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Out on the Stage: Lesbian and Gay Theater in the Twentieth Century: Lesbian and Gay Theatre in the Twentieth Century Hardcover – 11 Oct 1999
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on 9 March 2000
Professor Sinfield deserves our thanks - for bringing queer studies on to the academic agenda, for introducing cultural materialism to the masses (not that anyone outside a University English Department has ever heard of it) and for providing endless amusement to those reactionaries who still cling to the idea that maybe - just maybe - who you are and what you do with your genitals has no bearing on how you read a book. Of course, such dinosaurs are damned - for refusing to recognise the new culture, for trying to hold back the tide of progress and for failing to believe in Sinfield and his pioneering political work. 'Out on Stage' is the latest salvo from Sinfield's cannon. It is well-read, readable and engaging, offering a fascinating insight into gayness on the English stage. Those of 'us' disinterested in the penis and its uses and permutations may be disappointed by the rigid line that Sinfield takes on queer issues:this is very much a book for the boys, despite the good Professor's attempts to talk - talk down to? - us ladies. And, if I was trying to justify this massive tome to my evangelically heterosexual parents when they ask me: 'what are you doing on that Ma(s)ters' degree?', I would have to reply that this text does display a fascinating engagement with the politics of identity, but unfortunately that identity seems to be that of an ageing gay man with an interest in literary rough trade. For those of 'us' who perhaps weren't a product of the post-war Welfare State, who do not feel the urge to ram our sexuality down people's throats,w ho - perhaps - feel that the time has come for queer studies to move out of the self-aggrandising ghetto that it's been in for so long, this book is a wasted opportunity...
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AN AB FAB WALK ON THE WILDE SIDE
on 25 May 2003 - Published on Amazon.com
What could be a drag is actually an in-depth, original look at stage representations of lesbians and gay men from Oscar Wilde to the present day. And what a wild ride it is! Author Alan Sinfield samples scores of British and American plays and playwrights (including Coward, Maugham, Hellman, Williams and O'Neill) and examines them in the contexts in which they were produced and viewed, whether it be the West End of London or the Lower East Side of New York. Most fascinating is how homosexuality views changed throughout he decades --- how the '60s produced an exuberant cultivation of "kinky" humor and gay political activism (think "Boys in the Band"); how AIDS impacted the theater (think "Love! Valor! Compassion!") Unlike the recently published "Something For The Boys," Sinfield knows how to write ... and rein in any subjective gushing. Ab Fab!