading “Reality Imitating Art”

Harvard Kink

An article on CNN.com reports that Harvard has just approved a student club for students who are interested in “kinky sex.” Kudos to both the students behind the club for organizing publicly and to the school for recognizing that non-vanilla sex (which does not just encompass BDSM, but also includes various fetishes such as watersports,Continue reading “Harvard Kink”