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Letter to Councilman LaBonge
Real People as Fictional Characters
Female Actors, Part Two
One Culture Hero Award
Adelante Gay Pride Gala
Best Work of Fiction?
Tom of Finland: Sexual Liberator or Enslaver
Lying Writers
Review of The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson
Promiscuous Thoughts
A Crime of the Heart
A Letter to Michael Silverblatt
"Have you no decency, sir?"
Political Incorrectness: Female Actors and Trojans
He Hugged Moms and Dads
What is a Girly Man?
Review of Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
From Sunset Boulevard to Mulholland Drive
The Gay Mammies
A Writer Protests
Review of Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro
A Spirit Preserved in 'Amber'
The Supreme Court Case
Review of "Live from Golgotha: The Gospel According to Gore Vidal"
Review of "Lost Years: A Memoir 1945-1951" by Christopher Isherwood
Review of "Out For Good"
Review of "Hoyt Street: an Autobiography"
Review of "Sergei Eisenstein: A Life in Conflict"
Review of "Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation"
Review of "Whores for Gloria"
Muscles and Mascara
Review of "Blonde"
Brother Paul, Sister Jan, Brother Hinn, God and the Folks
Advice to the Next Generation
Sins of the Fathers
Beatin' Around the Bush

Cruise Not Gay! The Judge Has Spoken

The Horror, The Horror
LA--a Cliché?
Dominick, Mark & Orenthal
Holy Drag!
Ms. Hill & Mr. Tom
George, Jr.
Mrs. guy Ritchie 
Supreme Court 
Tom Cruise 
New Times Article 

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The New Times Article

The "New Times" article about me (called "The Romantic Egotist" for God knows what reason since I don't consider myself a "romantic") is well written by Scott Timberg. He quoted me accurately most of the time, and that is rare in an interview. Too, the layout (by Julie Ebel) was excellent, lots of space, fine graphic display of photographs. I am grateful to the editor of that very good newspaper (Rick Barrs) for the generous treatment.... I have severe reservations about what Timberg did in that article. He recklessly made an assessment of my literary work without having read any of my novels other than "City of Night," and, then, perhaps having read only parts of it. A writer can always tell when that occurs, always; but in this instance, Timberg himself indicated to me that he had read very little by me, and proceeded to exemplify that by several times asking me about the content of this book or that. During our interviews, I made the emphatic point to him that I resented critics who posed at evaluating my work or anyone else's for that matter while clearly not having read it. Timberg followed the reprehensible tendency. I have always protested such recklessness in reviewers and reporters. I have twice written to the editors of the New York Times Book Review to expose such bogus assessments. In one instance, Karen Brailsford, reviewing "The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez," identified the setting of that novel as East Los Angeles, apparently believing all Mexican Americans live there. The novel is set, for essential irony, in Hollywood. That is stated in the opening paragraph of the novel. Brailsford's review is now referred to as being particularly dumb in a book about Chicano literature ("Border Matters" by Jose David Saldivar). In another instance, the New York Times reviewer of my novel "This Day's Death," Webster Schott, remarked that the reader never knew why Jim Girard, the protagonist, goes to Griffith Park, where he is arrested. I pointed out in my letter that within the novel itself, had he read that far, he would have encountered a paragraph that reads: "And why did Jim Girard go to the park that day?" Then the question is answered. In a Publishers Weekly Review of my novel "Marilyn's Daughter," the reviewer cited as offensive a sexual passage because it involved Marilyn Monroe (a heroine of mine) and Robert Kennedy. There is no such scene. The reviewer obviously skimmed the book and stumbled upon one sex scene that does not include either Marilyn Monroe nor Robert Kennedy, and, from it, he/she made his/her heated conclusion.... Back to Timberg's piece. He quotes the fatuous stupidities of Alfred Chester's review of "City of Night" in the New York Review of Books back in 1963, a review the editor of the NYRB has, in effect, apologized to me about. Timberg goes on to agree with some of that reviewer's meanness and then generalizes it to extend to my later work all without, again, his being familiar with it. Timberg does the same with Gary Indian's equally fatuous review of "The Coming of the Night" agreeing with a clumsily generalized statement of my work that indicates that Indian is not quite familiar with it either. So Timberg's unqualified assessment is based on another unqualified assessment! Terrific integrity! Unfortunately, this sort of thing is not rare; virtually every author has had the frustrating experience of knowing that a reviewer has not read his\her book...... In Timberg's article, the feud between me and Michael Cunningham, once a writing student of mine at UCLA, is rendered accurately. I don't hesitate to point out and I have to Cunningham that in the article, he, Cunningham, emerges quite grandly, and I emerge quite spitefully. Timberg tilted it toward that effect; he did not quote me as emphasizing that, whatever misunderstandings had occurred between Cunningham and myself, I was steadfast in my assessment of him as a fine writer. Still, as a result of Timberg's article, Cunningham and I have clarified matters, and we are again on very good, friendly terms. Despite my major reservations about Timberg's article, the perception of it by readers of it is that it was "great" because it's the presentation that people are impressed by--the cover, the photos, the length; and all that was splendid.

John Rechy
Los Angeles, California
July 2000

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