QUEER PULP – The title says it all. Queer Pulp: Perverted Passions from the Golden Age of the Paperback, by Susan Stryker, explores a wide range of the mid-century mass-market paperback. However, the concept of the gay lesbian ‘sleaze’ novel -prior to 1965 -was all about titillation not pornography; by today’s standards. In that light, the title is a bit misleading, because the book is an overview of the golden age of the paperback novel. At a time when that format was the chief literary form. Pulps had covers designed to-be-seen; to convey crime, alternative lifestyles, gender issues, drug abuse and laid the foundations for the sexual revolution.
THE CITY AND THE PILLAR – The author’s death -in 2012 at the age of 86 – garnered as much press for his literary achievements as for his celebrity. Reference a nasty debate with William F. Buckley Jr. on live television (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYymnx…). Where Buckley is referred to as a ‘crypto-Nazi’ and Vidal is referred to as a ‘queer’. The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal broke new literary ground, as the first book with an unapologetic gay male character, who isn’t full of self-loathing and doesn’t die of suicide at the end.