All or Nothing: The Many Faces of Romaine Brooks is an exciting new reading of the oh-so glamorous life of one of the most transgressive sublimely opinionated gay figures of the 20th century. Think K.D. Lang meets I Kissed A Girl.The author reexamines Brooks’ hot gender-bender romances with Winnaretta Singer, Renée Vivien, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Ida Rubenstein, and Natalie Barney. Drawing upon newly found primary source material she explodes the long held myth regarding the nature of Brooks’ relationship with Natalie Barney. The book paints a complex psychological and sociological portrait of an artist frequently at odds with herself and inevitably at odds with her times whose circle includes Harold Acton, Djuna Barnes, Bernard Berenson, Jean Cocteau, Elsie de Wolfe, Janet Flanner, Radclyffe Hall, Somerset Maugham, Robert de Montesquieu, Man Ray, Gertrude Stein, Uberto Strozzi, Alice B. Toklas, Una Troubridge, Carl Van Vechten, and just about everyone who was anyone in Paris from 1905 through 1935. And Langer discusses Brooks’ quest for perfection in her portraits and drawings as well as her aesthetics inspired by the groundbreaking music of Debussy as well as her experiences as an American living in Mussolini’s Italy during World War II and beyond concluding with how Brooks creates her’ Queer Heroic—and how we now perform gender-the very essence of queerness today.
Risks and challenges
The major challenge to this project is clarifying and obtaining permissions for the illustrations. The copyrights holder appears to be a French lawyer who has previously not been acknowledged. I am in dialogue with him and things appear to be going well. I am hoping that his fees will not be astronomical as this is a labor of love on my part. If they are there will have to be fewer illustrations which will make the book less than I had hoped for and require a rewrite on my part so as not to be impeded by lacking the proper clearances.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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