Visions and Revisions

Visions and Revisions Novelist and critic Dale Peck s latest work part memoir part extended essay is a foray into what the author calls the second half of the first half of the AIDS epidemic i e the period between

  • Title: Visions and Revisions
  • Author: Dale Peck
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 420
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Visions and Revisions

    Novelist and critic Dale Peck s latest work part memoir, part extended essay is a foray into what the author calls the second half of the first half of the AIDS epidemic, i.e the period between 1987, when the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power ACT UP was founded, and 1996, when the advent of combination therapy transformed AIDS from a virtual death sentence into a chronNovelist and critic Dale Peck s latest work part memoir, part extended essay is a foray into what the author calls the second half of the first half of the AIDS epidemic, i.e the period between 1987, when the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power ACT UP was founded, and 1996, when the advent of combination therapy transformed AIDS from a virtual death sentence into a chronic manageable illness.Reminiscent of Joan Didion s The White Album and Kurt Vonnegut s Palm Sunday, Visions and Revisions is a sweeping, collage style portrait of a tumultuous era Moving seamlessly from the lyrical to the analytical to the reportorial, Peck s story takes readers from the serial killings of gay men in New York, London, and Milwaukee, through Peck s first loves upon coming out of the closet, to the transformation of LGBT people from marginal, idealistic fighters to their present place in a world of widespread, if fraught, mainstream acceptance.The narrative pays particular attention the words and deeds of AIDS activists, offering a streetlevel portrait of ACT UP with considerations of AIDS centered fiction and criticism of the era, as well as intimate, sometimes elegiac portraits of artists, activists, and HIV positive people Peck knew Peck s fiery rhetoric against a government that sat on its hands for the first several years of the epidemic is tinged with the idealism of a young gay man discovering his political, artistic, and sexual identity The result is a visionary and indispensable work from one of America s most brilliant and controversial authors.

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    One thought on “Visions and Revisions

    1. Alvin

      A mish-mosh of personal essays, critical theory, history, erotica, and prose poetry. Worth reading because when Peck is good, he's very good, but be prepared to wish some parts had been left on the cutting room floor.

    2. Rj

      A collection of non-fiction essays about identity, sexuality and HIV and AIDS, Peck's book is a look at a writer's life as he came of age during the 1980s and 1990s. "I took Janet Malcolm at face value when she declared, "Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible"" 99"But regardless of its strengths and failures, this world's continued existence was made untenable by the outbreak of AIDS in 1981, which [...]

    3. Alex Hubbard

      Visions and Revisions is a beautiful attempt at telling the story of the AIDS crisis in the early 1990s. For me, the problems with the book were mostly formal. Namely, Peck wanted to give a memoir but instead mostly gave reporting; he wanted to show feeling, understanding, and empathy, but mostly he just told the reader a lot of different facts and ideas without exploring much in the way of what motivated the feelings and stories he was laying out. Partially, I think the formal problems present [...]

    4. Myles

      This started with a tremendous monologue of Peck detailing his relationships that conjured up fond memories of the disaffected literature of the 1980s (I'm beginning to see why irony is ruining culture, but I have no regrets), but the feeling faded as the book went on and I realized that voice wasn't coming back.Peck examines the AIDS epidemic as he experienced it and shares a few stories of the experiences of others. Visions and Revisions is a series of essays published at different times and t [...]

    5. Dan

      I had to find out what all the fuss was about and read this book. It has landed a spot on my top 5 list for best memoirs. It's an intelligent, literate, thoughtful, no holds barred memoir from a man who fought in (was caught up in?) the AIDS war at ACT-UP when he was in his early 20's. Twenty plus years later he's still angry (who isn't). The style can be bombastic with details that will shock some readers but that is a very good thing. It's intended is to make you think about the death sentence [...]

    6. Robert Vaughan

      What I loved about this book were the cross-genre inclusions of material, how Peck seemed to work organically to thread together an actual fully-flushed experience of the AIDS epidemic, and the enormous impact it has had both culturally, and personally. I wish there had been less of a distant or "professional" tone or voice used in some of the essays. Still, this is admirable, and relatable, as one who was in the trenches, in NYC at the time AIDS first aired (early 1980s- those years Reagan coul [...]

    7. Barry

      I came of age at a similar age as Peck and read his first three novels as soon as I could lay hands on them. This series of essays, part biography, part journalism speak in length to the face of AIDS and how it changed the world. I find his writing to be both visceral and honest in a way that few writers on this topic are able to muster. He mentions Larry Kramer as a hero --- for me, in my quest to discover my place in this world as a gay man of the eighties, the same word comes to mind. Hero. D [...]

    8. Jerry

      For someone who is about a decade younger, this book provides essential insight to what it was like living on the frontlines of the AIDS crisis. Not only with ACT UP, but also dating, loving and learning as a young man in New York City, San Francisco and London. The swirl of information – a pre-Internet daze of knowledge gleaned from fragments and pieced together to form some sort of almost-whole – is something that younger men and women aren't aware of and this document will remain an impor [...]

    9. Karen

      Dale Peck's Visions and Revisions is part memoir and part historical and cultural analysis written in a fierce, tight and poetic style that brought me right back to those horrible and life-changing days before protease inhibitors. While not a full history of ACT UP it gives an excellent sense of what it was like to organize when it was a matter of life and death and there was nothing to lose. While sometimes it seems as if it was so long ago and that the communities that was created, especially [...]

    10. willowdog

      Love the style of his works. Don't we all wish we could go over things we wrote or did and rethink them. Part memoir, part essays, part philosophical analysis of bsdm behavior, examines queer theory with references to Bersoni, Foucant, and Kushner, part history of AIDS.

    11. John Treat

      This is the closest thing we have so far to a book about being HIV- in the era of AIDS. A good writer thinks hard and shares his thoughts with us; the downside is that unfortunately those thoughts are limited to New York City, not the center of the world.

    12. Aaron Talbot

      a powerful memoir/treatise on growing up and coming to terms with the AIDS epidimicoughtful, angry, sentimental, caring, theoretical, intelligent, and moving.

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