One (nameless) reviewer of Humphrey Carpenter’s recent biography of Auden stated that the poet, like all queers, liked camping it up. The image is a hackneyed and ignorant one. Conversely, where male ‘campery’ entertains the masses in its most degrading forms (drag acts, covert homosexuals in sit-coms etc.), the masses still find much to despise in the hundreds of gay men driven to casual sex in public toilets. Of course, homosexuality is nothing to hide, but, before I rear the fierce and angry head of sexual politics, one has to recognise that prejudice is ingrained and sustained by these misrepresentative images. And, of course, the consequent suppression of sexuality causes a lot of pain.
Follow Literary Review on Twitter
'There can’t be many histories of London that have given room, for instance, to the Koreans of New Malden or the Bombay Emporium of Mayfair in the 1930s.'
Jerry White on @profpanayi's 'Migrant City'.
'How do those of us who have enough to eat account for hunger? We often imagine it’s about drought, famine, lack of rain, corruption and incompetence. We need to be much more imaginative.'
@moorehl reviews 'Hunger' by @martin_caparros.
You only have until Tuesday to make the most of our Mother's Day offer.
An annual subscription to Literary Review, full access to our online archive, and a free copy of 'Miss Austen', the bestselling novel by Gill Hornby, all for just £35.