来源 ：俺要下载 2019-12-13 17:09:41|免费资料网
IN 1998, WHEN my sons were still too young to read by themselves, my partner and I gave them a picture book called “Lucy Goes to the Country.” It’s about a cat who lives with two gay men; you can tell by the tchotchkes.
The book, then just published, was evidently meant to help normalize already boringly normal families like ours by using the traditional substitution of animals for people in order to illustrate how much fun having gay dads can be. But the plot rang no bells for us as it built to its crisis: When the “big guys” give a party for colorful friends at their weekend house, a beehive ends up in the baba ghanouj, Lucy winds up in a tree and a hunky fireman comes to the rescue.
“The Hunky Fireman” would be a fine title for a very different kind of picture book, but his presence in this one made me wonder about the intended readership. (So did the name of a town en route to the country: Peckerwood.) And if you stopped to think about it, “Lucy” seemed to argue that the gay dads, however full of fun, were inadequate: When the pita chips were down, they needed rescuing, too.
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Maybe that’s why my boys didn’t love it. Among gay-themed children’s stories, they preferred “Frog and Toad.” No, I know: “Frog and Toad” — a series of four picture books by Arnold Lobel, originally published between 1970 and 1979 — is not gay-themed. But it’s not not gay-themed either. The title characters are best friends, both male, who essentially spend their lives together. Toad, shorter and wartier, is a worrier. Frog, sleeker and greener, is an ameliorator. They wear tight pants, collarless jackets and no shirts: outfits that would surely look great on the hunky fireman.
But Lobel is careful to make Frog and Toad entirely nonsexual. They sleep apart, and Toad even dons a modest Edwardian bathing suit when he swims. Instead of innate animal passion, they model the elements of love that have to be discovered and cultivated: companionship, compromise, acceptance, good humor. They get into scrapes separately but get out of them together, which is not a bad definition of marriage.
Our boys loved the stories, as did we — but not because Lobel was gay. We didn’t even know that at the time; indeed, when he started writing the series, Lobel may not have known it himself. Not until 1974, after “Frog and Toad Are Friends” and “Frog and Toad Together” had been published, did he come out to his wife, the illustrator Anita Lobel, and their children. They continued to make books together for years: a Frog and Toad tale if ever there was one.
Still, Lobel’s gayness, when I learned of it much later, seemed like something I should have known all along; it lurked everywhere in his words and pictures. I don’t know how any parent, reading the stories aloud, uttering phrases like “Come back, Frog. I will be lonely!” in a heartsick, croaky voice, could avoid being forced into intimate sympathy with the animal and thus the author. Which is not to say Frog and Toad could turn you gay. But in their gentleness, their sensitivity to small gestures and their haze of slowly dispersing sadness, the stories were part of the literature of otherness that had been a central theme of adult fiction forever, if only more recently of children’s. They suggested, no less to us as gay parents than to our sons with their polar personalities, how separateness could become solidarity and oddness accommodation. Nor did Lobel neglect to show how much work it takes to achieve those victories, and how tenuous they can be; he died, in 1987, of complications from AIDS.
However coded the books’ gay content, it was no surprise once decoded. What did surprise me, as I recently began to look back at the classics I loved most as a child in the 1960s and as a father in the 1990s, is that Lobel was not an outlier. Among the foxed hardbacks still standing sentry in my sons’ abandoned childhood bedroom are “The Gashlycrumb Tinies” by Edward Gorey (1963), “Strega Nona” by Tomie dePaola (1975), the “George and Martha” series by James Marshall (1972 to 1988) and several by Maurice Sendak, including “Where the Wild Things Are” (1963) and “In the Night Kitchen” (1970). Also still extant is “The Runaway Bunny” (1942) by Margaret Wise Brown; her “Goodnight Moon” (1947) would be there, too, if it hadn’t long since disintegrated, from overuse, into a pile of dark green dust.
These books are connected not merely by having found favor in our family — and probably yours; in various configurations and collections, “Frog and Toad” still sells more than 500,000 copies a year. Nor is it just their hushed contemplation of aloneness and connection that links them. It’s also that all of their authors were gay. (Tomie dePaola, at 84 the only one living, still is.) This observation comes with caveats, of course. Brown was apparently bisexual; she had opposite-sex relationships but spent most of her last decade in a tempestuous romance with a poet and actress who went by the name Michael Strange. And though Gorey, who never married, refused to be pigeonholed — he told Boston magazine in 1980 that he was “reasonably undersexed” and “neither one thing nor the other” — his stories of spinsters and singletons and waifs are certainly queer in both senses of the word. As if that weren’t enough, he referred to the gay community, who took him as one of their own whether he liked it or not, as “les boys.”
In any case, the more you look, the more pronounced the pattern gets. Louise Fitzhugh, whose immensely popular “Harriet the Spy” books of the 1960s and 1970s kicked Nancy Drew’s Junior League butt, was openly (if not publicly) lesbian. Remy Charlip’s “Fortunately” (1964), John Steptoe’s “Stevie” (1969) and Sandra Scoppettone’s “Bang, Bang, You’re Dead” (1969), written with Fitzhugh, all bear the stamp, however obscure, of their authors’ sexuality. I don’t mean to suggest that the upper echelon of children’s lit was a restricted club: E.B. White, Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein were presumably heterosexual, no matter that Silverstein glowered from the photos on his book jackets like a hot Scruff daddy.
But it remains the case that the authors of many of the most successful and influential works of children’s literature in the middle years of the last century — works that were formative for baby boomers, Gen-Xers, millennials and beyond — were gay. At a time when those writers wouldn’t dare (as dePaola recently told me) walk hand in hand with a lover, when only a straight children’s author like Silverstein could get away with publishing a story in Playboy about life in the homophile Eden that is Fire Island Pines, they won Caldecott and Newbery Medals for books that, without ever directly speaking their truth, sent it out in a secret language that was somehow accessible to those who needed to receive it. And not just to them. These works comforted the proto-gay but also tenderized the proto-straight in a way no other literature could.
THINK ABOUT WHAT was happening under the cover of children’s literature. In illustrated series like Lobel’s “Frog and Toad” and Marshall’s “George and Martha,” authors who could not marry as they liked were showing children what marriage should look like. (The ideal: a dependency of independents, preferably with separate bedrooms.) Failing that, they might do better avoiding marriage entirely, at least as traditionally practiced. The observant 11-year-old heroine of Fitzhugh’s “Harriet the Spy” (1964) eyes her own parents’ marriage caustically, eventually learning, with relief, that there are “as many ways to live as there are people on the earth.” Just a year later, in the sequel “The Long Secret,” Harriet has been radicalized, telling her conventional friend Beth Ellen that a husband and babies will make her “very boring.” “I won’t have time for that nonsense,” she screams.
Elsewhere, especially in Sendak’s work, childless authors were showing children — and thus their mothers and fathers — what proper parenting should look like. In “Where the Wild Things Are,” a mother who sends a roughhousing son to bed without supper becomes, in his dream, a monster to be subjugated. In “In the Night Kitchen,” parents barely exist; the child in a state of nature is self-created and, eventually, self-modulated. The message: Leave me alone with my imagination and I’ll be fine.
It must have delighted Sendak to know that, despite the occasional censorship kerfuffle, an America terrified of gay influence on children was devouring his oeuvre as fast as he could whip it up. (His books have sold more than 30 million copies.) While the Save Our Children crusader Anita Bryant and the Focus on the Family attack dog James Dobson were hunting down homosexual propaganda in schools and statehouses, Sendak and the others were hiding it in the one place no one bothered to look: on their children’s night stands.
If this wasn’t a deliberate strategy of subversion, it wasn’t a coincidence either. Consider that they were all talented writers with a deep autobiographical concern for children whose alienation from society was somehow connected to a longing they had no words for. This was not a theme to be addressed openly in stories meant for adults; even if it were possible, it would be useless, already too late. The children’s book editor Ursula Nordstrom, who published much of Sendak, plus some of Brown, Lobel and Fitzhugh and dozens of others who tested the nerve of even liberal librarians, thought grown-ups were a lost cause anyway. “Thank god for anyone under 12 years of age,” she wrote in a 1966 letter to Fitzhugh included in “Dear Genius,” a collection of Nordstrom’s correspondence published in 1998. After that, “everyone goes to pieces.”
But writing from a gay perspective for the under-12 set was tricky. The first young adult novel to depict a homosexual encounter — John Donovan’s “I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip” — did not come out until 1969; the first picture book to get near the word “gay” was dePaola’s “Oliver Button Is a Sissy,” in 1979. Roughly encompassing the first 10 years of the modern gay rights movement, these books (and their authors) could only dream of a world in which “Lucy Goes to the Country,” by a male couple who announce themselves as such on the flap, would seem commonplace, or in which a picture book called “Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution” could be published, as it will be by Random House in April, for children 5 through 8.
Before Stonewall, though, authors including Brown and Gorey, like Lobel later, had to find a way to express their own vulnerabilities and their quest for belonging in terms that would not startle the horses or set the pedophile canard a-quacking. (“If it became known you were gay, you’d have a big red ‘G’ on your chest,” dePaola recalls, “and schools wouldn’t buy your books anymore.”) The traditions of children’s literature, in which toddlers are presexual and often not even human, provided the camouflage they needed to write about real things without offense. Brown’s two most famous tales, both illustrated by Clement Hurd, are powerful evocations of parental attachment and separation — as experienced by bunnies. Gorey doesn’t use animals but rather the conventions of the macabre to represent the terrible loneliness of his youthful characters. Indeed, it’s the contrast between horror and doggerel that produces his characteristic deadpan humor: In “The Gashlycrumb Tinies,” an abecedary of solo children who meet bad ends, “E is for Ernest who choked on a peach.” Take that, T.S. Eliot!
Happier variations on the theme of connection and alienation (with its undercurrent of life and death) inform much of the work by these gay authors. Oliver Button is a multi-enthusiast who doesn’t understand why his oversize talent (he’s a tap dancer) makes him a target for bullies. (He is rescued, as dePaola says he himself once was, by an unknown benefactor who crosses out the word “sissy” scrawled on a wall and replaces it with “star.”) And in Marshall’s “George and Martha” series, a loving pair, not unlike Frog and Toad, works through a number of wry adventures that turn their conflicts into companionship. But George and Martha, being hippopotamuses instead of amphibians, are huge; they sometimes threaten the edges of the frame. Rereading the books now I see how their size stands in for the problem of personality; Marshall named them for the main characters in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” His loving, light line, encompassing but also dignifying their volume, suggests the delicacy it takes to be large in the world.
That delicacy, for Marshall as for many of the others, was a stopgap solution to the existential problem of the closet: How do you grow up when you cannot fully and genuinely present yourself as an adult? (In deference to his mother, Marshall’s 1992 obituary omitted his longtime partner — and listed a brain tumor as the cause of death instead of complications from AIDS.) Even the gloomy Jeremiah of children’s literature whom Marshall lovingly called Morose Sendak was too cowed by his parents to come out publicly until long after both were dead. You can feel the crosscutting energies of that conflict at the wild heart of his greatest works, which are full of rage at punitive elders but also a grudging respect, because their restrictiveness is what forces the child’s imagination to flower. Nor is that imagination asexual; Mickey, the stark naked hero of “In the Night Kitchen,” is baked into a cake batter by three adult men. Sendak presses right up against the taboo, allowing him to write about sexuality and to access its energies and disappointments safely. Otherwise he would never have dared to publish such a story or, for that matter, needed to write it.
CLOSETS TEND TO be small, lonely places — a fine fit for children playing hide-and-seek, if not always comfortable for adults. Yet they are also, it seems, conducive to literature, in the way almost any constraint is. Today, Mickey would just go to Bennington and wind up marrying that hunky fireman.
Back then, though, if Sendak and the others got any pleasure from their secret identities, they suffered for them as well. How often did they have to put masks on in public, then take them off to live and write? Masks were, in fact, the main motif of Marshall’s “Miss Nelson” series, written with Harry Allard between 1977 and 1985, about a grade school teacher’s increasingly unorthodox methods of maintaining order and morale. In the first book, “Miss Nelson Is Missing!,” she decides to teach her ungovernable class a lesson by vanishing — only to reappear, the next day, disguised as the worst substitute ever. This Miss Viola Swamp is a “real witch,” complete with fright wig, honker and wart: “If you misbehave,” she warns, “you’ll be sorry.” At the end, once the class is tamed, Miss Nelson retires her Swamp costume, hanging it in her closet and saying, with a smile, “I’ll never tell.”
Not many descriptions of gay “passing” get deeper than that: There’s the delicious victory and, unspoken, the realization that maintaining the victory means maintaining the ruse. Yet because these authors were out to entertain children — it’s no accident the books remain popular — they never tip into the maudlin; if anything, they lean into camp. By the end of the “Miss Nelson” series, even the school principal is in drag.
Such winks may be useful in distracting adults. While studying the Easter eggs in Mickey’s night kitchen (Sendak has even hidden the Brooklyn address of his childhood home in the gutter between two pages), a parent may not focus so much on the weirdness of what’s going on. But children aren’t distracted by such things. Instead, they track the jokes and the emotions, which in the hands of these authors are much the same thing. Another of Lobel’s characters, the bachelor owl of “Owl at Home” (1975), is almost a caricature of loneliness: His only friend, the moon, is inconstant; he makes tea from his own tears.
That he’s not in fact a caricature is the result of Lobel’s careful modulation of tone, which turns the pathos inside out. As someone who had experienced the forced deprivations of the closet, he was perfectly suited to meet sensitive children on their own ground of powerlessness and unbelonging, and to show them how such feelings can be mastered. Owl is lonely, yes, but jovial, natural, staunch, a survivor. He and George and Martha and Max and Mickey and Frog and Toad and Oliver and Harriet are like celebrities in an It Gets Better public service announcement, armed with wit instead of condescension. They whisper from the other side of the struggle for authenticity, saying, “You are not wrong, dear one. Everyone else is.”
But if the creators of these characters were thus the ideal people to speak to, and for, children, they did so at a cost. The world they imagined had not yet come to pass; if it had, they wouldn’t have had to imagine it. No wonder Nordstrom, without whom the golden age of children’s literature would not have happened, spent so much time in her letters carefully nursing her authors’ neuroses. (“Thanks for your card telling me you are having a nervous breakdown,” she wrote in 1972 to Gorey, who was late with a manuscript. “Welcome to the club.”) She needed them calm enough to create, but not so calm as to have nothing to say.
It was their power as outcasts she sought to harness, even at the expense of their comfort. (Perhaps jokingly, she encouraged writers to stay single lest they lose their focus.) She seemed drawn to the intensity of feeling that the closet aroused, especially when it produced a kind of vengeful chaos. Her motto as the head of juvenile books at Harper & Brothers (later Harper & Row) from 1940 through 1973 was “Good books for bad children.” This was partly a matter of temperament; she was a tough broad. After flipping the pages of dePaola’s portfolio while talking on the phone and dragging nonstop on a chain of cigarettes, she told him to come back when he’d learned how to draw. But dePaola was already well established, and besides, Nordstrom preferred to birth new talent. For her favored gay children, she was a sheltering mother, and also, as a lesbian, a comrade. That she was able to live openly with her companion, Mary Griffith, may have something to do with the anonymity of being an editor, not an author — and yet she did write and publish one book.
Called “The Secret Language,” it concerns Victoria, a lonely 8-year-old in her first year at boarding school. There she befriends a butch girl named Martha — not quite Harriet-level butch (she wears no tool belt), but tough, antiauthoritarian and, in Mary Chalmers’s illustrations, the possessor of a fine set of bowl-cut bangs. It is Martha who has invented the titular language, in which “ick-en-spick” means silly and “ankendosh” disgusting. Amazingly, the word to use “when something is just lovely” is (I’m not making this up) “leebossa,” which is dying to be an anagram of “lesbian.”
I guess readers in 1960 didn’t notice that, nor that at the climax of the story the two girls build a hut. Even now, though the book is weirdly mesmerizing, it’s difficult to guess what Nordstrom was after — and she burned the only copy of its sequel, “The Secret Choice,” just shy of completing it. (In a way, Fitzhugh took over the job with Harriet.) But it’s hard to miss at least one message Nordstrom is sending, in code of course, when the kindly housemother tells Victoria and Martha that “the world will always need those who do not try to be just like everyone else.”
It’s the same message so many of the other authors of the classic children’s books of the era were sending to readers, of whatever eventual sexuality — readers on whom it would someday fall to change the world. Whether frog or toad or hippo or human, you could only genuinely engage with others by first becoming fully and openly yourself.
In short, these books were blueprints for blowing up the closet. But what if the closet is the only place you are safe? When Frog is scared, that’s where he hides; Toad likewise jumps under the covers. (“They stayed there for a long time, just feeling very brave together.”) How strange Lobel and the others would have found the world their works ushered in: strange and necessary. And maybe even leebossa.B:
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【整】【整】【一】【夜】，【潘】【妮】【几】【乎】【没】【有】【睡】【过】。 【她】【只】【要】【一】【闭】【上】【眼】【脑】【海】【中】【就】【会】【浮】【现】【出】【妹】【妹】【和】【哥】【哥】【的】【样】【子】，【回】【想】【起】【他】【们】【在】【苏】【克】【城】【的】【时】【光】，【但】【只】【要】【她】【以】【睡】【着】【这】【些】【画】【面】【就】【会】【变】【得】【血】【红】【一】【片】。 【今】【天】【是】【个】【好】【天】【气】，【早】【晨】【的】【雾】【气】【散】【开】【之】【后】，【春】【季】【舒】【适】【的】【太】【阳】【光】【线】【让】【整】【个】【大】【地】【铺】【上】【了】【一】【层】【温】【暖】【的】【外】【衣】。 【菲】【丽】【丝】【昨】【天】【晚】【上】【连】【夜】【通】【过】【传】【送】【阵】【抵】【达】【了】
【左】【凌】【啧】【了】【一】【声】，【和】【他】【讲】：“【这】【新】【婚】【礼】【物】【还】【是】【要】【送】【的】【啊】。【就】【咱】【们】【这】【交】【情】，【多】【少】【年】【了】。【这】【礼】【物】【要】【是】【不】【送】【的】【话】【真】【有】【点】【说】【不】【过】【去】。【你】【说】【你】【要】【是】【早】【点】【和】【我】【讲】，【我】【也】【可】【以】【早】【点】【着】【手】【准】【备】【啊】。” “【你】【说】【你】【好】【不】【容】【易】【嫁】【出】【去】【了】，【我】【这】【心】【里】【的】【石】【头】【终】【于】【落】【地】【了】。”【她】【叹】【了】【口】【气】，【一】【本】【正】【经】【的】【说】【着】。 【沈】【尽】：“……” 【沈】【尽】【虽】【然】【有】【些】
【在】【万】【众】【期】【盼】【中】，【小】【米】【手】【机】【新】【品】【发】【布】【会】【一】【口】【气】【发】【布】【了】【小】【米】CC9 Pro、【小】【米】【电】【视】5，【而】【发】【布】【的】【小】【米】【手】【表】【无】【疑】【引】【起】【来】【不】【少】【人】【的】【关】【注】。【因】【为】【这】【是】【一】【款】【真】【正】【的】【职】【能】【手】【表】【了】，【令】【人】【惊】【喜】【的】【是】【它】【内】【置】【了】【小】【爱】【同】【学】，【可】【玩】【性】【更】【高】【了】！免费资料网【星】【空】【之】【中】【一】【对】【瞳】【孔】【睁】【开】，【赫】【然】【一】【道】【强】【烈】【的】【寒】【流】【开】【始】【涌】【向】【四】【周】，【咔】【嚓】【咔】【嚓】？！ 【冰】【寒】【之】【力】【涌】【现】，【极】【速】【的】【蔓】【延】【向】【琪】【琳】【方】【向】。 【一】【艘】【艘】【黑】【色】【的】【飞】【船】【停】【在】【这】【一】【刻】【被】【冻】【成】【了】【冰】，“【不】【好】！【全】【部】【撤】【退】！”【琪】【琳】【却】【是】【俏】【脸】【一】【变】，【眼】【神】【之】【中】【充】【满】【了】【疑】【惑】【与】【担】【忧】。 【但】【是】【飞】【船】【的】【速】【度】【与】【这】【股】【寒】【冰】【之】【力】【的】【蔓】【延】【相】【差】【的】【太】【多】【了】，【以】【至】【于】【几】【乎】
【萧】【单】【冬】：…… 【苏】【木】：…… 【有】【了】【钱】【就】【这】【么】【硬】【气】？ 【许】【诺】【说】【的】【非】【常】【大】【声】【且】【理】【直】【气】【壮】。【这】【让】【收】【拾】【餐】【桌】【的】【艾】【笑】【给】【听】【见】【了】。 【她】【严】【肃】【得】【眯】【起】【眼】【睛】，【朝】【他】【走】【了】【过】【去】。 “【许】【诺】，【你】【刚】【刚】【说】【你】【要】【拿】【着】【压】【岁】【钱】【做】【什】【么】？” “【妈】……【妈】【妈】……” 【一】【看】【到】【艾】【笑】，【许】【诺】【刚】【刚】【嚣】【张】【的】【气】【焰】【全】【都】【没】【了】。 【明】【明】【钱】【在】【他】【手】【里】，
【银】【风】【山】【处】。【聂】【惊】【鸿】【和】【成】【于】【祈】【对】【抗】【了】【规】，【也】【是】【难】【舍】【难】【分】，【那】【边】【阻】【止】【雪】【怪】【暴】【行】【的】【成】【家】【兵】【却】【逐】【渐】【无】【计】【可】【施】【了】，【雪】【怪】【越】【来】【越】【暴】【戾】，【很】【多】【成】【家】【兵】【死】【于】【非】【命】，【魂】【飞】【魄】【散】，【了】【规】【暗】【暗】【地】【笑】【了】。 【按】【照】【目】【前】【情】【况】【看】，【绝】【王】【和】【倾】【后】【两】【个】【魔】【君】【应】【该】【已】【经】【被】【雪】【怪】【消】【化】【了】，【再】【有】【一】【会】【儿】，【等】【它】【力】【量】【完】【全】【觉】【醒】【的】【时】【候】，【所】【有】【人】【都】【控】【制】【不】【住】【它】。 【聂】
【就】【在】【沈】【云】【峰】【作】【出】【决】【定】【的】【同】【时】，**【安】【正】【在】【自】【己】【的】【府】【邸】【会】【见】【朝】【廷】【中】【的】【大】【小】【官】【员】【和】【勋】【贵】，【这】【些】【人】【全】【部】【都】【是】【主】【动】【来】【投】【奔】【的】，【并】【且】【争】【着】【抢】【着】【要】【交】【出】【手】【中】【的】【地】【契】…… 【他】【们】【当】【然】【不】【可】【能】【是】【心】【甘】【情】【愿】【的】，【仅】【仅】【是】【想】【在】【合】【适】【的】【时】【候】【站】【个】【队】【罢】【了】！ 【而】【现】【在】【就】【是】【合】【适】【的】【时】【候】，【他】【们】【觉】【得】【沈】【云】【峰】【一】【方】【绝】【对】【会】【取】【得】【最】【后】【的】【胜】【利】！ **【安】