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978-1-55152-123-7 / 9781551521237

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About the book:

Gay male representation of sexuality has a long history of varied visibility and acceptance, but the 100 or so years of queer life before Stonewall were a period of unprecedented self-identification as well as renewed pressure to hide and suppress the erotic imagery of gay men in western culture. Out/Lines features a resurrection of erotic gay images, once virtually buried and invisible, that circulated in clandestine communities whose sexualized visibility was a potentially devastating riska wealth of approximately 200 previously unpublished "obscene" images from the queer pre-Stonewall underground.

Drawn mainly from American, German, Italian, and French sources, these images will both broaden and tantalize our view of queer culture with a surprising range of historical styles and motifs. While many of the artists remain anonymous or unknown, some have begun to have increasing notoriety on the erotic gay market. Works include images from a 1945 booklet of 20 unofficial illustrations for Jean Genets Our Lady of the Flowers; the British artist known as "Hank," whose steamy couplets called "Homo Hotel" featured hot, horny sailors and Cliff Richards haircuts; the increasingly well-known American artist Neel Bate, whose nom de crayon was "Blade"; and numerous contemporaries and admirers of the legendary erotic artist Tom of Finland.

Waughs narrative considers both fantasy and history by exploring the cultural and erotic dynamics and the social context in which these secret, sexualized images were created and collected. Historically rigorous and aesthetically explicit, Out/Lines is sure to shock and astonish.

Thomas Waugh teaches film studies at Montreals Concordia University. He is a critic, public lecturer, and festival programmer, and is the author of Hard to Imagine: Gay Male Eroticism in Photography and Film from their Beginnings to Stonewall.

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