Walt Whitman (inevitably):
The subject of the portrait, long before he was acknowledged as the great American poet, comes across as a casually dressed and rather slutty gay guy. This is no anachronistic hallucination. Whitman in later years had occasion to regret his attitude: “I looked so damned flamboyant – as if I was hurling bolts at somebody – full of mad oaths – saying defiantly ‘To hell with you!’ ” Whitman also said this portrait “was much hatchelled by the fellows at the time – war was waged on it: it passed through a great fire of criticism.”
His friend William Sloane Kennedy advised “that this repulsive, loaferish portrait, with its sensual mouth, can be dropped from future editions, or be accompanied by other and better ones that show the mature man, and not merely the defiant young revolter of thirty-seven, with a very large chip on his shoulder, no suspenders to his trousers, and his hat very much on one side.”
McDonald pitched a column to the Christopher Street. I would have said yes to every article, giving extreme priority to this one:
Hatchet job on William F. Buckley, Jr. Talks of a “cure” for homosexuality…. Catholicism has for him the appeal it has for all who lack sexual gifts: It assures them that the thing they’re not good at, sex, is wrong anyway. The really rich don’t talk about their servants any more than a typist mentions that lunch was brought to her at the coffee shop by a waitress; service compris. But after his – and the New Yorker’s – prolonged attempt at being snobbish with obsessive talk of his servants in his journals published in that magazine, he sabotaged the whole long article by revealing at the end that his mother eats pizza. Worse, he has dandruff (People magazine). “The Biggest Queen in New York” (in manner, not in sex life); piss-elegant peasant. Soft-cocked, hard-hearted; broad-hipped, narrow-minded; cold-assed, hot-tempered.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.11.15 13:59. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.