By Will Fellows
From huge towns to rural groups, homosexual males have lengthy been impassioned pioneers as keepers of tradition: rescuing and restoring decrepit constructions, revitalizing blighted neighborhoods. Will Fellows explores this real and complicated measurement of homosexual men's lives by means of profiling early and modern preservationists from in the course of the usa, highlighting contributions to the bigger tradition.
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Extra info for A Passion to Preserve: Gay Men as Keepers of Culture
Coming out and getting involved socially with gay men opened up a whole new world for him and gave him permission to get involved with his aesthetic side. ’ I have mixed feelings about that kind of cliché, but I do believe that many gay men have a greater appreciation for beauty and painstaking craftsmanship. ” Extraordinary sensitivity to things of distinctive beauty is manifested by the three New Englanders whose stories follow. In meditating on the beauty of a battered old silver-plate pitcher, poet Mark Doty expresses the connection- and continuity-minded bent of his passionate aestheticism.
Despite the city’s abundant architectural treasures, early preservation in Richmond, Virginia, did not fare as well—perhaps because there weren’t enough dedicated women to make up for the lack of a critical mass of house-hugging gay men. , area. The rehabilitation of Georgetown, once a slum, began early in the second decade of the twentieth century, and Alexandria was reborn in the rarefied orbit of Mount Vernon. New England offers still another narrative. Through the 1920s and 1930s, descendants of old New England families drifted out of Boston’s Back Bay.
9 His quintessentially queer romanticism shaped August Derleth’s description of his hometown’s “atmosphere of time past” in Atmosphere of Houses: “There are many houses, and their combined atmospheres make up the atmosphere of my town. ” Derleth recalled the house of his grandmother, “whose gentle eyes regarded me in much the same manner as I imagine the house itself looked upon me. There was suffering in her eyes, and there was suffering in the walls of the house, but there was peace in both, the tranquil peace that follows in the wake of suffering.