(((Download Epub))) ↵ Dancer from the Dance ↛ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free
I'd heard about this book forever and finally got around to reading it I waffled between liking it and appreciating it as I was reading it The writing is unique and effective But I felt like I was reading the same twenty pages over and over and over again Which is, ultimately, the point It's indulgent but the book is about indulgence It's frustating but the book is about frustration Sometimes I'd get swept away by it and other times left completely cold So it worked A bold way to tell about an experience by giving you that experience on a different level I also liked how the author reminds us that this is about only one segment of the community and comments on everything from that standpoint I'm wondering how different and how much the same things are in that life today This book made a big impression on me.
(((Download Epub))) ✐ Dancer from the Dance ✘ One of the most important works of gay literature, this haunting, brilliant novel is a seriocomic remembrance of things pastand still poignantly present It depicts the adventures of Malone, a beautiful young man searching for love amid New York's emerging gay scene From Manhattan's Everard Baths and afterhours discos to Fire Island's deserted parks and lavish orgies, Malone looks high and low for meaningful companionship The person he finds is Sutherland, a campy quintessential queenand one of the most memorable literary creations of contemporary fiction Hilarious, witty, and ultimately heartbreaking, Dancer from the Dance is truthful, provocative, outrageous fiction told in a voice as close to laughter as to tears Andrew Holleran's groundbreaking 1978 novel is a lyrical, funny and elegiac book about a certain segment of gay life in midtolate 70s New York City.The modern reader will appreciate the glimpse into postStonewall, preAIDS urban gay life, with its discos, tea dances and allnight parties Some behaviour and attitudes have obviously changed, but the restless pursuit of the newest fashion or fad and the yearning after beauty and romance feels universal.Holleran's characters – some outrageously heightened, satirized, mythopoetic creatures – are memorable And his literary prose (with nods to everyone from Proust to Henry James) is sensual and seductive. I used to have this history teacher He would tell us stories from his younger days, and he would get to certain parts of his story and stumble It would be a part that involved sex or drugs and he would edit around it so he wouldn't get fired, but with a nod and wink that still let you know which naughty bits were being PG13'd out so we'd still understand.He'd finish his pared down tale of debauchery and justbarelyappropriateforhighschoolears adventures, and when we were looking at him like the shit he just told us was the kind of stupid normally reserved for the Darwin Awards, he'd shrug and say, It was the 70s, man As though there were no other way to explain why or how any of it happened Or how he or anyone else managed to make it to the 80s and beyond with enough brain cells left intact to tell the tale later in life.That's what this book reminds me of Obviously, it's not edited for prime time There are quaaludes, water sports, and Everard, but there's a certain selfaware combination of pride and shame that accompanies all stories told about the 70s that is very much present in this book Stories from the 70s are incredible It was before the selfinflicted narcissism of cocaine It was the advent of high energy dance paired with party and pleasure drugs, but no one had any fucking clue what they were doing, so people were hurling themselves off buildings, lighting themselves on fire you fucking name it, someone died doing it while on mescaline or angel dust And drugs weren't the only thing that was approached with abandon and zero sense of selfpreservation Sex, music, art, protest everything It was all out, balls to the wall, don't look down, because you're up here without a safety net.Point being if you're reading a story about the 70s, it'll be a hell of a ride, but you'd better bank on it hurting in a way that only the senseless tragedy of wasted life can hurt It's not a romantic kind of hurt There are no star crossed lovers There's no deeper meaning or greater good Just a sense of loss and the feeling that it was wholly unnecessary, completely avoidable, and such a fucking waste.This book has a lot to say, and very little is about the plot (what plot?) But that's because the point of this book isn't the plot, but the characters and perhapsimportantly, the setting in which those characters exist It's one part commentary on the false gods of youth and beauty, love between men or the lack thereof, intimacy and loneliness, shame and pleasure One part fond recollection of those halcyon days of ludes and disco and noconsequence sex And one part recitation and bragging of excess in dancing, drugs, and sex designed to shock the plebs this man blows guys in bathrooms all day! Quaaludes poppers! Fisting! *gasp* A man referring to other men by female names and pronouns? How edgy! Men pee on each other for fun and profit! How shocking!For the younger crowd, it's La Vie Boheme in RENT Performative Find yourself a vanilla citizen, and then list everything you love that will make said citizen clutch their pearls and mutter, I never!None of it is a lie or an exaggeration Nothing is false I don't mean to say that because it's written to shock, that makes it counterfeit or disingenuous It's defiant and genuine, but if it shocks a few people along the way, well, that's just an added bonus A little extra thrill.Reading it in 2017 is a bit weird, because you're out of step with the time What was written to shock is now met with, Ah yes, I've read much about the sexual revolution of the 1970s I've read about the wide use of drugs Quaaludes and disco were the precursors to the modern rave and rave drugs PCP is scary shit, but the edgiest drug users have moved on to different scary shit, these days Bath salts, flakka, spice There's something singularly unshocking about historical context.This book has something that I value a great deal, and that is that it made me think About queer counterculture, and how it's changed from what is depicted here to what it is today (which I have a lot of thoughts about, but now isn't really the time and here is definitely not the place) About youth and beauty and shallowness and shame I don't imagine that I gained the same things reading this that someone who lived through this time period would or that the book's original audience would, but that's what makes a book that endures When there's something to be gained even after the things that were so important at the time have lost their salience and have faded to dim 'historical context' When a book touches on something that is universally true, it elevates from a story about people in a time and place to a story about humans doing humanity things, and even if the situations and society have moved on, there's still something recognizable and relatable to hold onto I'm not going to say that this book is completely that, but there are moments in the reading where I saw myself in the book and I felt that something true had been said Somethingenduring than *shrug* It was the 70s, man. This was a great look at the 70s gay community It felt a little like a trip down memory lane and since I wasn't there, I didn't get all the inside comments. Am I allowed to dislike this book? Read this for my gay (gayer?) book club, and liked it a lot I had never heard of it or the author, but I found it extremely entertaining, even as a gay who was never really in the circuit in NYC and who has never stepped foot on Fire Island This was all about Malone for me He was endlessly entertaining, truly either the perfect commemoration of a voice that has endured for generations or the instantiation of a gay archetype that continues to this day As we discussed in book club, this book was also interesting for having been released right before AIDS mushroomed into fullblown epidemic Gay culture seemed to have developed in many baroque, intriguing, alluring, and disturbing ways There was so much hedonism and promiscuity, and it's easy to see how those were both good and bad things, simultaneously It's also easy to see how a contemptuous cishet society would link gay holocaust to the types of behaviors portrayed in this book, characterizing the scourge as condign punishment for the most scandalous sybaritism this side of Gomorrah And as a factual matter I don't think you could say those statements were wrong, though assignment of blame and culpability are an entirely different matter But it's interesting to see in so much of the puritanism within and without the gay community how internalized that feeling is, that any sufficiently uninhibited behavior is asking for punishment It wasn't until much later that people began to acknowledge that this was a particularly virulent disease and one that was uniquely linked with a particular subgroup's maligned form of sexual activity, and that these things were muchlikely to be purely and tragically coincidental than at all connected in somecosmic sense If it had been a bunch of straight people dying because they move to the suburbs and catch diseases related to lawn care regimens, I doubt we would be blaming them or warning that a renewed wave of lawncare enthusiasm is a harbinger of a second pandemic, but humans are simple creatures prone to cognitive biases, and so I imagine the condemnatory mindset will persist.Having lived through the recoil following the worst of the AIDS crisis and living in the drugpositive, PRePenabled 2010s, it feels in some ways as though we're back at that moment depicted in this book Maybe a bit before it, but it's hard to make exact comparisons There were parts of this book that seemed alluring, and there was some nostalgia for a time I never experienced, and probably never will But would my life have been better if I had lived back then? I probably would have been some miserable suburban closet case, and if I had broke free to live the lives of the men in this book, I probably would have had a ton of anonymous sex and done a lotdrugs, but I certainly have those avenues available to me still and don't find them particularly alluring.Maybe it's just that that time will never return, that culture will never again be as vital and vibrant, robbed as it is of its frisson of danger and intrigue and the complexity of semiunderground social strata But books like this are the next best thing. A narcissist meets a solipsist and thus is born a gay classic? Ugh There were moments when a lustful impulse is rendered convincingly, but I really couldn't care very much for these characters Maybe it's a generational thing Found the friendship between Malone and Sutherland unlikely unless the financial bond between them had beenfleshed out Not a book I'd recommend to a young gay man looking for literary solace/guidance/whateveritiswereadfor. None of all the bonds between homosexual friends, now was greater than that between the friends who danced together The friend you danced with, when you had no lover, was the most important person in your life; and for people who went without lovers for years, that was all they had It was a continuing bond and that is what Malone and Sutherland were for years, starting that fall: two friends who danced with one another.There were things I appreciated about this book The writing was good The historical setting of the 70s spot on It was a peek at a time before HIV was a known element of all of our sexual lives (I am old enough to have experienced the sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s Yes there was sex and in the 70s the mythical everyone straight and gay, danced the nights away.) The gay scene in New York City was captivating in its hedonism and rawness the van raced on through the streets so that the driver could hustle back for another load of pleasureseekers, so bent on pleasure they were driving right through HappinessI had some problems First the blurb on the book I read did not reference the story I read, at least in the hilarious reference There is no hilarity in this book Witticisms yes, but ones forced by the need to be accepted and loved 'Oh, who is that? Find a flaw, I can't find a flaw.That is Malone, said Sutherland in his lowest, most dramatic voice, and his only flaw is that he is still searching for love, when it should be perfectly clear to us all by now that there is no Mister Right, or Mister Wrong, for that matter We are all alone Sutherland was a tragic character that could never find what he truly wanted They came to Fire Island for summer pleasure and returned to the City and it baths and bars and they danced What was important was physical beauty That and the size of a man's penis were the only criteria that mattered.The Island waited now in bleak desuetude for next season; the very beach of that particular summer had been mercifully obliterated by its shape; and it was right One came here for very selfish reasons; after all, it was a purely pagan place.Malone was a sad character He lost all direction and let the group move him through life, or at least Sutherland Even as a young man he did not make his own decisions picking a career because he was told to do so by family Maybe if he had chosen a career that satisfied him and felt that he could tell his family the truth about himself he would have had an anchor for his life He did not He only had Sutherland whose contact with reality was tentative at best He said he wanted love but could not commit when it was given Actually love was not what he craved It was the love of a romantic dream that could never be given to one person He built his life on that false view of love which was truly only lusting for a type over and over again He reliedon drugs for his support Not a good decision Malone only wanted to be liked Malone wanted life to be beautiful and Malone believed quite literally in happiness in short, he was the most romantic creature of a community whose citizens areromantic, perhaps than any other on earth, and in the end he learnedphilistine.This book was filled with what should have been characters that jumped from the page and enchanted me with their emotional bareness of their lives while filling their hours with motion and dance They did not I like the time and place of the book but I wantedheart I did not want to be told about the happenings, but wanted to feel them This was a book about sex without any sex A book about love without any love A book about a stark world of need and drugs, without the reality of either Not a bad book, interesting but a disappointing one for me. Brilliant; I feel like such an atypical and dissatisfied queer after this read Truly a stunning look into queer life.