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Teleny and Camille Paperback – 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Northwest Press (2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0984594000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984594009
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,981,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Evan J. Peterson on July 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
No one knows for sure who wrote Teleny, a novel generally considered to be a collaboration between Oscar Wilde and several friends. Wilde at least guided the project, and his stamp of Aestheticism is undeniable; incidentally, it's also widely renowned as the first gay erotic novel. In its history, the novel has been edited, embellished, and translated into French, its setting moved from London to Paris. A book this mutable and communal seems destined to continue its evolution, most recently into a graphic novel adapted by underground comix champ Jon Macy.

Macy, whose work helped define the underground comics of 1990s San Francisco, is a fitting illustrator for this work of underground erotica. Macy brought the world Nefarismo in all of its perverse grandeur. Whereas his earlier work reveled in horror, Teleny and Camille confronts sexuality with innocence: All things are gilded and voluptuous--the male and the female, the natural and the artificial, the intimidating and the alluring.

Like much of the artist's previous work, everything between the covers is black and white. This is exceptionally effective for a story that drips with embellishment, artifice, and spectacle--color might push it over the edge from sumptuous to gaudy. The artwork is dynamic in its balance between simple silhouettes and textured details. Macy eliminates the original, redundant introduction in favor of illustrating bookseller Charles Hirsch's historical account of Teleny`s beginnings. Instead of an artist's preface, Macy draws himself in as a frustrated man figuring out how to adapt such an idiosyncratic novel. The writing here is a bit clumsy, but he quickly makes up for it in his discerning selection of passages from the original text.
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Format: Paperback
Having watched this project begin with baby-steps back in the mid-nineties to J. Macy's full realization now, I cannot be happier to recommend Teleny and Camille to all curious readers. (Check out previews at NWPress.com, jonmacy.com and oscholars.com) This is the real thing: explicit tales of sex, sumptuous graphics, torrid romance, Victorian virtues upheld, and then overturned. Bringing this material to the modern reader through personal storytelling and displaying the challenges he encountered, Macy "pulls-no-punches" resurrecting an underground world Oscar Wilde encountered sheltering a hidden nineteenth-century sexuality.

Praise must also be raised for the publisher, Northwest Press, not only taking on a controversial work, but placing it in such a handsome package. The design is understated and enhances what is inside. Everyone will be proud to display this modern novel of gay romance on their bookshelves. The interiors may shock and reveal the lurid nature of repression, but this is with good cause. Without questioning the social structures that allow prejudice to persist, how can we create a more peaceful world for all humanity? I think this is the purpose of retelling our personal stories, no matter how horrific.

This publication sets the standard for erotic storytelling very high. I want to see more stories like this in the future, be they from the pen of Mr. Macy himself (he is publishing a new fantasy series!) or others working in the same market. Northwest Press already handles several quality titles and is set to become a leader in presenting new works of gay literature today. I am looking forward to more excellent work from Northwest Press.
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Format: Paperback
Teleny and Camille, adapted by Jon Macy from the forbidden Victorian age erotic text by Oscar Wilde and his crowd, is an important new work that should and I believe will take its place in the still-young canon of gay-themed comics/graphic fiction, alongside insta-classics like Howard Cruse's Stuck Rubber Baby and Alison's Bechdel's Fun Home (interestingly, like both of those books, Macy's Teleny examines and dramatizes our past in part in an effort to contextualize it for the present). Macy, long one of the better-kept secrets of the alterna-cartooning scene, gay or otherwise, here outs himself as a master of the medium with his lush, beautifully drafted, tactilely erotic drawings, simultaneously capturing the swooning romance and gothic decadence of the text. As a bonus, and in the spirit of the original round robin, let's-make-it-up-as-we-go format, Macy offers up a new ending for the lovers; luckily for all of us such a conclusion is ever-more possible in the present day. Let's hope publication of this lovely tome from the newly-minted Northwest Press gains Macy the wide recognition he richly deserves. 5 stars, baby.
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