Cleavage by Wayne Koestenbaum
Essays on Sex, Stars, and Aesthetics

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"Cleavage is very 1960s: it shows off the new permissiveness. (Look! we can reveal most of Elizabeth Taylor's breasts!) Cleavage is not nudity. Cleavage is a promise: not sight, but on the verge of sight."                [p. 138]

In this brilliantly shrewd, hilarious collection of essays, cultural critic and acclaimed writer Wayne Koestenbaum exposes all that provokes, intimidates, heartens, and arouses us in matters of style, celebrity, obscenity, and art.

Armed with a bold curiosity, a stinging wit, and a subversive sense of wordplay, Koestenbaum reflects on a dazzling array of subjects. Here are the outsized emotions inflamed by Sophia Loren, Robert Mapplethorpe, and locker-room nudity . . . vivid dreams of flirting with Bill Clinton and resurrecting Bette Davis from the dead . . . the intangible joys of thrifting . . . the true meaning of masculinity . . . and the indelible sensation that two scoops of vanilla flesh, heaving incongruously in a 70-millimeter musical, made on a young boy of impressionable age.

From the rigors of a day spent with Melanie Griffith ("Melanie Time") to the healing powers of a gray Prada suit ("Diary of a Suit") to moving meditations on the importance of reading ("Why I Read"), this volume is an irresistible exploration of culture and identity in America. If celebrity is--as Koestenbaum suggests--an earthquake, then Cleavage is the aftershock.

About Wayne Koestenbaum

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Wayne Koestenbaum is an American poet and cultural critic. He received a BA from Harvard University, an MA from Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD from Princeton University. He lives in New York City, where he is Distinguished Professor of English at the City University of New York Graduate Center.
Published February 29, 2000 by Ballantine Books. 352 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Cleavage

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According to Koestenbaum, culture is all around us: in movie magazines, paparazzi, Robert Mapplethorpe's photos, Princess Di's dresses and, of course, Liz Taylor. After deconstructing gay men and oper

Jan 31 2000 | Read Full Review of Cleavage: Essays on Sex, Star...

Publishers Weekly

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believe that desire is extreme and anti-social."" An essay on Elizabeth Taylor moves easily from her looks to his own gender identity: ""After watching Elizabeth Taylor movies I feel eerily masculine.

| Read Full Review of Cleavage: Essays on Sex, Star...

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