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Gay Body: A Journey Through Shadow To Self Hardcover – October 15, 1997

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Editorial Reviews Review

Mark Thompson's Gay Body: A Journey Through Shadow to Self is a remarkable personal account of what it means to possess, or live in, a gay body in the world today. But this book is not about body building, AIDS, or even simple physical health. In Gay Body Thompson takes one of the most profound questions of Western philosophy--how do we unite our corporeality with our emotional and spiritual selves--and meditates on it from a uniquely gay male perspective. Using gay liberation philosophy, Jungian psychology, radical fairy thought, and his own experiences with drugs, S&M, and transgressive sexuality, Thompson has created a work that mixes autobiography with theory in an attempt to discover how gay men can find their fullest potential, their truest selves.

From Library Journal

Having already chronicled gay male spirituality, history, and mythopoeia (in e.g., Gay Soul, LJ 12/94), Thompson now explores the gay male psyche. He seamlessly weaves an unsparingly candid autobiographical narrative with broader observations, drawing on elements of Jungian stereotypes, gay history and mythology, and New Age spirituality. He advises that by confronting the psychic wounds that he calls the "Gay Shadow," gay men can reclaim themselves from the crushing familial and social forces they face. "Redemption does not lie outside ourselves, but in finding our truth and strength within....We queer men must father ourselves." Despite Thompson's forceful yet elegant prose, the density of the material often obscures his points. Still, this provocative work is a necessary purchase for academic and gay studies and human sexuality collections, as well as larger public libraries.?Richard Violette, Social Law Lib., Boston
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (October 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312168535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312168537
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,055,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
Mark's assessment of how gay men grow, evolve, and eventually survive in the world is right-on. Gay Body is an incredibly well written account, full of poetic and historical references that have been all too often left out of contemporary accounts of male homosexuality. Gay men have a rich and varied cultural history that Mark so vividly recreates in his book.
It's not very often that I pick-up a book and read it right through without putting it down; Thompson's Gay Body was an exception.
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