Close
Close

Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 13 of 13 results

Sort by:

Filter by:

Contributors

Article Types

Authors

Subjects

Asking to Be Looked at

Wayne Koestenbaum, 25 January 1996

Mapplethorpe: A Biography 
by Patricia Morrisroe.
Macmillan, 461 pp., £20, September 1995, 9780333669419
Show More
Playing with the Edge: The Photographic Achievement of Robert Mapplethorpe 
by Arthur Danto.
California, 206 pp., £20, October 1995, 0 520 20051 9
Show More
Show More
... New York’s Guggenheim Museum contains in an annex a covert Robert Mapplethorpe gallery, a sober exhibition space which, like the masterpieces of its namesake, seems consecrated to the unusual and the mortifying. The current show – Joel-Peter Witkin’s photographs of corpses, amputees and hermaphrodites – holds a grotesqueness sufficient to remind the visitor of how sweet, how antique already, the infamous Mapplethorpe images have become ...

Andy Paperbag

Hal Foster: Andy Warhol, 21 March 2002

Andy Warhol 
by Wayne Koestenbaum.
Weidenfeld, 196 pp., £12.99, November 2001, 0 297 64630 3
Show More
Show More
... withdrawal. No wonder that his exemplar is Andy Warhol. ‘Warhol distrusted language,’ Wayne Koestenbaum writes on the first page of his smart biography; ‘he didn’t understand how grammar unfolded episodically in linear time, rather than in one violent atemporal explosion. Like the rest of us, he advanced chronologically from birth to ...

Audrey and Her Sisters

Wayne Koestenbaum, 18 September 1997

Audrey Hepburn 
by Barry Paris.
Weidenfeld, 454 pp., £20, February 1997, 0 297 81728 0
Show More
Show More
... I read star biographies to find out how stars see themselves and how they see each other. Though I am interested in their behaviour, I am more interested in the curves and austerities of their cognition. Huge gulfs divide a star in daily life from a star on screen; the style in which a star executes an action (film role, household chore, errand, ambassadorial mission) is not the style in which she secretly contemplates her colleagues ...

The Pink Hotel

Wayne Koestenbaum, 3 April 1997

The Last Thing He Wanted 
by Joan Didion.
Flamingo, 227 pp., £15.99, January 1997, 0 00 224080 7
Show More
Show More
... I began this feuilleton in a hotel room, the Hyatt Regency in Houston, Texas: a Didionesque locale. (Caryl Phillips once told me that he liked to write his books in faraway hotel rooms. I admire that. It brings to mind Janet Flanner at the Ritz and James Schuyler at the Chelsea.) Joan Didion has often noted transiency’s allure, a writer’s necessary alienation from fixed address ...

Call it Hollywood

Wayne Koestenbaum: The sex life of Rudolph Valentino, 16 December 2004

Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino 
by Emily Leider.
Faber, 514 pp., £8.99, November 2004, 0 571 21819 9
Show More
Show More
... Rudolph Valentino, according to his first-rate biographer, Emily Leider, who has already distinguished herself by writing the definitive book on Mae West, had a ‘slightly cauliflowered’ left ear. Most photographs hide this ear, as did his protective cinematographers, so I must struggle to imagine it. If I were to write a brief memoir about my relation to Valentino or to his legacy, I might entitle it ‘In Search of Valentino’s Slightly Cauliflowered Left Ear ...

Dishevelled

Wayne Koestenbaum: Tennessee Williams, 4 October 2007

Tennessee Williams: Notebooks 
edited by Margaret Bradham Thornton.
Yale, 828 pp., £27.50, February 2007, 978 0 300 11682 3
Show More
Show More
... One event dominated Tennessee Williams’s life: his sister Rose’s bilateral prefrontal lobotomy, performed on 13 January 1943, two years before The Glass Menagerie, the play he forged from her condition, was first produced. He rarely mentions the lobotomy in his private notebooks, the fragmented daybooks which he kept for much of his life, and which have now been edited, with sumptuous photographic and biographical supplementation, by Margaret Bradham Thornton, to whom devotees of Williams should be grateful ...

Mimmi’s Story

Wayne Koestenbaum, 11 May 1995

Enrico Caruso: My Father and My Family 
by Enrico Caruso and Andrew Farkas.
Amadeus, 724 pp., £29.99, May 1994, 0 931340 24 1
Show More
Show More
... I have no special love for the voice of Enrico Caruso, perhaps because it does not need me to rescue it; classic, impervious, it awaits eternity – it has already arrived at eternity – and demands no fan, no patient posthumous acolyte, to alchemise it. The Caruso voice, as his son describes it, in Enrico Caruso: My Father and My Family, a story as pathetic, plodding and perverse as any I have read, is a pure column of air; without flaw, it assails low and high notes alike with plump machismo, sometimes sobbing, sometimes finishing off the breath with a punctuating snarl ...

Diary

Kevin Kopelson: Confessions of a Plagiarist, 22 May 2008

... second passage, by the way, first appeared in a letter I wrote to the English professor and critic Wayne Koestenbaum (also Jewish). Wayne, too, is someone with whom I’ve identified. (In his case, though, it’s because he reminds me of Steve, my openly gay yet truly mean brother. Or rather of the nice brother I’d ...

Beauty + Terror

Kevin Kopelson: Robert Mapplethorpe, 29 June 2016

Robert Mapplethorpe: The Archive 
by Frances Terpak and Michelle Brunnick.
Getty Research Institute, 240 pp., £32.50, March 2016, 978 1 60606 470 2
Show More
Robert Mapplethorpe: The Photographs 
by Paul Martineau and Britt Salvesen.
Getty Museum, 340 pp., £40, March 2016, 978 1 60606 469 6
Show More
Show More
... of pornography from the ‘light’ (good) desire of eroticism. Compare that to remarks made by Wayne Koestenbaum in these pages: ‘It is because Mapplethorpe’s images are jerk-off grist that they should be of surpassing interest to serious students of the imagination.’* For Mapplethorpe, although Barthes didn’t know it, all such self-portraits ...

National Treasure

Christopher Hitchens, 14 November 1996

Jacqueline Bouvier: An Intimate Memoir 
by John Davis.
Wiley, 256 pp., £14.99, October 1996, 0 471 12945 3
Show More
Show More
... Birmingham’s work to Kitty Kelly’s Jackie Oh! to Jackie Under My Skin by the Yale semiotician Wayne Koestenbaum. Specialist markets within the domain of Jackie studies include Camelot freaks, of course, but also the ‘gay icon’ sub-strain which places her next to Liz Taylor and Ava Gardner as a sympathiser of the truly, wistfully stylish. Mr ...

Good enough for Jesus

Charlotte Brewer, 25 January 1990

The State of the Language: 1990 Edition 
edited by Christopher Ricks and Leonard Michaels.
Faber, 531 pp., £17.50, January 1990, 9780571141821
Show More
Clichés and Coinages 
by Walter Redfern.
Blackwell, 305 pp., £17.50, October 1989, 0 631 15691 7
Show More
Rhetoric: The Wit of Persuasion 
by Walter Nash.
Blackwell, 241 pp., £25, October 1989, 0 631 16754 4
Show More
Show More
... choice of language, or of rhetoric). Grover’s essay is interestingly counterpointed by those of Wayne Koestenbaum (‘Speaking in the Shadow of Aids’) and Michael Callen (‘Aids: The Linguistic Battlefield’). For example, it seemed to me at first sight exaggerated to decry, as Grover does, the term Aids victim: ‘Fear and pity are the emotions ...

Hyacinth Boy

Mark Ford: T.S. Eliot, 21 September 2006

T.S. Eliot: The Making of an American Poet 
by James E. Miller.
Pennsylvania State, 468 pp., £29.95, August 2005, 0 271 02681 2
Show More
The Annotated ‘Waste Land’ with Eliot’s Contemporary Prose 
by T.S. Eliot, edited by Lawrence Rainey.
Yale, 270 pp., $35, April 2005, 0 300 09743 3
Show More
Revisiting ‘The Waste Land’ 
by Lawrence Rainey.
Yale, 203 pp., £22.50, May 2005, 0 300 10707 2
Show More
Show More
... is not what I meant at all’). In Double Talk: The Erotics of Male Literary Collaboration (1989), Wayne Koestenbaum, for instance, argued that one of Eliot’s primary motivations in writing a poem so ‘maimed’, so chaotic and sprawling and in need of editorial intervention, was as a kind of seduction technique, a way of appealing to Pound for his ...

Ravishing

Colm Tóibín: Sex Lives of the Castrati, 7 October 2015

The Castrato: Reflections on Natures and Kinds 
by Martha Feldman.
California, 454 pp., £40, March 2015, 978 0 520 27949 0
Show More
Portrait of a Castrato: Politics, Patronage and Music in the Life of Atto Melani 
by Roger Freitas.
Cambridge, 452 pp., £22.99, May 2014, 978 1 107 69610 5
Show More
Show More
... appeared on the subject of castrati in recent years. In The Queen’s Throat, published in 1993, Wayne Koestenbaum offers an ingenious clue as to why we might have a great interest in the voices of the castrati. He makes a connection between modern psychoanalysis and a study of the sound the castrato made when he sang, lost to us now, sadly. ‘Both ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences