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Homintern: How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World
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Yale University Press 2016
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Description

A landmark account of gay and lesbian creative networks and the seismic changes they brought to twentieth-century culture In a hugely ambitious study which crosses continents, languages, and almost a century, Gregory Woods identifies the ways in which homosexuality has helped shape Western culture. Extending from the trials of Oscar Wilde to the gay liberation era, this book examines a period in which increased visibility made acceptance of homosexuality one of the measures of modernity. Woods shines a revealing light on the diverse, informal networks of gay people in the arts and other creative fields. Uneasily called "the Homintern" (an echo of Lenin's "Comintern") by those suspicious of an international homosexual conspiracy, such networks connected gay writers, actors, artists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, politicians, and spies. While providing some defense against dominant heterosexual exclusion, the grouping brought solidarity, celebrated talent, and, in doing so, invigorated the majority culture. Woods introduces an enormous cast of gifted and extraordinary characters, most of them operating with surprising openness; but also explores such issues as artistic influence, the coping strategies of minorities, the hypocrisies of conservatism, and the effects of positive and negative discrimination. Traveling from Harlem in the 1910s to 1920s Paris, 1930s Berlin, 1950s New York and beyond, this sharply observed, warm-spirited book presents a surpassing portrait of twentieth-century gay culture and the men and women who both redefined themselves and changed history.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/01/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780300219562
ASIN:
B01EUYN5ZS
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APA Citation (style guide)

Gregory Woods. (2016). Homintern: How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World. Yale University Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Gregory Woods. 2016. Homintern: How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World. Yale University Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Gregory Woods, Homintern: How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World. Yale University Press, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Gregory Woods. Homintern: How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World. Yale University Press, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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        Gregory Woods was appointed to Britain's first chair in Gay and Lesbian Studies by Nottingham Trent University in 1998. He lives in Nottingham, UK.

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shortDescription

A landmark account of gay and lesbian creative networks and the seismic changes they brought to twentieth-century culture
In a hugely ambitious study which crosses continents, languages, and almost a century, Gregory Woods identifies the ways in which homosexuality has helped shape Western culture. Extending from the trials of Oscar Wilde to the gay liberation era, this book examines a period in which increased visibility made acceptance of homosexuality one of the measures of modernity.

Woods shines a revealing light on the diverse, informal networks of gay people in the arts and other creative fields. Uneasily called "the Homintern" (an echo of Lenin's "Comintern") by those suspicious of an international homosexual conspiracy, such networks connected gay writers, actors, artists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, politicians, and spies. While providing some defense against dominant heterosexual exclusion, the grouping brought solidarity, celebrated...

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title
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fullDescription

A landmark account of gay and lesbian creative networks and the seismic changes they brought to twentieth-century culture
In a hugely ambitious study which crosses continents, languages, and almost a century, Gregory Woods identifies the ways in which homosexuality has helped shape Western culture. Extending from the trials of Oscar Wilde to the gay liberation era, this book examines a period in which increased visibility made acceptance of homosexuality one of the measures of modernity.

Woods shines a revealing light on the diverse, informal networks of gay people in the arts and other creative fields. Uneasily called "the Homintern" (an echo of Lenin's "Comintern") by those suspicious of an international homosexual conspiracy, such networks connected gay writers, actors, artists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, politicians, and spies. While providing some defense against dominant heterosexual exclusion, the grouping brought solidarity, celebrated talent, and, in doing so, invigorated the majority culture.

Woods introduces an enormous cast of gifted and extraordinary characters, most of them operating with surprising openness; but also explores such issues as artistic influence, the coping strategies of minorities, the hypocrisies of conservatism, and the effects of positive and negative discrimination. Traveling from Harlem in the 1910s to 1920s Paris, 1930s Berlin, 1950s New York and beyond, this sharply observed, warm-spirited book presents a surpassing portrait of twentieth-century gay culture and the men and women who both redefined themselves and changed history.

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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        March 15, 2016
        A comprehensive anthropological survey exploring the ways in which the gay community has changed the world. In 1895, Oscar Wilde set a precedent that would change the lives of homosexual men all over Europe--and, eventually, the world. Accused of having same-sex relations, he was prosecuted and sent to jail. Most men accused of homosexual acts would have denied the fact, but Wilde did not. This choice set an example that defined new terms for the inner life of the artist, the aesthete, and, more importantly, the European gay man. It spurred the rise of the modernist sensibilities and underground communities in Paris and Berlin. The universal appeal of the Wilde case also led to conspiracy theories about homosexuals. As Woods (Emeritus, Gay and Lesbian Studies/Nottingham Trent Univ.; The Myth of the Last Taboo: Queer Subcultural Studies, 2015, etc.) explains, "to speak of homosexual internationalism was...to conjure up the threat of subversive conspiracy. In this case, however, the Homintern was understood to be conspiring against the Comintern, rather than in league with it." This conspiracy, however irrational it may seem, fueled the decadence of the 1920s and '30s and allowed homosexual men to travel from Russia to Paris and from Paris to Berlin to Capri and beyond. As a result, artists and writers formulated a new, cross-cultural art practice: "Values previously taken for granted were deliberately being subverted; rules of perspective and harmony, even of logic, were deliberately being flouted; standards of decency and good taste were deliberately being violated." Woods delivers a well-researched, compelling study of how countless gay men have affected, influenced, and restructured the cultural climate for more than 100 years. He also addresses diversity and remains objective, all the while slipping in some personal opinions about political climates across the generations. An information-heavy book that provides a wonderful resource for those interested in learning about the rise of gay poetics at the onset of the 20th century.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        April 15, 2016
        In this marvelous mess of a book, which British poet and academic Woods (A History of Gay Literature, 1999) describes as a magical mystery tour, the author examines European and American gay and lesbian networks in the twentieth century and their impact on the arts. Homintern was a funny play on Comintern (Communist International, an international organization advocating communism), likely created in Auden's circle to describe their sprawling network of friendships. By Joseph McCarthy's era, it took on a sinister, conspiratorial meaning. Woods begins with the enormously influential trial of Oscar Wilde, then moves around the continent and century from Russia and Diaghilev to Paris and Stein, from Berlin and Isherwood to Naples after WWII, finally landing in Harlem and Hollywood, all the while tapping letters, diaries, and novels to illustrate the vitality of queer artistic communities. But this is no academic text. Woods regales the reader with an avalanche of stories, ribald gossip, and lengthy asides that collectively confirm the book's central thesis: gay culture, or at least gays and lesbians, did indeed liberate the modern world.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

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How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World
popularity
26
publisher
Yale University Press
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