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Crashing CathedralsA Boy’s Own Story not to mention other outstanding works of fiction and several lauded nonfiction works that include Genet A BiographyIn Crashing Cathedrals Edmund White by the Book established writers new voices journalists friends former students. Whether one is a fan of White’s work or never heard of him this is a fascinating entertaining informative and thought provoking collection Although the format is fairly straightforward—covering each of White’s books in chronological order—what emerges is so much than the proverbial sum of its parts By so carefully choosing who writes about which books skillful editor Tom Cardamone has created not only an in depth biography of Edmund White On another level he has put together a biographical chorus of the ueer literary community The voices are all compelling whether established authors or academics students or journalists friends or lovers As I read each piece I couldn’t help thinking about my own literary life Where was I then When did I read that What did I miss there Why did this inspire me Who am I as a writer

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Characters ´ Crashing Cathedrals ✓ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ï [KINDLE] ✾ Crashing Cathedrals ❂ Tom Cardamone – Lambda Award winning author and editor Tom Cardamone brings together a diverse collection of ueer writers and their supporters to celebrate the rich innovativWhite’s husband and a recent editorpublisher provide personal appraisals of White’s work in the order in which his books were published The collection forms a uniue tribute cum biography of the most significant contemporary gay writer in the world. Consistently readable informative lovely essaysTom Cardomone the editor has skillfully assembled this lively completist set of essays in such a way that it’s a good book itself not just a bunch of pieces Like a really good Festschrift it’s a fitting and entertaining object suggestive and evocative of the artist himself

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Lambda Award winning author and editor Tom Cardamone brings together a diverse collection of ueer writers and their supporters to celebrate the rich innovative works of Edmund White the eminent memoirist and author of the American literature classic. “Do books find you when you need them the most” Sarah Schulman mulls Donald Wiese reveals “Since I didn’t know anyone who could show me a world of gay people I knew existed out there I turned instead to literature for guidance Yes I know how very 20th century but it was the 20th centuryRick Whitaker reminds us “The fact that he is aging and will presumably not live forever is suggestive for me privately of something sadly looming in my mind the end of the age of gay sensibility”These three uotes were foremost in my mind when I finished Tom Cardamone’s wonderful love letter to a man described as “a ‘triathalete’ of prose letters a master novelist biographer and memoirist”Alysia Abbott writes “I’ve since learned he’s played mentor to many young writers including Rakesh Satyal and Andrew Sean Greer Not only is he a winner of numerous international literary awards but he’s one of our most important living LGBT pioneers He took part in the 1969 Stonewall Riots cofounded the Violet uill and Gay Men’s Health Crisis Through his autobiographical fiction and copious memoir writing Edmund White is the preeminent keeper of our collective memory”Of course young shy and not yet out me knew nothing about this when I first picked up A Boy’s Own Story many many years ago furtively I might add especially as the cover had a virginally beckoning youth adorning it I don’t think I understood it properly at the time and a lot of it confused me But the overwhelming feeling – and it is one I recall distinctly to this day – was one of relief Here was someone finally who knew intuitively what I barely understood myself going throughAs Kathe Koja uotes in her essay “The most important things in our intimate lives can’t be discussed with strangers except in books” Years later I would read The Farewell Symphony after having lost several friends to AIDS and going through the experience of having my long term partner diagnosed with HIV six months into our relationshipA lot of the writers included here have similar feelings about the impact that A Boy’s Own Story had on their personal and professional lives I wonder how different it is for young gay people today especially given the ongoing difficulties faced and the continuing struggles endured by the LGBTI community globallyTherefore it is so vital that our history be preserved celebrated and cherished so that the torch can be carried onto the next generation Which makes Cardamone’s wonderful book such a treasure trove and a beaconI first came across Cardamone when I read his seminal The Lost Library which sought to bring back into the public consciousness many of the brightest stars of gay fiction that had since dimmed The fact that we lost so many greatly talented people to the devastation of the epidemic over such a brutally short period is something that uietly haunts both booksEver since A Boy’s Own Story White’s books have formed a backdrop to the seminal events of my own life from coming out to the end of a 13 year relationship and approaching middle age He continues to surprise me especially with incredibly astute novels such as Jack Holmes and His Fried and Our Young ManThese struck me as being so mischievously non PC in a gay age that sadly has seemed to have lost its sense of direction and cultural lodestones – mainly because we have ignored our past And we do so at our peril as Cardamone’s contributors all attest to so elouently and emotionally hereA ‘gay sensibility’ is not the same as ‘gay culture’ I don’t think It implies an acculturation of influences and experiences a slow building of something greater than the sum of its parts White’s wonderfully extensive oeuvre – from The Joy of Gay Sex of which I still own a PDF copy – any paper version would probably have turned to sludge from my sweaty palmed thumbing through it over the years to his non fiction work – is ample testament to thisI recently read The Unpunished Vice his latest book written in the aftermath of his heart attack and bypass surgery which I knew nothing about and I was especially privileged to read his thoughts about Japanese and German literature Yes even now White continues to surprise me with his vast knowledgeI have not read Genet or Proust with White himself called “the American Proust he shares with Proust an understanding of the intricacies of the self of social dynamics and a descriptive virtuosity applied to the material world”I must hasten to add There is nothing condescending or preachy about White He wears his erudition and wit lightly and is still capable of writing the most boner inducing sex scenes in gay fiction It is how he conveys his own enthusiasm and excitement with such joy and lightness “In my pursuit of lightness” Ed writes “I sometimes feel like a spider monkey swinging through the trees in a world that is and deforested If I look hard I can still find moments of frivolity of silvery silliness of merry complicity even of pure cross eyed joy Till now I usually can spot the next branch but sometimes it’s uite a stretch”Cardamone’s book has made me realise that I do need to read Proust one day if only to show my solidarity with keeping alive the notion of a ‘gay sensibility’ And I don’t have to fear feeling stupid if I don’t understand it There is joy and lightness in the act of discovery itselfDonald Weise offers a beautiful generous portrait of White that sums up the man and his work and how inextricable the two are Happily for me my feelings about Ed and his writing ‘matured’ as I got older I think this is true of any long time reader of White Partly because I liked his other fiction but also because I’d read and admired essays he’d written for the New York Times Book Review Vanity Fair and the New York Review of Books among a handful of other publications These were insightful and gossipy pieces on artists as varied as Jasper Johns Robert Mapplethorpe Jean Genet and Ned Rorem Ed I discovered is a cultural critic who can go deep with the best of them yet at the same time be playful racy and drop the perfect nugget of gossip often than not sexual into a serious discussion of French literature or modern photographyMuch like the essays of Vidal but without Vidal’s self conscious wit condescension and derision Ed can take almost any topic however grand and discuss it as if it were no complicated to navigate than the TV Guide crossword puzzle In the hands of most writers critical examinations of such heady authors as Foucault Proust or Nabokov turn into a literary death march through the past Not in Ed’s case Put another way the size of a novelist’s dick might be discussed prominently before a single work by the author is ever mentioned To say this is my kind of writer is an understatement of the first orderCardamone himself is part of a ‘new’ generation of gay writers His Green Thumb and The Lurid Sea are two of the most exhilirating gay themed novels I have ever read But I think he is fully aware that he is part of a chain of light in a long path of darkness passing the torch along from one generation of readers and writers to the nextThe fact that Cardamone revels in experimental fiction that pushes the envelope of what we define as ‘gay fiction’ and yet at the same time pays such elouent homage to and is grounded in our literary canon and its history is something that White himself must surely approve ofThe final word has to go to Edmund White himself of course who comments “I’m alive in order to—well to teach to trick to write to memorialize to be a faithful scribe to record the loss of my dead”