ANTEBELLUM'S BOOK CLUB WILL MEET THIS SUNDAY- MAY 29TH- 1PM
we are reading the cult classic- MYRA BRECKINRIDGE by gore vidal.
ground breaking for it's time- (1968)
and right on the mark with transsexual civil rights of current times.
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Myra Breckinridge,( 1968)
satirical novel by Gore Vidal written in the form of a diary. Described by the critic Dennis Altman as "part of a major cultural assault on the assumed norms of gender and sexuality which swept the western world in the late 1960s and early 1970s," the book's major themes are feminism, transsexuality, American expressions of machismo and patriarchy, and deviant sexual practices, as filtered through an aggressively camp sensibility.
The controversial book is also "the first instance of a novel in which the main character undergoes a clinical sex-change." Set in Hollywood in the 1960s, the novel also contains candid and irreverent glimpses into the machinations within the film industry.
Myra Breckinridge was dismissed by some of the era's more conservative critics as pornographic at the time of its first publication in February 1968, but nevertheless immediately became a worldwide bestseller and has since come to be considered a classic in some circles. "It is tempting to argue that Vidal said more to subvert the dominant rules
of sex and gender in Myra than is contained in a shelf of queer theory treatises,
" wrote Dennis Altman.
Vidal called Myra his favorite of his books, and published a sequel, Myron, in 1974.
The novel was adapted into a 1970 film of the same name, which was universally panned.
Vidal disowned the film, calling it "an awful joke".
Vidal first contemplated writing Myra Breckinridge as a sketch for the risqué revue Oh! Calcutta! but quickly decided to develop the story into a novel. He wrote the first draft in Rome over the course of a month. About two weeks into writing the novel Gore decided to make Myra transgender. The name "Breckinridge" was taken from Bunny Breckinridge,
as associate of director Ed Wood.