The Internet is as cruisy as 17th Street on a Saturday night -- bookishly speaking, that is. I started looking for literary info by, for and about gay men and lesbians by logging on to a locally produced site, www.lambdalit.org, webchild of the Lambda Literary Foundation, which produces the Lambda Book Report and the James White Review. There I linked up with www.queerarts.org, which was featuring in its "gallery" the paintings of David Wojnarowicz, the writer, artist and AIDS activist whose diaries were reviewed by Washington writer Hans Johnson in Book World on April 6th of this year.
From there the click of a link line took me to Edward Carter's erotic -- but, I hasten to add, artful -- photographs of the male nude. When colleagues began making snide comments, I reluctantly returned to the home page and clicked on the Bookshop. This put me in the hands of Internet bookseller Amazon.com, which gives Queer Arts a cut from every purchase of a Bookshop book.
One of Amazon's featured gay books du jour was When We Were Three: Travel Albums of George Platt Lynes, Monroe Wheeler, and Glenway Westcott -- which, as it happens, I had intended to write up for the holiday issue of Book World last December. It's an enormously attractive book -- the reproductions have sheens of silver and gold that do justice to their subjects, three of the handsomest and artsiest men ever to have formed a menage a trois: a photographer (Lynes); an editor and publisher (Wheeler); and a novelist (Westcott, The Pilgrim Hawk, The Grandmothers). They all lived in France and knew Cocteau and drank too much and fell in and out of love with one another and looked good no matter what angle they were photographed from. This combination proved irresistible to a thief -- the book was swiped from my desk at The Post before I could get to it, so Amazon. com's mention -- complete with a photo of each member of the menage -- allows me to redress that omission.
And so it goes with cruising the Internet. You never know whom you might pick up.