NEXT : DISCOVER ONE OF HISTORY'S MOST-CELEBRATED REAL-LIFE ROMANCES ...
OPINIONS OF "THE HADRIAN ENIGMA" - top online quotes from 25 Amazon purchasers ...
JANE (Canada), at Amazon USA
"I recommend it to any historical fiction fan, especially any fan of the redoubtable Mary Renault. ..."
J.R. Tomlin, author of historical fiction, at :- http://jeannetomlin.blogspot.com/
"Five stars ... a tour de force ..."
Elisa Rolle, Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer, USA & UK, & at : http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1092070.html
" ... an absorbing new book ... compelling writing ... action sequences that are brilliantly staged & paced ... on a higher plane than mere homoerotic titillation ... courageous & convincing ..."
Reader Down Under (Australia), at Amazon USA
"... extensively researched picture of life in the Roman Empire ... a mix of mystery, comedy, gay & straight romance - is an entertaining read ..."
Laura Staley, Historical Novels Review, USA, at :-
"... an age-old love story with a twist ... an unexpected delight ... his storyline hooked me immediately ..."
Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson of READER VIEWS, Austin TX, USA
"... You will feel engaged and challenged ..."
Nan Hawthorne, author Beloved Pilgrim, at Amazon USA
"... extremely readable ... it's a page turner ... Gardiner has written an interesting & gripping story ..."
Kim at http://www.desicritics.org/ India
"... Five Stars ... a compelling crime mystery ... a hard book to put down ..."
Terence Charters, Hobart, Australia, at Amazon USA
"... An adventure through Hadrian's world. The story is easy to read and full of the homoeroticism that we love about this era. ..."
P. Novotny, London, at Amazon UK
"... a definitive Five Star read for me ..."
Aleksandr Voinov, UK, reviewer at Speak Its Name
"Five Stars ... A masterful recreation of Ancient Rome ... the historical details are a delight ... characters are outlined in a vivid way which is like meeting old friends ... "
Ernest Gill, Hamburg, at Amazon USA & UK
"Five Stars ... as a reimagining of the Hadrian-Antinous relationship in the context of the age it is fascinating."
Muriel Perkins, Texas, at Amazon USA
" ... this is a novel about the nature of love ... but this is far from just being a gay romance. ..." Kit Moss, historical author, at :- http://kitmossreviews.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/the-hadrian-enigma-forbidden-history-by.html
"A truly exceptional book on 'What Greek Love" is all about ..."
John R. Shelton at Amazon USA
"Five Stars. I so enjoyed this book. Highly recommend it ... "
NOTE: Amazon USA's & UK's online book & ebook purchase sites with their 25 independent reader's reviews (fourteen awarding Five Stars for excellence!) can be read in full by clicking on :- http://www.amazon.com/Hadrian-Enigma-Forbidden-History/product-reviews/0980746906/ref=sr_1_1_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
THE HADRIAN ENIGMA: A Forbidden History
(C) George Gardiner
ISBN13: 978-0-9807469-1-4 (at Amazon USA, UK, Europe, Australia etc) in 498-page paperback or Kindle ebook.
The scene: ancient Rome, 130 years after Christ yet two centuries prior to Christianity being legal. Caesar Hadrian is the popular ruler of a vast pagan empire at the height of its power & wealth.
Hadrian, one of Rome's "five good emperors" searches for & eventually locates the love of his life .. Antinous, an elite Greek athlete, huntsman, & cavalry cadet. They become 'companions' under the ancient Greco-Roman mentoring tradition of an erastes (mentor) & his eromenos (student).
During an imperial pleasure tour of Egypt Antinous is discovered dead in the River Nile. Hadrian is distraught. Is the death a drunken prank gone wrong, suicide, murder, or something far more sinister? Hadrian assigns historian playboy Suetonius Tranquillus to investigate.
THE HADRIAN ENIGMA is the outlawed record of Caesar's investigation into one of history's most suspicious fatalities. It reveals more than Hadrian may want to know, or wants others to know. Set in a society increasingly reflecting facets of our own times, it portrays an era of torrid relationships, raging ambition, wealth inequalities, & uninhibited morals within a severely macho culture of honor, shame, pride & prejudice.
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COOL GAY STUFF introduces current news, media, & opinion selections in both columns ...
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
- the opening phrases from a fashion-industry reflection by Paul Flynn at The Guardian (UK), 26 April 2017 :-
'It used to be a tribal signal but as gay style has moved into the mainstream, the look has become harder to pin down. It’s forcing creatives to really push the boundaries if they want to make a statement.
When he was studying at Central Saint Martins, London, in the late 00s, Craig Green wrote his dissertation on the adoption of gay style subcultures by straight men. In the preceding decades, perfumed dandies, dilly boys, mods, skins, clones, new romantics, scallies, fierce vogueing divas and muscle Marys had all been sieved out of their natural habitat on to the high street for brief moments of mass consumption. But by the time Green – currently reigning menswear designer of the year at the British fashion awards – was weighing up his thesis, things had changed. The bears – hirsute, gay men – crowded on the dancefloor of London’s XXL nightclub were barely distinguishable from bearded Bon Iver fans.
A reciprocal shared wardrobe, common across menswear emerged. .... '
---- see Paul Flynn's extended article at www.theguardian.com/fashion/2017 at :-
Monday, April 24, 2017
---- a news item posted by Meagan Kashty at RealScreen (UK), 24 April 2017 :-
'The BBC has announced a season of programming to mark the 50th anniversary of The Sexual Offences Act 1967, which partially decriminalized homosexual acts that took place in private between two men over the age of 21.
Led by programming on BBC2 and BBC4, with other content across BBC radio and online, the Gay Britannia season will feature stories that celebrate the LGBTQ community, while challenging existing preconceptions and prejudices. .... '
---- see more of Meagan Kashty's post at RealScreen (UK) at :-
---- see too a news post on this forthcoming UK tv-&-radio season across tv & radio networks at Gay Times (UK), 24 April 2017 at :-
Sunday, April 23, 2017
---- some opening lines from a news report by David Grant at The Good Men Project (USA), 22 April 2017 :-
'Even when it feels tempting to pull the covers over your head, please keep going.” -- Hillary Clinton.
During a fundraising dinner for New York’s The Centre, she said, “Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”
It’s a phrase she’s used several times following Trump’s election, and one she first used while standing in the UN’s Palais des Nations in Geneva in 2011 as Secretary of State.
“I know that the election hit a lot of us hard,” she said while receiving The Centre’s Trailblazer Award.
“Even when it feels tempting to pull the covers over your head, please keep going.”
.... Then she suggested that “the progress that we fought for…that we celebrated and maybe even (took) for granted may not be as secure as we once expected.”
Clinton claimed that “when this administration rescinded protections for transgender students, my heart broke.” .... '
---- see more of Hilary Clinton's thoughts recorded at David Grant's post at :-
Thursday, April 20, 2017
---- the opening phrases from a news report posted by Brian Donnelly at The Herald (Scotland), 20th April 2017 :-
'GAY people will receive a formal apology from The Church of Scotland following its long "history of discrimination" under plans that signal another seismic softening of Kirk policy towards homosexuals.
In a landmark report, the influential Theological Forum will ask members of next month's General Assembly to atone for long-standing institutional prejudices against LGBT people by calling for an apology both "individually and corporately" on behalf of the church.
Another watershed proposal further paves the way towards greater acceptance of same-sex marriage by affirming that nominated ministers and deacons could be granted authority to preside over gay weddings provided there are protections for the "conscientious refusal" of clergy who do not wish to officiate such ceremonies. ....
.... The Kirk has been debating same-sex relationships for decades but the appointment of the first openly gay minister Rev Scott Rennie in 2009 and last year's decision by the General Assembly to allow ministers to be in same-sex marriages has fueled vigorous debate..... '
---- see more of Brian Donnelly's report at www.heraldscotland.com/news at Net address :-
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
---- opening phrases from an opinion-piece by Victoria A. Brownworth at CURVE: the best-selling Lesbian magazine (USA) 18th April, 2017 :-
'New York Times calls out Trump in a new editorial. The New York Times delivered a rebuking editorial to the Trump Administration: "The LGBT Trump Fallacy". The editorial was predicated upon what the majority of LGBT people knew during the 2016 election: that Donald Trump, presidential candidate, was being dishonest when he claimed he would be "better than Hillary Clinton" for LGBT people.
Clinton had decades of supporting the LGBT community on her resume. She is the only First Lady to ever walk in a Pride parade, which she did in 2000.
She also walked in the 2016 Pride parade–which Trump did not. In 2011, then-Secretary of State Clinton became the highest-placed government official in the world to declare that "gay rights are human rights" in a long speech delivered in Geneva on human rights abuses against LGBT people worldwide.
From Trump there were only presumptions that somehow, because he was a native New Yorker (Clinton was a two-time senator from New York and has lived there since 2000), he would be more open to LGBT issues than previous Republican candidates. But the 2016 GOP platform was one of the most oppressively anti-LGBT ever, and despite Trump’s then-campaign manager Paul Manafort working to change the platform’s language on Russia and the Ukraine, no such last-minute efforts were made to make the anti-LGBT language less Draconian. .... '
---- see more of Victoria A. Brownworth's opinion piece at www.curvemag.com plus videos at :-
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
---- two selected pars from a substantial book review by Eric Newman at the Los Angeles Review Of Books (USA), 17 April 2017 :-
JOHN RECHY’S new novel, the slow-burning thriller After the Blue Hour, pulls the reader through a series of tense scenes reminiscent of the foreboding, early frames of Jordan Peele’s horror-as-social-commentary hit Get Out. A wealthy, white admirer invites John Rechy, a young, gay Mexican-American writer, to join him on a private island, where the man lives with his girlfriend, Sonya, and his teenaged son, Constantine.
Amid an atmosphere of imminent, violent erotic tension drenched in Cuba Libres and oppressive heat, the trio of islanders pepper their visitor with questions about his race, his sexual exploits, his philosophy, and his writing. ....
.... In returning to the moment before he wrote City of Night, Rechy gives us a fictional account of its composition at a time of crisis and confusion — one no less true for avoiding strictly factual autobiography, as his narrator tells us. The younger Rechy wants to write about the “clowning demonic angels” that constellated his life as a hustler across Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and New Orleans.
The older Rechy, spirit and voice of After the Blue Hour, worries over how that writing will be understood, what it will inspire, and what worlds it will put forth. ....
---- see more of Eric Newman's extended critique of John Rechy's latest work at the LA Review of Books at :-
Grove Press USA; 224 Pages.
Monday, April 17, 2017
---- four selected brief pars from a fascinating extended & well-portrayed post by Will Kohler at Back2Stonewell.com (USA), 16 April 2017 :-
Many gay men under the age of 30 today are totally clueless of almost lost tradition of the Sunday Tea Dance. (A tradition that really must be brought back.) So here’s a little history primer on the tradition of the “Sunday T-dance” and how and why we embraced it in the LGBT culture.
Historically, tea was served in the afternoon, either with snacks (“low tea”) or with a full meal (“high tea” or “meat tea”). High Tea eventually moved earlier in the day, sometimes replacing the midday “luncheon” and settled around 11 o’clock, becoming the forerunner of what we know as “brunch”.
From the late 1800’s to well into the pre-WWI era in both America and England, late afternoon (low) tea service became the highlight of society life. As dance crazes swept both countries, tea dances became increasingly popular as places where single women and their gentlemen friends could meet — the singles scene of the age.'....
.... Gay people, of course, were still largely underground in the 50s, but it was in these discreet speakeasies that social (nonpartnered) dancing was evolving. It was illegal for men to dance with men, or for women to dance with women. In the event of a raid, gay men and lesbian women would quickly change partners to mixed-couples. Eventually, this led to everyone sort of dancing on their own. ... '
---- see more of Will Kohler's history of the (gay) tea-dance and the evolution of gay dance styles across US disco-floors through the last half of the 20th Century at :-
Saturday, April 15, 2017
---- two selected introductory pars from an essay by Pooja Bedi at Heartchakra (India), republished in The Times of India, 16 April 2017 :-
'Sex!!! It seems humans can never get enough of it. The purpose of sex is procreation, but for the human race the recreational aspect is what drives them. It drives them to exhilaration and to despair. The lure and fantasy of regular sex is the reason so many choose to marry, the pursuit of better sex is why so many choose to be adulterous, and the lack of satisfying sex, a major reason so many choose to exit their relationship and marriages. ....
.... When you shut your eyes, and listen to a romantic song, you inevitably think of touching, holding, kissing and crave physically intimate moments. So the astounding part is, that people get into a relationship for intimacy, but once in a relationship, it is the one aspect that gets least focused on as the journey of creating lives, jobs, families etc takes over. .... '
---- see more of Pooja Bedi's essay at The Times of India at :-
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
---- it may possess nil 'gay' content, yet this is a selected par from a substantial essay written to remind us of the value of the printed word in an increasingly electronically-visual age, posted by Fiona Clair at (the ever-interesting) The University News (USA), 10 April 2017 :-
' .... I am now a bonafide reading fanatic. I still find my niche in the sappiest of YA romance novels, but I have learned through the years that it does not really matter what you read. All that matters is that you read something. It’s easy to get caught up in the latest gadgets and technologies of today and let reading fall to the bottom of the “things to do when bored” list. Yet reading is such a personal and emotional activity that has survived throughout history. It is how our ancestors learned and how their ancestors learned before them. It links us with the past; it predicts the future; it brings us to different worlds; it makes people immortal. .... '
---- see more of Fiona Clair's personal literary journey at www.unewsonline.com at :-
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
---- the introductory par to a post by Kevin Curley at Third Sector (UK), 10 April 2017 :-
'It is 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act 1967 decriminalised male homosexuality in England and Wales. The extent to which our society has changed since then is illustrated by the fact that the Westminster parliament, with 35 out gay MPs, is the most diverse of any in the world in terms of sexual orientation. But many challenges remain for those from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and others community. ....
---- see more of Kevin Curley's interesting observations at www.thirdsector.uk at :-
(Kevin Curley is a voluntary sector adviser in the UK)
Sunday, April 9, 2017
---- the opening pars from a substantial archaeological news report by Alex Bollinger posted at LGBTQ Nation (USA), 9 April 2017 :-
'Pompeii (Italy) was a Roman city destroyed and buried in A.D. 79 by a volcanic eruption. The instant death and burial in ash and pumice preserved the village and made it the source of an extraordinary amount of information about what Ancient Rome was like.
Two bodies that were holding each other, with one person’s head resting on the other’s chest, were previous thought to be two young women and were even labeled “The Two Maidens.” Testing this week showed that they both had male DNA and that they weren’t immediately, biologically related. CAT scans revealed that they were probably 18- and 20-years-old.
One of the researchers posited the possibility that these people were gay lovers, and that was the eye-catching possibility that made it into multiple headlines about the story. .... '
---- see more about "the two maidens" as described by Alex Bollinger at LGBTQ Nation at :-
Saturday, April 8, 2017
---- selected lines from an extended news post about the well-known BBC(UK) tv-show by Out in Perth (Western Australia), a well-regarded gay-oriented news-&-opinion press, 8th April 2017 (with thanks) :-
'Last week news broke that the Doctor’s new companion Bill, who is played by (female) Pearl Mackie, will be a lesbian. It’s the first time the Doctor’s sidekick has been gay in the show’s more than 50 year long history.
Mackie joins the show in its 2017 season which goes to air later this month. She’ll join existing cast members The Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi and his companion Nardole, played by Little Britain star Matt Lucas ....
.... Tovey has often been touted as an actor who could take on the role of the Doctor. The actor auditioned for the part back in 2010 when David Tennant left the show. The role went to Matt Smith, who later passed the baton to Capaldi. ....
.... 'Tovey has often been touted as an actor who could take on the role of the Doctor. The actor auditioned for the part back in 2010 when David Tennant left the show. The role went to Matt Smith, who later passed the baton to Capaldi. .... '
---- see more of Out In Perth's substantial report at its website of :-
Friday, April 7, 2017
---- the opening pars of an extended article by Bianca Palmisano at PsychiatryAdvisor (USA), 5 April 2017 :-
'The occurrence of eating disorders is 3 times higher in gay men than in straight men, and nearly 15% of all gay men report dealing with anorexia or bulimia during their lifetime.1 However, most discussions about eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and poor body image center on the experiences of women and girls, leaving gaps in today's mental health intervention strategies.
Why Gay Men?
Gay men and straight women experience similar pressure through media portrayals of unattainable standards of beauty. Photographs of women are airbrushed to glamorize unhealthy thinness, while gay men are compared with muscular Adonises with 6-pack abs and no body fat. Michael Everett, MHS, an HIV educator and chief executive officer of Intimacy and Colour in Riverside, Georgia, explains: “Even within public health, the ads geared toward gay men present images of muscled men with small waistlines, which is impossible for every gay man to live up to and is not the only representation of good health.” .... '
---- see more of this persuasive, if provocative, essay by Bianca Palmisano at PsychiatryAdvisor at :- http://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/practice-management/eating-disorders-and-body-dysmoprhia-in-gay-male-populations/article/648755/
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
---- excerpts from a news report at Reuters (USA), 4th April 2017 :-
'A U.S. appeals court, for the first time ever, on Tuesday ruled that federal civil rights law protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees from discrimination in the workplace.
The ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago represents a major legal victory for the gay rights movement.
In its 8-3 decision, the court bucked decades of rulings that gay people are not protected by the milestone civil rights law, because they are not specifically mentioned in it.
"For many years, the courts of appeals of this country understood the prohibition against sex discrimination to exclude discrimination on the basis of a person's sexual orientation," Chief Judge Diane Wood wrote for the majority. "We conclude today that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination." .... '
---- see more of this Reuters report & its details at www.reuters.com (with thanks) at :-
---- and check a related story at USNews (USA) at :-
---- plus check the photo of the 1964 document in the sidebar column at right.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
---- two brief excerpts from an extended BBC-UK programming report by Ciara Wardlow at Film School Rejects (USA), 3rd April 2017 :-
'In the past month or so, we’ve heard about Power Rangers’ Trini the Yellow Ranger, the “first queer big screen superhero”, and Disney’s first “exclusively gay moment” (verdict is still out on what that even means) in the live-action Beauty and the Beast remake. Last week Doctor Who joined the party by announcing that the Twelfth Doctor’s latest companion, Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie), is openly gay — a first for the series.
Saturday, April 1, 2017
---- pars from an hilariously speculative opinion-piece by George Gene Gustines at The New York Times (USA), 30th March 2017 :-
'The best news about the revelation that one (only one?) of the Power Rangers may be gay has been the lack of calls to boycott the film. In the brief but much-talked-about scene, the colorful teammates of the Yellow Ranger realize that she may be having girlfriend — not boyfriend — problems. It is a quiet moment and a small step forward for the representation of diverse sexuality in superhero movies. What stands out even more is that moviegoers didn’t bat an eye, propelling the film to a surprisingly strong $40.5 million opening weekend. ....
.... But where are the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender superheroes, who have been protecting the innocent for more than two decades?
---- see more of George Gene Gustines' provocative post at www.nytimes.com at :-
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
---- opening phrases from a UK tv-news report by Josh Jackman at PinkNews (UK), 28th March 2017 :-
'SHERLOCK writer and star Mark Gatiss has curated a BBC (UK) series about LGBT people’s lives over the past 100 years in Britain.
QUEERS will be an eight-part series of 15-minute-long episodes made up of monologues from new and established writers.
It will air on BBC4 after being performed on stage at the The Old Vic (London) in July.
The BBC also announced earlier this year that it would mark the anniversary by airing a drama about the Lord Montagu case, a famous legal battle over anti-gay legislation which sparked calls to decriminalise homosexuality.
Creators of episodes for the show include experienced screenwriters Jackie Clune and Brian Fillis, as well as five LGBT writers who the BBC is giving their first chance to write for TV.
Gatiss, who has also written episodes and novels of Doctor Who, said it was “a privilege to be working with such brilliant writers and actors. ....'
---- see more of Josh Jackman's report at www.pinknews.co.uk at :-
---- see another further report at Culturess (USA), 29th March 2017 at :-
Sunday, March 26, 2017
---- a reprint from 2016 of the opening few sentences from a challenging opinion-piece by Jim Downs at The Huffington Post (USA), 22 Feb 2016 ... which seems increasingly more timely for the gay community today :-
'According to the standard historical narrative, gay life in the 1970s was all about discos and sex and a generally superficial libertine attitude about life — and today, so we often imagine, gay life is more rounder, fuller as a culture and more varied in its expressions.
But the reality is the exact opposite: The 70s, despite the shaking of tambourines and iridescent lights, witnessed a flourishing of gay culture that went far beyond sex, while today gay life is being defined more and more as being purely about sex.
Today, more gay men overemphasize the sexual part of being gay at the expense of developing social and cultural connections. To that end, they put more time into their body—weightlifting at the gym, leading the trend in CrossFit, and negotiating the most effective diets. Their appearance has become the leading marker of their gay identity.
Many gay men, in turn, are hostile to those that do not fit their ideal body type and refuse to engage those who do sexually appeal to them, which has led to a breakdown of community among gay men and a disintegration of gay culture.....'
---- see more of Jim Downs' provocative opinion -piece at www.huffingtonpost.com (which always has its fingers on the pulse of gay community lifestyles) at its original website at:-
Friday, March 24, 2017
---- visiting the special character of London's urban enclaves, as observed by Sam Rogg at wheretraveler.com (UK), 23rd March 2017 :-
'As you walk through Soho, an area famed for its flamboyant shops and fun-loving bars, it’s hard to believe that being gay was ever a crime in London. And yet until 1967, like much of the world, you could be convicted in England simply for loving the wrong person.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England, and while the transition hasn’t always been smooth, today the capital boasts one of the largest gay populations in Europe and a thriving LGBT scene that can be enjoyed by all.
Soho and Beyond
Spanning one square mile near Oxford Street, Soho is the capital’s most famous district and the historic epicentre of London’s LGBT scene. It’s here that people of all sexualities have sought refuge over the centuries, including writer Oscar Wilde, who was eventually jailed for his indiscretion. They were drawn to the area by its streets lined with liberal-minded theatres, pubs and shops, many of which still stand today. Elsewhere in the city you’ll find more gay nightlife .... '
---- see more of Sam Rogg's informative survey of 'gay London's' special enclaves at :-
Thursday, March 23, 2017
---- the opening pars from a new review of James Ivory's 1987 UK film adaptation of E.M. Forster's daring 1914 novel, critiqued by David Lamble at The Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco), 23rd March 2017 :-
'There's a moment in the movie version of gay author E.M. Forster's novel Maurice that still packs an emotional punch over a century after it was conceived.
The title character, an easy-going if intellectually shallow stockbroker who has enjoyed an active gay life in the permissive precincts of Cambridge University, suddenly faces the brutal reality of being dumped by his snob of a boyfriend.
Maurice (pronounced Morris) Hall is dumbstruck when Clive Dunham informs him that he's ending their relationship in order to mate with an as-yet unknown female. In the scene, Maurice (a quietly powerful turn from then-newcomer James Wilby) collapses in tears before the unfeeling Clive. "What an ending! What an ending! What's going to happen to me? I'm done for!"
Nervously backing out of the room, Clive urges Maurice to find himself a woman to marry. Maurice refuses, and the boys part. Maurice, abjectly miserable, is left to sublimate his desire by offering boxing lessons to slum kids.
A diffident man in Edwardian England runs the risk of losing status and even his freedom if he follows his heart in director James Ivory's elegant, erotically charged adaptation.....
---- see more of David Lamble's sensitive review of James Ivory's 1987 film adaptation of E.M. Forster's 1914 novel (hidden from publication until 1970) at The Bay Area Reporter online at :-
---- Fans of Maurice are now twice blessed. First, with a 30th anniversary screening at the upcoming San Francisco International Film Festival, part of a festival Tribute to Director James Ivory on Fri., April 14, 6 p.m. at SFMOMA, shown in a special 4K digital restoration overseen by Ivory and cinematographer Pierre Lhomme. Plus there's the Criterion Collection Maurice two-disc DVD set.
Disc 1 presents the film in a new high-definition digital transfer, enhanced for widescreen television.
Sunday, March 19, 2017
---- the opening phrases from a challenging opinion-piece by Avneet Sharma at The Varsity (University of Toronto, Canada), 18th March 2017 :-
'Growing up in the suburbs with a traditional Desi family and coming to terms with my sexual orientation, I had hope that one day I would fit into a tangible gay community. I placed high expectations on dating apps like Grindr to provide that sense of community.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
---- the Introduction to a review of an extended cultural analysis from a women's perspective, offered by Cassandra Langer at The Gay and Lesbian Review (USA), 1st March, 2017 :-
'NEWLY TRANSLATED from the French, this intriguing inquiry is divided into three parts and twelve information-packed chapters. From the outset, author Nicole G. Albert sets out to show how male writers and artists propagated falsehoods about lesbianism in fin-de-siècle France.
She argues that the renewal of interest in Sappho is inseparable from the vogue for antiquity that reached a high point in the 1890s. She shows how, between the mid-19th and early 20th centuries, a veritable cottage industry arose to produce books and pictures dealing with lesbians.
Lesbian Decadence is a kind of decadent tour of lesbian Paris according to mostly male writers and illustrators obsessed with what women do with each other in bed. .... '
---- see more of Cassandra Langer's review of Nicole G. Albert's Lesbian Decadence at :-
LESBIAN DECADENCE by Nicole G. Albert
Translated by Nancy Erber and William Peniston
Harrington Park Press. 380 pages, $40.
Saturday, March 4, 2017
----- the opening pars from a substantial review by Marco Cerritos at HYPABLE (USA), 3 March 2017 :-
'It may be a gay romance, but shouldn't be limited to LGBT themes and features.
One of the films that united audiences at this year’s Sundance film festival was the steamy romance Call Me By Your Name. A movie so lush and full of life it quickly proved a force to be reckoned with among the institution’s top awards.
It tells the simple story of a young boy’s first romantic encounter in the Italian countryside during the summer of 1983. This may sound conventional but the film’s execution is far from routine, making it stand out as a unique and must-see story.
---- see more of Marco Cerritos' praising review at HYPABLE at :-
NOW, in this column : SELECTED TRAILERS OF RECENT GAY-THEMED OR GAY-INTEREST CINEMA ....
HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY review of "THE HADRIAN ENIGMA" ...
A fair-haired young man, dressed in rich ceremonial armor, is found dead in the Nile River. When he is identified, everyone realizes the dangerous political implications of this death, because Antinous was the eromenos—the lover and protégé—of the Roman Emperor Hadrian.
A grief-stricken Hadrian appoints two members of the court, Suetonius and his patron Clarus, to find out how and why Antinous died. They have two days to find the answer, permission to interrogate anyone except the Emperor and Empress, and the promise that they may forfeit their lives if they fail to satisfy Hadrian.
Failure is a distinct possibility. While Antinous was well-liked and respected, the circle of suspects is wide, as it often will be when the victim is the confidant of an absolute ruler. The two sleuths quickly draft unlikely but able assistants to help them, including a scribe and an observant, multilingual prostitute.
The book offers an extensively researched picture of life in the Roman Empire of 130 AD. Gardiner is equally convincing when writing about imperial politics and succession laws, marriage and sexual customs, philosophy and the theater.
But The Hadrian Enigma—a mix of mystery, comedy, gay and straight romance—is an entertaining read.
THE HADRIAN ENIGMA | A review by historical fiction author J.R. Tomlin ...
" .... In 130 AD, while accompanying the Emperor Hadrian on a tour up the Nile, the beautiful youth Antinous plunges into the Nile and drowns. Hadrian, near maddened with grief, declares Antinous a god. However, Suetonius just happens to be along on this imperial tour. Already the author of juicy books on contemporary Roman life, he is perfectly placed to investigate this mysterious death, so Emperor Hadrian commands him to investigate and find the murderer within 48 hours or suffer the consequences.
In the imperial compound on the Nile, Suetonius searches for clues. Here, semi-isolated, the bubbling cauldron of the Roman court has been transplanted to a fabulous tent city. Yet, the mystery of Egypt is an ever present backdrop to this baffling death. .... Why was Antinous clad in heavy ceremonial parade armor and weapons when he died? How did he come by a slit on his left wrist and strange marks on his throat? And how can Suetonius unravel all this when the Emperor refuses to let Suetonius even touch the body to examine it? The characterization is vivid and the historicity meticulous in this novel. I enjoyed savoring the characters and setting as Suetonius unraveled the imperial goings on. .... "
See more of J.R. Tomlin's review at her author's blogsite "Writing & More" at : http://jeannetomlin.blogspot.com/
AN UNEDITED REVIEW OF 'THE HADRIAN ENIGMA"....
By a reader down under (New South Wales, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is for: THE HADRIAN ENIGMA: A Forbidden History (Paperback)
George Gardiner's absorbing new book, which focuses on the relationship between the Roman emperor Hadrian and his young paramour, Antinous of Bithynia, quite possibly heralds the thrilling emergence of a new Mary Renault. (As uneven as it is in some places, to my mind it is a big improvement on Margeurite Yourcenar's book on Hadrian from the 1950s).
Gardiner begins his narrative with the discovery of the dead body of the beautiful youth, who has apparently drowned in the Nile. He coopts as his central figure cum narrator the actual historical figure of Suetonius Tranquillus, who is charged by the supreme colonial ruler Hadrian Caesar with the urgent responsibility of uncovering the reasons for, as well as the manner of, the death. Suetonius works night and day as a kind of investigator/ prosecutor and his dogged inquiry drives the plot. The narrative unfolds as a kind of antique murder mystery, then, and one of the book's great strengths is in the well-paced twists and turns of the plot, throwing up a number of suspects and scenarios along the way that keep the reader intrigued until the very end. Gardiner's humour shines through this character, who is forced to carry out his investigation under the double pressure of a pressing deadline (why is Hadrian so intent of winding it all up in such a short time, we wonder) and the threat of execution if he doesn't come up with the answers.
This is compelling writing. Suetonius is a good choice, as he is known for his history of a dozen Caesars, and the author brings him vividly and humorously to life. Indeed, Gardiner skilfully and imaginitively re-works established historical figures and creates a cast of composite characters where necessary to serve his narrative ends. The fact that he can do this convincingly, with such an extraordinary mixture of ethnicities and beliefs, is writing of a high order. The mastery of research is remarkable, not only for Gardiner's command of the details of ethnic artefacts, weaponry, costume, architecture and so on, but also for the complex politics of Roman colonial expansionism in its abrasive encounter with other cultures. The era was marked by a complex intermingling of belief systems, and Gardiner's fictional world is woven from a rich and amazingly detailed fabric. Very occasionally the research seems almost oversupplied but for the most part it serves to underpin his imaginative reconstructions with persuasive authenticity.
Also among the book's strengths are the finely imagined conversations between characters, both historical and concocted, that move the investigation so beautifully along. There are certain set action sequences pieces, too, that are brilliantly staged and paced--the boar hunt, for example, when Hadrian rescues Antinous, and the marvellous climactic scene where Suetonius brings his prosecutorial charges home (albeit uncertainly, with some lines of inquiry that don't pan out).
The only thing that broke the spell for me was Gardiner's occasional jarring choices in language idioms. There's no doubt that the language(s) of the time and place would have been salted with colourful vulgarities, and the dialogue should reflect that, but some of the terms chosen have such strong contemporary associations for us, here at the beginning of the 21st Century, that they they jar and jolt in the reading. `Toyboy' is one example, `getting your rocks off,' `muscular stud' and `gaga' are others that don't ring well to my ear. It's a pity, because sometimes they drop the reader right out of the spell he weaves so skilfully, otherwise.
In contrast, many of the scenes and dialogue move with stately Latinate constructions within a convincing and well-sustained narrative voice. Gardiner has set himself the difficult task of creating a hybrid language that can include both convincing formal language, and everyday vulgarisms, that ring true within his own reconstruction, yet sound right to our contemporary hearing. It's a delicate juggling act and sometimes he drops his balls. (If he had perhaps reserved their use strictly in dialogue, say, to help with characterisation? Perhaps some of his choices might be better realised in a second edition.)
Another of the book's great strengths is hinted at by the book's sub-title. It's a `forbidden history' not simply because Hadrian issues an edict that only the official `party line' should be recorded (and by implication, Suetonius' project of recording events for us to read goes dangerously gainst the edict of his Emperor). It's forbidden history too because Gardiner has constructed a counter-narrative to the centuries of heavily judgemental readings of this iconic same-sex relationship. Positive affirmations of same-sex bonding were exiled in silence as soon as the early Christian commentators started to impose their dominant narratives over all acceptable behaviours and ideals.
In Yourcenar's 50s version, Antinous's moody adolescent pouting makes Hadrian looks like a bit of a fool for dallying with the youth, but Gardiner proposes a heroic reading here that highlights the finer elements of the erastes/eromenos partnering, which was not only tolerated but celebrated in ancient times. For me, this moves the book onto a higher plane than a mere homoerotic titillation and places the relationship where it belongs, in the heroic company of Patroclus/Achilles and the legendary band of Theban warrior-lovers.
Gardiner successfully and daringly recuperates the much-despised and consistently misrepresented ideal of man-to-man love, here based on respect, admiration and the inspiration of noble ideals, as much as the undeniable and enjoyable erotic attraction, which we see only fitful glimpses of among sporting figures and others today. During the continuing culture wars of our own times it's a relief to read this inspiring alternative with its healing potential as an affirmative voice emerging from the diminishing, culturally imposed silence.
In a strange way `The Hadrian Enigma' is reminiscent of E.M. Forster's gay-affirmative novel `Maurice', which Forster was unable to publish during his lifetime. Forster's wistful happy ending for a same sex coupling was unthinkable in the mid-twentieth Century, and even today, it's hard to read such partnering as anything other than morally sinful - such is our pervasive indoctrination by churchmen - or psychologically misdirected (`homosexuality' is still construed as a kind of `failed development' in conventional psychological readings). Certainly such a relationship will still be regarded as second best to the pressing imperative of reproduction. Gardiner has struck a blow with this courageous and convincing re-telling.
So, for me this is a 5 star book for the outstanding and detailed research and the creative work that underpins the imaginative reconstructions; at least 4 stars for its plotting, but only 3 stars for the strange inconsistencies in his prose style. This averages out to a solidly earned 4 stars.
I do hope Gardiner is deep at work on his next book of historical fiction. He certainly has all the skills required.
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Bye-bye for now from George Gardiner's THE HADRIAN ENIGMA rainbow-community site ...