Recognizing that the world is governed by a minority, the sexually active, and that they hold sway of a huge majority of the nonsexual, those people too young or too old or too poor or too homely or sick or crazy or powerless to be able to afford sexual partners (or the luxury of systematic, sustained and shared introspection, so sexual in its own way). All advertisements and films and songs are addressed to sexuals, to their rash whims and finicky tastes.
A Boy's Own Story, Chapter Six (1982, p. 167)
Those who believe machismo reeks of violence alone choose to forget it once stood for honor as well.Edmund White
The AIDS epidemic has rolled back a big rotting log and revealed all the squirming life underneath it, since it involves, all at once, the main themes of our existence: sex, death, power, money, love, hate, disease and panic. No American phenomenon has been so compelling since theVietnam War.Edmund White
Do we regard language as more public, more ceremonial, than thought? Just as family men condemn the profanity on the stage that they use constantly in conversation, in the same way we may look to written language as an idealization rather than a reflection of ourselves.Edmund White
In our imaginations the adults of our childhood remain extreme, essential — we might say radical since they are the roots that fed luxuriant later systems. Those first bohemians, for instance, stay operatic in memory even though were we to meet them today — well, what would we think, we who've elaborated our eccentricities with a patience, a professionalism they never knew?Edmund White
The school was nothing but reminiscence — of an Italian hill town, a French abbey, an English academy, the different sources improbably but convincingly melded into a fantasy about the classic sites of Europe as imagined by exiles from cold peripheral lands, nostalgia about somebody else's past.Edmund White
How thrilling to discover one had depths, how consoling to find them less polluted than the shallows, how encouraging to identify the enemy not as a fissure in the will but as a dead fetus in the specimen jar of the unconscious. My attention was being paternally led away from the excruciating present to the happy, healthy future that would be enabled by an analysis of the sick past, as though the priest had nothing to do but study old books and make bright forecasts, the present not worthy of notice.Edmund White
There is an enormous pressure placed on gay novelists because they are the only spokespeople. The novelist's first obligation is to be true to his own vision, not to be some sort of common denominator or public relations man to all gay people.Edmund White
I still feel that sincerity and realism are avant-garde, or can be, just as I did when I started out.Edmund White
He and Marilyn were lovers, but this was never said in so many words. Explicitness about one’s romantic arrangements had apparently been deemed gauche. In my middle-class teen-age world, the whole apparatus of going steady, exchanging ID bracelets, smooching at dances, fighting, breaking up, submitting to the arbitration of friends — that was the point, the public drama.Edmund White
I am, I must confess, suspicious of those who denounce others for having "too much" sex. At what point does a "healthy" amount become "too much"? There are, of course, those who suffer because their desire for sex has become compulsive; in their cases the drive (loneliness, guilt) is at fault, not the activity as such.Edmund White
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