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L.A. from Every Angle
Posted April 01, 2010 to photo album "L.A. from Every Angle"
As Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg shows, there are many different L.A.s inside the city limits. Joel Bleifuss takes us on the tour of how artists imagine Los Angeles.
Slide 16: L.A. for the Hustlers
John Rechy (1934- ). Rechy, who has boasted that in the 1950s he made history as the first man to walk down Hollywood Boulevard without a shirt, made his name as a novelist by exploring gay subculture of Los Angeles, a city which in his novel Bodies and Souls he calls “the most spiritual and physical of cities.”
Writer Steffie Nelson visited with Rechy after the publication of his latest book, About My Life and the Kept Woman. Reporting for the Los Angeles Times, she observed:
“He was sitting in the dining room of the Beachwood Canyon home he shares with Michael Snyder, a movie producer and his partner of more than 20 years, surrounded by luminous black-and-white portraits of Hollywood stars like Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe. Now 76, Rechy remains best known for the 1963 novel City of Night, a semiautobiographical window into the world of gay street hustling that has influenced artists as diverse as Jim Morrison, David Hockney and Gus Van Sant, who has long wanted to make it into a movie. (‘Maybe I should talk to John about that again,’ Van Sant wrote in an e-mail, calling the book ‘an American masterpiece.’)”