Imatge de l'autor

Paul Monette (1945–1995)

Autor/a de Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story

30+ obres 4,084 Membres 41 Ressenyes 10 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Paul Monette was born on October 16, 1945 in Lawrence, Mass., and has published numerous poetry collections, novels, novelizations, memoirs, and nonfiction works. A distinguished author of both poetry and prose, Monette's writings often explored issues relating to homosexuality and AIDS. After mostra'n més receiving critical acclaim in 1975 for a poetry collection The Carpenter at the Asylum, he veered away from his mainstay theme and produced an unlikely pair of books that demonstrated his poet's way with words. The books were No Witnesses, a collection of poems featuring imaginary adventures of famous figures, written in 1981, and The Long Shot, a mystery in which an avid shopper and a forger team to solve a murder. However, his following mystery, Lightfall, written in 1982, was not well-received by the critics. Monette next wrote Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story, which won the National Book Award for nonfiction in 1992. His last work, Last Watch of the Night: Essays Too Personal and Otherwise, was a collection of 10 moving and uncompromising essays dealing with topics such as his beloved dog Puck and the 1993 Gay and Lesbian March on Washington, D.C. Paul Monette died as a result of complications from AIDS on February 18, 1995. (Bowker Author Biography) mostra'n menys

Inclou aquests noms: Apul Monette, Paul Monette

Crèdit de la imatge: Photo by Robert Giard, New York Public Library Digital Gallery

Obres de Paul Monette

Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story (1994) 999 exemplars
Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir (1988) 757 exemplars
Afterlife (1990) 297 exemplars
Halfway Home (1991) 281 exemplars
The Long Shot (1981) 151 exemplars
The gold diggers (1979) 150 exemplars
Nosferatu the Vampire [novelization] (1979) — Autor — 98 exemplars
Predator (1987) 62 exemplars
Scarface (1983) 50 exemplars
No Witnesses: Poems (1981) 29 exemplars

Obres associades

Men on Men 3: Best New Gay Fiction (1990) — Col·laborador — 202 exemplars
The Vampire Omnibus (1995) — Col·laborador — 78 exemplars
Lavender Mansions: 40 Contemporary Lesbian and Gay Short Stories (1994) — Col·laborador — 75 exemplars
The Grim Reader: Writings on Death, Dying, and Living On (1997) — Col·laborador — 60 exemplars
The Name of Love: Classic Gay Love Poems (1995) — Col·laborador — 51 exemplars
Something Inside: Conversations with Gay Fiction Writers (1999) — Col·laborador — 33 exemplars
Persistent Voices: Poetry by Writers Lost to AIDS (2010) — Col·laborador — 32 exemplars
American Review 20 (1974) — Col·laborador — 11 exemplars
Antaeus No. 18, Summer 1975 — Col·laborador — 2 exemplars

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Enjoyably Good
 
Marcat
saltyessentials | Dec 23, 2023 |
when paul monette reports that he lost his temper and said, "I'm not interested anymore in talking to anyone who doesn't have AIDS," it isn't that I don't blame him (and who am I anyhow), but that I think he was right. as in righteous.
 
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alison-rose | Hi ha 12 ressenyes més | May 22, 2023 |
So it turns out there's a novelization of Werner Herzog's 1979 film based on F.W. Murnau's 1929 film loosely based on Dracula. Both of those movies are brilliant, and it's no surprise that the book isn't, since novelizations are produced for strictly commercial reasons—and this particular movie has fairly little in the way of dialogue or plot, it's all about the tone and the performances, so any attempt to pad it out to book length can't help looking like just that: padding. No one really wanted to make this book, and probably few people wanted to read it.

However, there are plenty of writers who could've approached this gig as a straightforward exercise in "Describe what happens in the movie, and make up some extra stuff of the same kind, plus maybe some things the director didn't have the budget for." Paul Monette doesn't exactly do that. There's certainly plenty of excess verbiage in a faux-19th-century style, as he describes this German town and various details of the characters' backgrounds that don't really matter but make it seem more like a novel; yet you get the sense that there's a point of view there, and every so often a genuinely good and surprising sentence will show up, and it's an effort he wasn't required to make, he just felt a little more inspired right then. My favorite of these is when Lucy Harker (the most pure-hearted woman in the world) decides she's not at any risk of losing her soul, because to be a vampire you need "a cast of mind she simply didn't possess—a sense of secrecy and guilt, of longing without a name, of terror to live in time." There are things going on in that ambiguous and allusive sentence that are both perfectly appropriate for the story and also clearly the work of a queer writer who had been closeted until just a few years earlier. At such times you can see the author briefly imagining what his own supernatural novel might be like, if he wrote one.

While he clearly hasn't seen the film—these books are usually based on early script drafts, and the plot is the same in this case, but this more ferocious characterization of Dracula has nothing in common with Klaus Kinski's strikingly sad performance—Monette gets at some of the same themes that I think Herzog had in mind, so there's some imagery about nature being out of balance, and some dry satire of the conformist townspeople, and a clear sense that what really seals Jonathan Harker's fate is just wanting a little more money. So anyone expecting an action-packed horror story with some kind of romance angle (which, by the way, the back cover copy tries to play up by totally giving away the ending) will be confused and disappointed, which is also true of the film, and in that sense mission accomplished! Monette also seems to know the Murnau film and throws in some nice details from that, like how Dracula's handwriting is just a bunch of unintelligible symbols; or maybe Herzog had that in the script and cut it, I don't know.

I haven't read Monette's later work, the stuff he's known for, which only started after his partner's death and his own illness. Apparently he didn't like any of his earlier books, not the more personal novels and I'm sure not the four novelizations he wrote for 20th Century Fox and Universal: this, and Scarface, and the SF/action Schwarzenegger vehicle Predator (read this review), and the cop comedy Midnight Run—all totally unsuited to [my impression of] his style and concerns, but I presume the main criteria for authors of these things are "Tells a story, doesn't need a lot of copyediting, turns in the job on time." I can't imagine how he would've approached Nosferatu—with its apocalyptic scenes of a community being destroyed by a semi-supernatural plague, presided over by an ancient demented aristocrat and the mad businessman who serves him—if he'd written it a few years later in the time of AIDS and Reaganism. But presumably this book helped him to pay the rent in 1979 and I'm fine with that.
… (més)
 
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elibishop173 | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Oct 11, 2021 |
“What am I going to do without him?”…
“Write about him Paul… That’s what you have to do.”

In a world before triple-drug therapy (HAART) was enacted and allowed individuals to live a normal lifespan with HIV, Monette and his lover Roger Horwitz contracted HIV, which ineluctably progressed into AIDS. Professionally, Horwitz was a lawyer and a lover of literature; Monette was a writer. Both were educated at Ivy League schools. This work is the first personal memoir of someone with AIDS.

The secret is that this book is not a story of a disease. Instead, it is a love story as passionate and profound as any written down in human language. In today’s world of marriage equality, works like this demonstrate the deep value of homosexual relationships. Monette beautifully voices his love using floral, expressive language that is expected among articulate heterosexuals… only Monette did so in an America and in a world that did not accept his humanity as fully as they do now. That defiant decency is the brilliance of this work.

Managing HIV/AIDS took over this couple’s lives. They went from vacationing in Greece to making regular stays at the hospital over 19 months. Horwitz dies at the end of this work, and Monette lived until 1995 – both dying of AIDS-related complications. Their love did not falter while being confronted with an evil enemy. It sustained until the bitter end. Thus, this book combines themes of love with those of a noble death.

Dare I say that heterosexuals need to read this book more than the gay and lesbian community? It speaks of the dignity of love in any context. It does not debauch into sensationalism, nor does it cower without decency. It puts to death many stereotypes of gay folk (even more common in the 1980s than in the 2020s). Evocative words draw readers from whatever background into Monette and Horwitz’s relationship and dare them to find something wrong with it. That message of love’s triumph still needs to be heard in 2021 as much as it did in 1988.

Obviously, gay men, who remain disproportionately and cruelly plagued with incurable HIV, and their allies will sympathize with Monette’s plight. They will find themselves and their own stories in the characters of this narrative. This is the natural audience. Nonetheless, Monette’s vivid words, so common to lovers yet glistening in the setting of AIDS in the 1980s, shine brightly for readers of varied backgrounds. They teach humanity inasmuch as they inspire humanity. Perhaps especially those who continue to belittle gay men as second-rate should listen and stand corrected.
… (més)
 
Marcat
scottjpearson | Hi ha 12 ressenyes més | Apr 2, 2021 |

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Obres
30
També de
9
Membres
4,084
Popularitat
#6,163
Valoració
4.1
Ressenyes
41
ISBN
114
Llengües
7
Preferit
10

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