neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,


I read The Golden Age of Gay Fiction.  The html version was across the screen rather than in two columns, but cut off lines here and there and didn't show the pictures.  I ended up going back to the 100% size PDF and then just scrolling up and down the page until I'd read everything in the two columns.  I'm glad I read it, because it was a font of information.  I'll go back to it again to look things up and re-read some of the essays.

Several of the essayists covered a few of the same books from different perspectives.  There was some overlap of books written in the fifties and sixties, particularly.  The Golden Age of Gay Fiction says what happens in the book, even up through the end, so people who want to be surprised reading the books really shouldn't read the descriptions of them here.

I got the impression that D. Wayne Gunn had to go through a lot of dreck to find the good pulp fiction books, but it seems he found some long-neglected treasures.  There were essays about mysteries, science fiction, Westerns, erotica, horror, and spy stories, and notes about war stories.

I had no idea William Maltese/William Lambert/various other names had been so involved as an author right in the golden age described.  I'd known he was a prolific writer.  He's returned to some of his earlier themes here and there, from what I've heard of various of his more recent books.  He was particularly noted in a couple of essays for horror and erotica books he wrote, but he wrote all kinds of things.

One thing that was neat was to hear from a couple of the authors who were there at the time.  It was also interesting to get the perspective of those who had known about and read some of the more physically accessible, well-known and/or mainstream works.  They were delighted to discover good books they hadn't known of.

I'll have to look up some of those books, particularly ones that have happy endings, and see what I can get from the library or as scanned e-books.  I'd already read The Charioteer, thanks to Josh's praise of it.  It was a bit disconcerting to see where he'd picked up Lanyon.  One essayist explained about the white horse and dark horse, and said that Laurie settled at the end with the lesser choice.  That wasn't how I'd taken it at all.

Another essayist described Tin Star as one of the modern Westerns written by women for women, most of whom were heterosexual.  I've heard it frequently, but I thought the particular way it was phrased could have been a little better considering the publisher and who some of the readers might be.

I don't think that many of the essayists had written for books published by MLR before.  There were some MLR authors, but more seemed to be specialists in the books of that era.  Of course, if you'd lived through the time as one of the authors, you could be considered a specialist as well.

(Added: the flowers I picked from the mystery pink rose are fully open.  They kept their substance well when opening inside.  There's what I think is white mistflower all around the west side of the house, but it hasn't bloomed yet.  When it does I'll dig up what's in pots with other flowers and put it elsewhere.)

Tags: books, flowers, gay-related, reading

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