Posts Tagged ‘Walter Benjamin’

In which The Gay Recluse fears reactionary forms of propaganda. This is a blog called ‘The Gay Recluse.’ Here you will find words designed to provoke or stimulate or anger or entertain or bore you to death. Moreover, ‘The Gay Recluse’ is a fictional character written by another fictional character named ‘Matthew Gallaway,’ who in […]


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 reads a book of signs. One strange thing about growing up in Pittsburgh was that even before we lived anywhere else, we used to say that it — i.e., Pittsburgh — was haunted. But when people would ask us why, we were at a loss to explain: either you got […]


On Senso

09Dec08

In which The Gay Recluse loves Luchino Visconti. After scouring the globe, we were finally able to obtain — from South Korea! — a copy of Senso, Luchino Visconti’s 1954¬†film about the Austrian occupation of Venice during the war for Italian independence. In what is arguably the most operatic of Visconti’s films, we follow a […]


In which The Gay Recluse remembers sitting at the airport. Just last week we were sitting at the airport. At the time it seemed painfully boring, but now we kind of miss it. Even though we know that if we went back we’d be painfully bored again. This is also why George Bush was elected […]


In our dreams, the Empire State Building hovers and glows with a radiance that is seriously awesome to behold; it is a beacon to all who seek refuge in the city, and furthermore is not — as Fay Wray tells us — unstinting or cold in this respect, even if like the rest of us […]


Andrew Sullivan and his conservative ilk should realize that we too — and despite easily falling on the “left-liberal” side of the coin — can never digest more than a word or two of Bob Herbert’s stultifying prose before falling asleep. It’s unfortunate, because we ride the C-train with the same class of forgotten gilded-age […]


Poets, pundits, philosophers and politicians, take note! This is not the story of nations or other one-hit wonders, nor is it the story of religion, for which so many millions have died in futile anger and delusion. It is certainly not the history of capital, although this too has been a scourge; no, friends, these […]


Of all the critics and columnists in recent history at The Times, Herbert Muschamp and Cathy Horyn are the only ones who have succeeded in gripping us with every sentence that ever appeared under their respective names. Now, of course, Muschamp is dead, returned to the same infinite folds as an entire generation of gay […]


Yes, we exalt at the view offered by the summit of Whiteface Mountain! Here from New York State’s fifth-highest peak we see nothing but a carpet of trees — both deciduous and coniferous — rolling over an ancient, haunted landscape interrupted by exquisite lakes and bands of cirrus clouds that hover ambivalently over the horizon. […]


There are many games of dominoes in Washington Heights, but we prefer to avoid those on Broadway — populated by noisy, drunken louts — in favor of the more intense and serious version found on the side streets leading up to Amsterdam. Here the diamond-studded drug lord steps out of an armored SUV to take […]