- BOOKS I - ALBERT RUSSO - LIVRES I
- Albert Russo
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Beyond this Russo seems to be echoing, in a sense, the highest wisdom espoused by a character, named Candide, created by another author who wrote in French, whose final pronouncement on life, following a series of travails, was that the highest good depended on "cultivating one's garden," a rebuff to the Reverend Pangloss famed for his insistance that this was "the best of all possible worlds.
Something like this modus vivendi distinguishes the book's more serene characters from those, like Leodine, who is buffeted by life's often painful vicissitudes.
BOOKS I - ALBERT RUSSO - LIVRES I
Yolande's ethnically mixed parents, the family's long-time servants, and an old Tutsi chieftain and renowned wise man, Mwami Ndeze, who is encountered during the family's African idylls, all seem to possess this Candide-like quality. In short they know themselves, they know their strengths, limitations, and places in the greater scheme of things, and perhaps because of this they emerge from life's tests largely unscathed and relatively content. Farrell, such as My Days of Anger , a novel written with a similarly understated literary touch.
In addition, Russo gives us some striking scenes of the African landscape, as well as incisive commentary on the social and political forces and events that have formed the continent's recent past and continue to forge its sometimes turbulent present. Albert Russo's The Black Ancesto r is another fine work of novelistic storytelling by a master craftsman at the top of his form and is highly recommended for many reasons, including its ability to remind us of the existence of living hearts and souls in a world that all too often teems with darkness.
Russo and Tucker explore the struggles, both humorous and tragic, that determine and reveal human character through the experiences of exile. We arrived in Kigoma, Belgian Congo, on December 2, , and on the same day we boarded a small ship which brought us across Lake Tanganyika, to the town of Albertville, our first leg in the Belgian Congo. What a surprise to meet there Beno, one of my childhood friends! We were so happy to be together that he put the two of us up in his tiny hut-like abode for several days.
At last we had what resembled a bed, a real mattress, with proper sheets and pillowcases, and we ate fresh vegetables, grilled chicken and tropical fruits, such as mangoes, pomegranates, avocadoes and papaya, which we had never tasted before, and yet relished to the last morsel.
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At first I found mangoes to be somewhat bland, though they were quite juicy, the papaya, we ate with a zest of lemon and, contrary to the European habit of having avocadoes as an appetizer, we took it for the desert, with a sprinkle of cane sugar. What luxury, since back home only the very rich could afford some of these exotic fruits! Some of them were terrifying, especially at night, we even asked our host if a lion or some hungry crocodile might come and eat us while we were asleep.
He laughed his head off, yet kept us wondering. Beno accompanied us to the station in Albertville, and we boarded a train for Kabalo, which had only wooden planks for seats. This too was a unique experience, that lasted a little less than a week. The boat had to stop quite often for refuelling - its boilers functioned with wood coal - which allowed our captain and other amateur hunters to use their skills and bring us back some game; this is how I got my first taste of antelope, wild pheasant and warthog meat.
The boat also served as a floating market for the villagers ashore. Hardware and clothes were sold in exchange for fresh fish, fowl, vegetables and fruit. More than once did the boat get stuck, because of large banks of papyrus. Hours of work and dozens of African hands were needed to remove them. That river crossing remains one of the most spectacular adventures I experienced in the heartland of the Congo. Bukama was the terminal point. My new boss, Mr. Robert Toledano, came to receive me on the quay.
We barely got acquainted and two hours later I jumped on the train headed for Kamina, in northern Katanga, which was to be my final destination. I have many skins. I am far from the core of an onion. And those who survived, what must they have thought? Work will make you free. Dig deep for a learning of the hands. Versione italiana della "Shalom Tower Syndrome" romanica: Norway to Spitzberg - pages photos: Albert Russo - Blurb. Saint Malo with love. The savannah stretched in monotonous coppertones, dotted here and there by blisterlike anthills, then tiny clusters of huts would unstring under the plane's tarnished wings.
But the bush reigned sovereign and ubiquitous, as if between it and the atmosphere any other object or living particle became an intruder.
A soft rustle drew him out of his musings: She wore her hair in narrow braids and the whiteness of her teeth sparkled in contrast with her ebony features. Fabien stared at her for a while, projecting his thoughts into the velvety pupils of the young woman, imagining her draped in a gaudy loin-cloth.
She was startingly beautiful. You may also order the book through Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Booksam. Critic and professor of English at C. He is the editor of the prize-winning literary journal Confrontation, and the author of Africa in Modern Literature and other works. His poetry has been collected in Homes ot Locks and mysteries, and appears in leading periodicals.
He has also written a biography of Joseph Conrad and of Sam Shepard, both critically acclaimed. Science fiction and fantasy are other paths trodden by Albert Russo in his quest for a pre-Babel reconciliation of man with himself in all his constitutive dimensions, linguistic and social, but also generic and transcendental. With his intense interest in African life, the young Russo also engaged with knowledge beyond narrow stratifications of colonial custom.
For many years he has been resident in Paris. Wherever he has lived, Russo has concerned himself with one hard-burning commitment: He draws on the many cultures he has been privileged to know, and he is always respectul of diversity. But Russo is no mere reporter. While he works with words, and while his work is concerned with place and the spirit of place, he is more interested in visitation than visits. These visitations are of course a form of fabulism--that is, utilizing the fable as a subtext of the animal nature of man.
In one of his recent fictions, for example, he writes of a man who falls in love with a tree--his love is so ardent he wills himself into a tree in order to root out any foreignness in his love affair. In this personal fable Russo suggests the Greek myth of Pan love and even the Adamastor legend, that Titan who has turned cruelly into a rock out of unbridled passion for a goddess. Russo suggests other legends as well, and certainly the crossing of boundaries, psychological, emotional as well as physical and territorial--hybrid phenomena now sweeping into the attention of all of Africa and the Middle East--is to be found within the feelingful contours of his tale.
Fabulism is now a recognized presence in our literary lives. It goes by other names: Underneath all the manifestations of this phenomenon is the artistic credo that creation is larger than life, and that the progeny created enhances the life that gave being to it. In sum, the artist is saying that life is larger than life if given the opportunity to be lived magnificently.
His fiction represents, in essence, a belief, in the endless perceivable possibilities of mind. For his art, while enlarging, is not showered with sun. His dark hues are those of ironic vision. Russo may be said to be very much a part of the beginning of this century.
His concentration is on the inevitabilities of unknowingness; thus his resort is to the superrational as a way of steadying himself in the darkness. David Alexander , Small Press Review. As goes the Zen proverb, the difference between heaven and hell is the thickness of a leaf.
In the stories making up the Crowded World of Solitude collection Albert Russo may be said to be writing about what Indian gurus call avidya, and what Tibetan holy men call namparshespa, the darkness of the mind, obscured by multiple veils of ignorance. Most, indeed virtually all, of the characters in Russo's short stories are lost in existential mazes, and most don't have a clue about how to find their way out.
In some ways I see Albert Russo as a kind of shaman or holy man. Writing is simultaneously his religion and the cross to which he's nailed. He walks a path through a labyrinth, searching for truth, and he does not fear the distant snorts and echoes of cloven hoofs that may signal the presence of a Minotaur in the maze. He seems to have sought for this core reality -- call it samadhi -- amid the four corners of the earth, and many of the stories do indeed seem much like reports from the bloody beachheads of existence, Russo as life's war correspondent pinned down by enemy fire making an effort to be heard above the din of mortars dropping closer and closer with each true line, each true sentence.
In reading these stories you get the impression that all Russo's characters are playing "truth or dare" games with one another, facing off in mortal combats in which the losers can end up maimed for life; the special grace or holiness that invests them at first destroyed or severely damaged by contact with the unclean. But that's one of the things Russo's telling us -- life, beneath the surface, is like this.
We are as innocent and unknowing of the full implications of the transformations and metamorphoses we undergo as water changing to ice or the head of a match struck suddenly into flame. This collection is as much a manifesto as a retrospective, as much a biography as a work of fiction, as much an engrossing statement of fact as a diverting concoction of fable.
The stories, sometimes outwardly simple, are dense with meaning beneath the surface. Read once, most will haunt the mind till read at least twice. Crystals in a Shock Wave. The first volume of the trilogy, Beyond the Great Water, is divided into two sections, part one being African Stories, part two being mainstream short fiction. The theme of metamorphosis, of the transformational moment and revelational event, of existential sin and arcane punishment, seems to run through all three books.
I am uncertain of whether Russo himself is aware of this or not, for his writings surely probe the depths of his own unconscious mind from which they dredge up archetypal images from a deep internal reservoir. The stories deal with the mutability of existence, and at their conclusions, something, usually the characters, sometimes society or even larger aspects of the physical universe, is changed forever; often, it must be added, for the worse.
Sex is a frequent catalyst for profound change. Many characters in the stories experience a kind of death and rebirth as a result of engagement in the sexual act. It is sometimes as if the participants themselves, rather than a third entity, are born of these carnal unions and the re-enactments of original sin they symbolize. These sorts of coded, subtextual ways of writing about homosexuality were often necessary, since up until the s British authors could be prosecuted for writing openly about homosexuality, and in the U. Many early Gothic fiction authors, like Matthew Lewis , William Thomas Beckford and Francis Lathom , were homosexual, and would sublimate these themes and express them in more acceptable forms, using transgressive genres like Gothic and horror fiction.
In Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer , the close friendship between a young monk and a new novice is scrutinized as potentially "too like love. A Year in Arcadia: Kyllenion by Augustus, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg is "the earliest known novel that centers on an explicitly male-male love affair". The Romantic movement gaining momentum at the end of the 18th century allowed men to "express deep affection for each other", and the motif of ancient Greece as "a utopia of male-male love" was an acceptable vehicle to reflect this, but some of Duke August's contemporaries felt that his characters "stepped over the bounds of manly affection into unseemly eroticism.
A Story of Pennsylvania by Bayard Taylor , the story of a newly engaged young man who finds himself instead falling in love with another man. Martin called it "quite explicit in its adoption of a political stance toward homosexuality" and notes that the character Philip "argues for the 'rights' of those 'who cannot shape themselves according to the common-place pattern of society. The new "atmosphere of frankness" created by the Enlightenment sparked the production of pornography like John Cleland 's infamous Fanny Hill , which features a rare graphic scene of male homosexual sex.
Paris theater society and the demi-monde are long accustomed to his presence and role as go-between; he knows all the women, escorts them, and runs errands for them. He is "a parasite, with even a touch of pimp", but also a more sympathetic figure than most of the men, as much a moral coward as them but physically brave and not a stereotype.
By the 20th century, discussion of homosexuality became more open and society's understanding of it evolved. A number of novels with explicitly gay themes and characters began to appear in the domain of mainstream or art literature. A Memorandum was the first in which the homosexual couple were happy and united at the end. Initially published privately under the pseudonym "Xavier Mayne", it tells the story of a British aristocrat and a Hungarian soldier whose new friendship turns into love. Forster earned a prominent reputation as a novelist while concealing his own homosexuality from the broader British public.
In , he privately penned Maurice , a bildungsroman that follows a young, upper-middle-class man through the self-discovery of his own attraction to other men, two relationships, and his interactions with an often uncomprehending or hostile society. The book is notable for its affirming tone and happy ending. I was determined that in fiction anyway, two men should fall in love and remain in it for the ever and ever that fiction allows Happiness is its keynote.
Mann said of the novel, "[Alec Scudder of Maurice was] a refreshingly unapologetic young gay man who was not an effete Oscar Wilde aristocrat, but rather a working class, masculine, ordinary guy Blair Niles 's Strange Brother , about the platonic relationship between a heterosexual woman and a gay man in New York City in the late s and early s, is an early, objective exploration of homosexual issues during the Harlem Renaissance. Written in a modernist stream-of-consciousness style, its subject matter was bisexuality and interracial male desire.
Forman Brown 's novel Better Angel , published under the pseudonym Richard Meeker,  is an early novel which describes a gay lifestyle without condemning it. The story of a young man who is coming of age and discovers his own homosexuality,  The City and the Pillar is recognized as the first post-World War II novel whose openly gay and well-adjusted protagonist is not killed off at the end of the story for defying social norms.
It is also one of the "definitive war-influenced gay novels", one of the few books of its period dealing directly with male homosexuality. Michael Bronski points out that "gay-male-themed books received greater critical attention than lesbian ones" and that "writers such as Gore Vidal were accepted as important American writers, even when they received attacks from homophobic critics. A key element of Allen Drury 's bestselling and Pulitzer Prize -winning political novel Advise and Consent is the blackmailing of young US senator Brigham Anderson, who is hiding a secret wartime homosexual tryst.
For a public official to be identified as gay in the Washington of the 50's and 60's meant not only career suicide but also potentially actual suicide. Yet Drury, a staunchly anti-Communist conservative of his time, regarded the character as sympathetic, not a villain. The senator's gay affair, he wrote, was "purely personal and harmed no one else. Drury later wrote about the unrequited love of one male astronaut for another in his novel The Throne of Saturn ,  and in his two-part tale of ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten 's attempt to change Egyptian religion— A God Against the Gods and Return to Thebes —Akhenaten's romance with his brother Smenkhkara contributes to his downfall.
James Baldwin followed Giovanni's Room with Another Country , a "controversial bestseller" that "explicitly combines racial and sexual protests A Single Man more fully develops the context of gay oppression than do [Isherwood's] earlier novels To portray homosexuals as simply another tribe in a nation comprising many different tribes is both to soften the stigma linked to homosexuality and to encourage solidarity among gay people.
And by associating the mistreatment of homosexuals with the discrimination suffered by other minorities in America, Isherwood legitimizes the grievances of gay people at a time when homosexuals were not recognized either as a genuine minority or as valuable members of the human community. Presaging the gay liberation movement, A Single Man presents homosexuality as simply a human variation that should be accorded value and respect and depicts homosexuals as a group whose grievances should be redressed.
The novel was met with considerable acclaim, and The New York Times critic Anthony Boucher wrote, "This is a detective story, and unlike any other that you have read. No brief review can attempt to convey its quality. I merely note that it deals with a Manhattan subculture wholly devoid of ethics or morality, that said readers may well find it 'shocking', that it is beautifully plotted and written with elegance and wit In his controversial satire Myra Breckinridge , Gore Vidal explored the mutability of gender-roles and sexual-orientation as being social constructs established by social mores ,  making the eponymous heroine a transsexual waging a "war against gender roles".
Though Thomas Pynchon 's Gravity's Rainbow was unanimously recommended by the Pulitzer Prize fiction jury to receive the award, the Pulitzer board chose instead to make no award that year. It explores adolescent homosexual relations and includes a fictional first-person account, written in , of a brief tragic encounter between a young soldier and a bakery apprentice in rural France. In the twenty-first century, much of LGBT literature has achieved a high level of sophistication and many works have earned mainstream acclaim.
Becky Albertalli 's teen novel Simon vs. Gay pulp fiction or gay pulps, refers to printed works, primarily fiction, that include references to male homosexuality , specifically male gay sex , and that are cheaply produced, typically in paperback books made of wood pulp paper; lesbian pulp fiction is similar work about women. Michael Bronski , the editor of an anthology of gay pulp writing, notes in his introduction, "Gay pulp is not an exact term, and it is used somewhat loosely to refer to a variety of books that had very different origins and markets"  People often use the term to refer to the "classic" gay pulps that were produced before about , but it may also be used to refer to the gay erotica or pornography in paperback book or digest magazine form produced since that date.
Homosexuality in speculative fiction refers to the incorporation of homosexual themes into science fiction , fantasy , horror fiction and related genres which together constitute speculative fiction. Such elements may include a lesbian , gay , bisexual or transgender LGBT character as the protagonist or a major character, or exploration of varieties of sexual experience that deviate from the conventional. Science fiction and fantasy have traditionally been puritanical genres aimed at a male readership, and can be more restricted than non-genre literature by their conventions of characterisation and the effect that these conventions have on depictions of sexuality and gender.
By the s, blatant homophobia was no longer considered acceptable to most readers. Ethan Urquhart, whose dangerous adventure alongside the first woman he has ever met presents both a future society where homosexuality is the norm and the lingering sexism and homophobia of our own world.
The book covers science fiction literature published before 2nd edition, , providing a short review and commentary on each piece. As speculative fiction gives authors and readers the freedom to imagine societies that are different from real-life cultures, this freedom makes speculative fiction a useful means of examining sexual bias by forcing the reader to reconsider his or her heteronormative cultural assumptions. It has also been claimed that LGBT readers identify strongly with the mutants , aliens and other outsider characters found in speculative fiction.
James Jenkins of Valancourt Books notes that the connection between gay fiction and horror goes back to the Gothic novels of the s and early s. Keller writes that in particular,"Gay and lesbian readers have been quick to identify with the representation of the vampire, suggesting its experiences parallel those of the sexual outsider.
LGBT themes in comics is a relatively new concept, as lesbian , gay , bisexual and transgender LGBT themes and characters were historically omitted intentionally from the content of comic books and their comic strip predecessors, due to either censorship or the perception that comics were for children. Independently published one-off comic books and series, often produced by gay creators and featuring autobiographical storylines, tackled political issues of interest to LGBT readers. Comic strips have also dealt in subtext and innuendo, their wide distribution in newspapers limiting their inclusion of controversial material.
Au-delà de la phobie de l’homo : quand le concept… – Reflets – Érudit
The first openly gay characters appeared in prominent strips in the late s; representation of LGBT issues in these titles causes vociferous reaction, both praise and condemnation, to the present day. Comic strips aimed at LGBT audiences are also syndicated in gay- and lesbian-targeted magazines and comics have been created to educate people about LGBT-related issues and to influence real-world politics, with their format and distribution allowing them to transmit messages more subtle, complex, and positive than typical education material.
Since the s LGBT themes have become more common in mainstream US comics, including in a number of titles in which a gay character is the star. European comics have been more inclusive from an earlier date. The lack of censorship, and greater acceptance of comics as a medium of adult entertainment led to less controversy about the representation of LGBT characters.
The popular Japanese manga tradition has included genres of girls' comics that feature homosexual relationships since the s, in the form of yaoi and yuri. These works are often extremely romantic and include archetypal characters that often are not identified as gay. Since the Japanese "gay boom" of the s, a body of manga aimed at LGBT customers has been produced, which have more realistic and autobiographical themes. Pornographic manga also often includes sexualised depictions of lesbians and intersex people. Queer theorists [ who?
Compared to gay and lesbian teen fiction , sales of gay-themed books for younger children, and availability of these books in public and school libraries remain "very dicey and very different. Controversy and politicization followed its publication. Both books discussed same-sex parenting and attracted criticism and controversy. The American Library Association ranked Heather Has Two Mommies as the third and second most frequently challenged book in the United States in and , respectively. The book is about a prince uninterested in princesses, who eventually falls in love with another prince.
In , parents sued a Massachusetts school district after a teacher read the book to their son's second grade class. While it has been banned  and debated  many times, it has been awarded and noted by the American Library Association on their Rainbow Book List. Australian titles include the books in the 'Learn to Include' series: A more extensive list of gay children's literature includes: In July , Singapore's National Library Board NLB , a state-funded network of 26 public libraries, confirmed it would destroy three children's books with pro-LGBT families themes for being "against its 'pro-family' stance[,] following complaints by a parent and its own internal review.
Two weeks after a gay rights rally, these books "sparked a fierce debate" between the religious conservatives, who opposed the rally, and Singapore's growing gay-rights lobby. To date, there have been no explicitly bisexual characters—either children or adults—in children's books. Ainsi, selon Kitzinger , p.
For similar reasons, we should not be so quick to label as irrational the hostility toward gay people that permeates contemporary American culture. Similarly, if people are taught all of their lives that: Homosexual persons represent a challenge to these beliefs; therefore, there must be something wrong with them. They must be unnatural and maybe even anti-God.