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A Small Boy and Others: Imitation and Initiation in American by Michael Moon

By Michael Moon

In A Small Boy and Others, Michael Moon makes an important contributon to our realizing of the dynamics of sexuality and id in sleek American tradition. He explores a big selection of literary, creative, and theatrical performances starting from the memoirs of Henry James and the dances of Vaslav Nijinsky to the Pop work of Andy Warhol and such movies as Midnight Cowboy, Blue Velvet, and Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures.

Moon illuminates the careers of James, Warhol, and others by means of studying the resourceful investments in their protogay childhoods of their paintings in ways in which allow new, extra advanced cultural readings. He deftly engages notions of initiation and hope no longer in the conventional framework of “sexual orientation” yet during the disorienting results of imitation. no matter if invoking the artist Joseph Cornell’s early fascination with the good Houdini or turning his awareness to James’s self-described “initiation into type” on the age of twelve—when he first encountered the homoerotic imagery in work by means of David, Géricault, and Girodet—Moon unearths how the works of those artists emerge from an engagement that's obsessive to the purpose of “queerness.”

Rich in historic aspect and insistent in its melding of the hot with the distant, the literary with the visible, the preferred with the elite, A Small Boy and Others offers a hitherto unimagined culture of courageous and outrageous queer invention. This long-awaited contribution from Moon can be welcomed via all these engaged in literary, cultural, and queer studies.

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