Archive for the ‘Writers-British’ Category

In which The Gay Recluse files a book report. After we read Keith Banner’s The Smallest People Alive, we could not have imagined a more fucked-up society/culture than the low-class Midwest (US) described so effectively by Banner; imagine our surprise then, when we turned to another set of short stories — The Scent of Cinnamon […]

In which The Gay Recluse reads dead flowers. When we first read about The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher, we were excited! Not only was it short-listed for the Booker Prize, but it was rated the #1 Editors’ Pick for Best Book of 2008 by* And oh yeah, Hensher is “openly gay” — kinda […]

In which The Gay Recluse microblogs. Jeannette Winterson in The Times of London writes: If you believe, as I do, that there is such a thing as a creative continuum common to everyone, it is not difficult to believe that everyone benefits from exposure to, and participation in, creative endeavour. Capitalism has doomed most people […]

In which The Jane Austen Watch reports on the intersection of two centuries. Today we heard from our newest correspondent, The Jane Austen Watch, who filed the following report: The roses in Astoria are in bloom, and all the local inhabitants are basing the horticulture of their small front gardens on the assumption that they […]

In which The Gay Recluse celebrates Easter. It was not until eleventh grade — in Mrs. S____’s English class — that we began to appreciate the obsessive and illogical side of literature, which of course is to say we were reading Wuthering Heights. Do you remember Mrs. S____? How thin and small and severe she […]

In which The Gay Recluse provides a more accurate obituary for Arthur C. Clarke than the one that just appeared in The Times. (For the AP version, click here.) Arthur C. Clarke, Premier Science Fiction Writer, Dies at 90 By GERALD JONAS and THE GAY RECLUSE Published: March 18, 2008 Arthur C. Clarke, a writer […]

In which The Gay Recluse provides a more accurate version of Arthur C. Clarke’s obituary than the one that was just released by AP. (For The Times version, click here.) Arthur C. Clarke, Science Fiction Writer, Dies at 90 By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS and THE GAY RECLUSE Published: March 18, 2008 Filed at 6:41 p.m. […]

It was difficult to read Maiden Voyage, the 1943 novel by Denton Welch, although not in any of the usual ways. For starters, the prose is relatively simple, marked by compact sentences — very much in keeping with the voice of a sixteen-year-old — but deceptively elegant; sincere and direct without ever being vulgar or […]

In which The Gay Recluse ponders a sampling of recent search terms used to find the very pages you are now reading. Note: All search terms listed are in the exact form provided by, which is the host (at least for a while) of this blog. Hyperlinks to relevant posts included. Search: gay aristocracy […]

Andrew Sullivan expressed the idea (and admittedly, with thoughtfulness) in an essay he wrote a few years ago for the New Republic, while more recently British playwright Mark Ravenhill tackled the same theme (with much less success) for The Guardian. Their collective story goes something like this: in the dark ages of oppression (i.e., approximately […]

In reading great works of literature, we are sometimes struck by the presence of what could be termed a “gay voice.” It is a voice that resonates with perspective of the sexually-oriented “outsider,” so that we come away with an understanding (and it does not have arrive by way of a literal representation) that “heterosexuality” […]

In a profile included in this month’s Poets & Writers Magazine, Benjamin Percy — a young American genius said to have written the “story of the year” in 2006 — tells us: “I am interested in this new masculinity in today’s society, what distinguishes us as men and as women besides our biology. No longer […]

Last night at the midtown bistro ______, we were pleased to find Des Esseintes at the bar, his thin hand clutched around a tumbler of amber-colored liquid. We asked about this, and he confirmed it was a single highland malt from the ____ distillery, which he had long professed to be the most burnished yet […]

As promised, we agreed to have the president of Iran over for tea on Monday afternoon to discuss The Magic Mountain, the magnus opus by Thomas Mann. President Ahmadinejad has long defended the work — as he did (somewhat controversially) in his speech a few blocks south of us at Columbia University — as one […]