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Dimensions:
234 × 156 mm
192 pages
Format:
Paperback
ISBN:
9781861891808
Illustrations:
12 illustrations
Published:
01 Sep 2003

Backward Glances Cruising Queer Streets in New York and London Mark Turner

Backward Glances is an exploration of the history of male street cruising. Too often in discussions of urban space and interpretations of urban culture, streetwalking implies a rigid model for the way we inhabit the streets. Beginning with the simple premise that we all walk the streets differently, Mark Turner suggests that male cruising operates through encounter and connection rather than alienation, and that it is the defining experience of what it means to be modern.

Backward Glances is the first gay urban history of its kind, examining these issues across a range of cultural material, including novels, poems, pornography, journalism, gay guides, paintings, the internet, and fragments of writing about the city such as Whitman's notebooks and David Hockney's grafitti. It provides a new way of understanding what it means for a man to walk the streets of the modern Western city.

Backward Glances is aimed at all those interested in the culture of the city, queer cultural history and the appropriation of public space.

‘ . . . Backward Glances is worthy of our attention, providing considerable insight into a largely invisible - and certainly very lively - feature of the urban landscape.’ – The Gay and Lesbian Review

‘an intelligent take on cruising . . . Turner suggests that male cruising operates through encounter and connection rather than alienation, and that this is the defining experience of modern life. It is the first gay urban history of its kind and examines issue across a range of cultural material, including poems, pornography, journalism, gay guides, paintings and the internet . . . provides a new way of understanding what it means for a man to walk the streets of the modern western city.’ – Refresh

Backward Glances gives us a glimpse of cruising in the good old, bad old days before screwing, for good or ill, became sanitised.’ – The List, Glasgow

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Mark Turner is Lecturer in English at King's College, University of London.