15 July 2009

A Bit of Behr

It’s been a while since I’ve “blathered” and it’s high time I got back to what I initially intended this piece of cyberland to be….a forum for me to get back into writing. Few would know it but my degree is in Journalism-Public Relations. Back when I was a collegiate twink – and yes I shamefully admit that I was a twink - my “plan” was to work in PR during the day and write the great American (gay) novel at night. I have always believed in the power of the written word, whether we’re talking about great prose (To Kill a Mockingbird, On the Road, Alas Babylon, Darkness at Noon, anything written by Shakespeare) to creative print advertising (Got Milk, Wear Your Rubbers). The written word can and has changed people. When I was in my early 20’s a friend loaned me several “gay” novels and suggested that I read them. He pushed “The Front Runner” by Patricia Nell Warren, saying it would change my life. While I agree it is an influential GLBT books, the one that impacted me most was “The Catch Trap” by Marion Zimmer Bradley. It is the story of Tommy Zane, the protégé of Mario Santelli, a trapeze artist. As the two form a working and artistic bond they fall in love. As “public figures,” they cannot publicly show their affection for one another. It truly touched my heart as that is what I wanted: someone with whom I would share passion, devotion, and love. Written in the late 70’s, this novel gives the reader an inside look at the circus world of the 40’s and 50’s while boldly portraying same-sex love. The inspiration of Tommy and Mario’s families, who accept the young men’s love, is perhaps something many of us have not experienced. If you have not read “The Catch Trap,” I recommend it highly.I’ve often wondered why a movie version has not been made of this book. Too controversial? Too dated? I believe if anyone could direct the heck out of it, it would be Ang Lee. He seems to have an eye toward physical and emotional beauty. I have no idea who would act in such a film; that will take some thought.


David Dust said...

When I was in college, I too thought I would go into PR - so I studied Journalism and History. And I was also a Twink! My, how things have changed for me...

Even though I don't read much, I'll have to look for that book. Thanks for the recommendation.


Mark in DE said...

I really enjoyed "The Front Runner" and its sequel "Billy's Boy". I'm interested in looking into "The Catch Trap".