Italy: Vernazza in Cinque Terre, the Amalfi Coast, Naples, and How We Got Around

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“READING IS LIKE THE SEX ACT – DONE PRIVATELY, AND OFTEN IN BED.”

Attributed to Daniel Boorstein, Librarian of Congress 1975-1987 and a historian.

I saw this quote on “a good reader imagines” on the tumblr man-reading. The picture below is from the same tumblr, I believe, although the address is menreadningtumblr.com.

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SHOW ME THOSE MUSCLES, SON.

If you’re a gay man and you haven’t seen the blog https://jeffcopebrandon.tumblr.com/ you are in for quite a treat.

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A NUDE HORSEBACK RIDER WHILE I’M COOKING?

As I made a large batch of peanut curry one morning, Liz Taylor laughed and talked on the kitchen TV in Reflections in a Golden Eye. I wasn’t paying much attention, although her screen presence drew me to glance at the picture more than a person slicing vegetables should. As she and movie husband Marlon Brando — a Captain at a Southern military base on which they lived — rode horseback in a forest, they stopped in surprise upon seeing a young naked soldier, unaware of them, riding a horse in circles through the trees.

Ah, a young naked soldier riding a horse — there’s so much to think about in that idea.

Later, I looked for the scene on Youtube. I found a snippet of it in the movie trailer, along with a delightful interview with Robert Forster, the actor who played the part and rode the horse.

 

I also found a video of a nude equestrian jumping.

 

After all this, I had to read the 1941 novel, written by Carson McCullers (who also wrote The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, published in 1944). I especially had to read Reflections in a Golden Eye after I’d read about the movie on Wikipedia: “His [the Captain’s] secret interest in the free-spirited Williams [the soldier who rides naked] is clear.”

Not a portrayal of a happy homosexual man, nonetheless the book fascinated me. I find it to be a plausible and acceptable portrayal of a particular homosexual career military officer of the 1930s. Once the Captain becomes fixated on an enlisted young soldier, the Captain’s daydreams, always before ones of advancing as an officer, become daydreams of being an enlisted man, living in the barracks with its male camaraderie, rather than being an officer living with a wife in a house alongside other married officers. Continue reading

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LATE LAST NIGHT BOOKS ONLINE MAGAZINE WELCOMES FIVE NEW COLUMNISTS

As managing editor of Late Last Night Books online magazine, soon to begin its fifth year, I’m honored to welcome five new columnists: Ron Cooper, author of The Gospel of the Twin, Purple Jesus, Hume’s Fork and philosophy professor, University of Central Florida; Joseph D Haske, author of North Dixie Highway and professor of English, South Texas College; Joshua Braff, author of The Daddy Diaries, Peep Show, The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green, MFA Columbia: Sybil Baker, author of Immigration Essays, Into this World, Talismans, The Life Plan and professor of English and creative writing at University of Tennessee-Chattanooga; and Lily Iona MacKenzie, author of Fling! and adjunct professor of creative writing, University of San Francisco.

LATE LAST NIGHT BOOKS  “because so much reading, writing, and living happens after-hours”

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TO THE SUMMER AHEAD: SAINT-TROPEZ IN GALA AD IN LUFTHANSA MAGAZINE

This spectacular photo in an ad in Lufthansa Magazin captures a wonderful feel for summer. Todd and I were on our way to Italy.

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WALKER PERCY QUOTE: THE SUBJECT ISN’T PLEASANT BUT THE WRITING IS SUBLIME

The quote below, from The Moviegoer  is among the most quietly visceral Every Man passages I’ve ever read. So accurate, so clinical, so very human.  The protagonist, a young New Orleans investment counselor, is standing on the library steps talking to a woman friend he happened to run into.

“…To our utter amazement we discovered that we both have the same life-goal. Do you know what it is?” “No.” “To make a contribution, however small, and leave the world just a little better off.” “That’s very good,” I say somewhat uneasily and shift about on the library steps. I can talk to Nell as long as I don’t look at her. Looking into her eyes is an embarrassment. “—we gave the television to the kids and last night we turned on the hi-fi and sat by the fire and read The Prophet aloud. I don’t find life gloomy!” she cries. “To me, books and people and things are endlessly fascinating. Don’t you think so?” “Yes.” A rumble has commenced in my descending bowel, heralding a tremendous defecation. Nell goes on talking and there is nothing to do but shift around as best one can, take care not to fart, and watch her in a general sort of way: a forty-year-old woman with a good open American face and another forty years left in her; and eager, above all, eager, with that plaintive lost eagerness American college women get at a certain age.

Photo of Walker Percy is from encyclopediaofalabama.org

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