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Gay Austin, Vol. 2, No. 8, May 1978
File 011
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Gay Austin, Vol. 2, No. 8, May 1978 - File 011. 1978-05. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. February 27, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/1013/show/1009.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1978-05). Gay Austin, Vol. 2, No. 8, May 1978 - File 011. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/1013/show/1009

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Gay Austin, Vol. 2, No. 8, May 1978 - File 011, 1978-05, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed February 27, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/1013/show/1009.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Gay Austin, Vol. 2, No. 8, May 1978
Contributor
  • Kay, Kelly
Publisher Gay Community Services
Date May 1978
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
Place
  • Austin, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 5962538
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive
Rights No Copyright - United States
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 011
Transcript 10 GAY AUSTIN WY 1978 arts The story IS homosexual love BY JIM BAGG IN A CHECKLIST OF CURRENT and forthcoming books on homosexuality, Publisher's Weekly (Aug. 8, '77) comments on the strong market and quotes booksellers to the effect that gay books are bought both by a growing homosexual population which has stopped hiding and by curious heterosexuals whose interest has been stimulated at least in part by national publicity given gay rights issues. Yet in a recent Advocate interview (July 13, '77), Merle Miller complains that the "New York Times and the New York Review of Books will not give any attention to gay novels. Jonathan Katz's book (Gay American History) has been ignored. If all those silent writers, including those on the staff of those two publications, would 'come out,' things would be different." As an infrequent reader of the NYTBR and the NYRB, I had little direct knowledge of the truth of Miller's accusation and was curious to run across Gilbert Sorrentino's review in the NYTBR (vol. 83, no. 1) of a novel with a manifestly homosexual theme. Was Merle Miller wrongly critical of the Times, or had the NYTBR changed its policy? I STILL DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER to that question, but I suspect, after reading the Sorrentino piece, that it's okay to review a gay novel in the pages of the NYTBR if the reviewer is careful to deny the importance of the homosexual content: "(this book) certainly is not about homosexuality. It is not, finally, about sex--which is used as the base upon which its formal structure is built." TOO MUCH FLESH AND JABEZ (by Coleman Dowell; New Directions Paperback, 151 pages, $5.95) is a novel within a novel, the fabrication of Miss Ethel, a retired high school teacher who "had never once entered another person . . ." In her loneliness Miss Ethel writes a "perverse story" about a former pupil, Jim Cummins, who had showed great intellectual promise but had disappointed her by conforming to small-town expectations: marriage and the life of a farmer. Part of her attraction to Jim had been sexual, and indeed there had been groundless "faculty gossip" about her weekend tutoring of the boy. So MISS ETHEL'S FANTASY is ostensibly heterosexual in origin. I say "ostensibly" because distinctions between genders get blurred in Miss Ethel's mind. As a young girl she had been a "blunt-languaged hoyden . . . toughening (into androgeny, she thought) at the hands and minds of five wild brothers and a pack of equally wild male cousins, the way she had had to conceal the calluses from her suspicious mother . . . her primary question had been addressed to masculine esperience: 'What is it like?'" And now, in her old age, Miss Ethel has discovered that she can "become" a character in her own novel: "now Jim, now Jabez, now Ludie, and so on, . . . she had an increasing sense of insecurity in her own persona, which like an amoeba had divided into two and then gone on subdividing." On the basis of scant evidence, Miss Ethel constructs her own version of Jim Cummins, a man of supernormal sexual parts (hence "too much flesh") trapped in marriage to a frigid wife "whose small- ness was at least partly to blame." Reduced to plot summary, TOO MUCH FLESH AND JABEZ sounds like off- the-rack porno: a virile young fanner who can get no satisfaction from his wife resorts to masturbation accompanied by fantasies involving loose women; he has a wet dream involving a partner of unknown sex who "loved his bigness and told him so"; and finally he meets a 14 year-old boy named Jabez, recently expelled from his parents' home and sent to live with his aunt, a consequence of doing You Know What. Jabez does not regard bigness as an impediment, and sets out to seduce Jim, who proves a willing victim. CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 k
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