Get Backward Glances: Cruising Queer Streets in London and New PDF

By Mark W. Turner

Backward Glances is an exploration of the historical past of male highway cruising. Too usually in discussions of city area and interpretations of city tradition, streetwalking implies a inflexible version for a way we inhabit the streets. starting with the straightforward premise that all of us stroll the streets otherwise, Mark Turner means that male cruising operates via come upon and connection instead of alienation, and that it's the defining event of what it capacity to be modern.

Backward Glances is the 1st homosexual city background of its sort, analyzing those matters throughout a variety of cultural fabric, together with novels, poems, pornography, journalism, homosexual courses, work, the web, and fragments of writing in regards to the urban corresponding to Whitman's notebooks and David Hockney's graffiti. It presents a brand new method of knowing what it ability for a guy to stroll the streets of the trendy Western city.

Backward Glances is aimed toward all these drawn to the tradition of the town, queer cultural historical past and the appropriation of public space.

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Additional resources for Backward Glances: Cruising Queer Streets in London and New York

Example text

While in that position, the boy alleged, the defendant behaved towards him in an improper manner. They went up to him, and the boy charged him with an indecent assault. . On the way to the station the defendant denounced the charge of the boy as ‘horrible and false’, and said that rather than have such a horrible thing against him he would give £100. 13 This case of alleged indecent behaviour, like many others in the nineteenth century, was dismissed and the defendant left the court, we’re told,‘without any imputation or stain upon his character’.

Arnold repeats – indeed, falls into the trap of – others for whom flânerie serves as a theoretical framework that explains all ways of being/seeing in the streets of modernity without sufficient complexity in relation to such social determinants as gender. While Baudelaire’s street walker remains prominent in discussions of the city, his mastery of the streets has at least been questioned. Benjamin’s reading of the flâneur has been shown to hide too much, to make too many assumptions and to be too insistent.

Neil Bartlett – novelist, translator, theatre director, performance artist, cruiser – has written what I take to be a model of queer cultural history and personal narrative, a work that captures precisely the vision of the queer city of modernity that I find in Benjamin’s Arcades Project. Bartlett’s Who Was That Man? A Present for Mr Oscar Wilde (1988) is part biography, part autobiography, part detective narrative. He writes from the position of a gay Londoner in the 1980s who wonders how he got there, how the behaviours and habits that define his world were established a century before, in the 1890s during the heady days of Oscar 46 Backward Glances Wilde.

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