Home / A&E / Books / So Famous and So Gay: The Fabulous Potency of Truman Capote and Gertrude Stein (University of Minnesota Press), by Jeff Solomon

So Famous and So Gay: The Fabulous Potency of Truman Capote and Gertrude Stein (University of Minnesota Press), by Jeff Solomon

Jun. 27, 2017
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As the author rightly reminds readers, neither of his subjects had much use for cultural theory or theories of any kind. They lived and wrote in a style fashioned by themselves, and yet Jeff Solomon, professor of sexuality studies at Wake Forest University, seeks to understand their work and their popularity by reference to a “queer aesthetic.” Truman Capote and Gertrude Stein might grumble but they might also concede that here is one academic who writes with some wit for an audience beyond his merit pay committee. His point is that Capote and Stein “profited from their homosexuality during homophobic times—which required a fabulous potency.” How this could have been is his subject, and in his search he tilts a lance against some unexamined axioms of queer theory. No shrinking wallflower, Capote, he writes, rose from “a general outrageousness that played to a broad audience.” 

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