Archive for the ‘History’ Category

In which The Gay Recluse dreams of snow. On certain days, we are made aware that capitalism is a vast, raging sea on which we are helplessly adrift. It’s not that this is exactly news; to the contrary, we have always known this, much the way the earth is round and the sun is many […]


In which The Gay Recluse recommends a book about music. When we finished The Rest Is Noise, Alex Ross’ survey of twentieth-century (classical-ish) music, our feelings were mixed; not about the book, which — as we are hardly the first to point out (Google it!) — works brilliantly on many levels. It’s really beyond our […]


In which The Gay Recluse orders Sachertorte. In the United States — except for the rare exception — there is a well-documented dearth of hot gay statues. Occasionally you’ll see a statue and think, “hmm, he’s a lil gay.” (Or she, obv.) Or: “Why is that guy’s head between that other guy’s legs? It’s not […]


In which The Gay Recluse finds remnants of the 1860s 1960s. It’s difficult to write about a city of the past without succumbing to nostalgia, given the grandeur of the dead monuments that have survived and the (philosophical) certainty that no time is worse to be alive than the present. Some friends of ours came […]


In which The Gay Recluse writes a book report. Just as the snow began, we finished Among Other Things, I’ve Taken Up Smoking, a 2007 debut novel by Aoibheann Sweeney. The book is about a girl — Miranda — who grows up with her father on a tiny island off the coast of Maine; her […]


In which The Gay Recluse remembers Sergio Leone. Recently we watched the director’s cut of Once Upon a Time in America, Sergio Lione’s epic Jewish/New York City gangster movie from 1984. When originally released in the United States, the producers imposed a chronological sequence onto the movie to shorten it, whereas Lione intended it to […]


In which The Gay Recluse considers a southern exposure. Admittedly, we have often cursed the apartment buildings that face the southern side of our garden. In addition to casting a shadow, they are sometimes the source of crushingly loud (and bad) music and garbage thrown from their windows. Also, it’s hard to escape the feeling […]