Midweek Teaser, June 6 2021

What are you smirking about, Edith?

What a week it’s been here in the Boiler Room. And if you’re listening to our podcast, you’re extra lucky, because you get a double dose. (If you’re not already listening, fix that. We’re available all over the podcast universe, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding us on your favorite platform, plus there are links all over this website to our podcast, too.)

First you’ll get part two of our Pride Month Writers’ Round Table (if you want a peek inside the Boiler Room, you should know that there was actually disagreement about “writer’s” vs “writers’” when we were deciding how to name that segment… because that’s just how we are.) More talk about queer lit and what it means to us, and about queer culture and our lives. And if you haven’t already listened to part 1, here it is. 

And if that isn’t enough for you, we’ve got a brand new episode premiering on Saturday. Andrew did a terrific talk (are you surprised, he’s fabulous, right?) on queer literature in partnership with the Port Washington Library. We asked him for “a two-minute dissertation” to share with you and here’s what he gave us:

John Addington Symonds, a Victorian sexologist, during Walt Whitman’s final years, asked Whitman multiple times if his poetry was about men who romantically desired other men. Whitman infamously responded that he sired six children (he didn’t) but that didn’t stop Symonds from claiming Whitman as a homosexual poet. This anecdote serves as the opening for my talk, which asks: why did Symonds turn to literature to define who and what belongs to the category of “homosexuality”? Another question I will address is: what is the state of Queer Literary Criticism in 2020, and why do literary scholars (myself included) return again and again to literature to name/identify queer bodies and spaces? 

We in the Boiler Room have been given a preview of the talk, and are excited to see the rest of it. Erika has already been mining the episode-notes for new things to read. It will definitely be an exciting episode. 
There’s just so much excitement in the Boiler Room right now, too. Adam mentioned our interview with two editors from Broadview Press; we’ve got a fantastic theater critic coming to chat with us soon; and Andrew and Erika are totally kvelling over an impending chat with Lev Raphael, albeit for different reasons: Andrew is super excited to talk Edith Wharton, and Erika is fan-girl-tongue-tied to get to talk to someone whose books were so important in her own coming out experience. Lev Raphael helped her to navigate the idea that her Jewishness and queerness coexist within the same person and are impossible to separate.

And we haven’t even announced our July theme yet… so you’ll have to keep listening and keep reading to find out what we’ve got there.

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