April 13th, 2013

andrew potter

Blair Niles (1880 - April 13, 1959)

Blair Niles (1880 - 1959) was an American novelist and travel writer. She was a founding member of the Society of Woman Geographers. Blair Niles is a pen name of Mary Blair Rice, adopted from her late second husband's name, Robert Niles, Jr.

The first wife of oceanographer William Beebe, Niles also wrote under the name of Mary Blair Beebe. She lived among indigenous peoples in Mexico, South America, and Southeast Asia. In 1923 she published Casual Wanderings in Ecuador. Colombia: Land of Miracles followed in 1924, and Peruvian Pageant in 1937. In these books she linked contemporary culture with the past by exploring history, traditions, and legends. She visited the notorious Devil's Island in 1926 and recorded the life of a prisoner there (René Belbenoit) in her 1928 best selling biography: Condemned to Devil's Island. The international sensation caused by this book led to prison reforms. Her 1931 book, Strange Brother, was a gay-themed novel (her only work in that genre) set in New York City during the Harlem Renaissance. In 1944 Blair Niles was awarded the Gold medal of the Society of Woman Geographers.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blair_Niles
In Strange Brother (1931), author Blair Niles provided her readers with an extensive list of books to read by having her protagonist discover Whitman's Leaves of Grass, Carpenter's Love's Coming of Age, Plato's Symposium, Ellis's Psychology of Sex volumes, and Auguste Forel's The Sexual Question, among other books. She also identified Caesar, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, and James I of England, along with numerous other historical figures, as homosexual. "You find them all the way back," one character explained, "among the artists and intellectuals of their time... Kings and Emperors [are] in the list, too." The regular appearance of such comments in the novels of the 1930s suggests both the currency of such ideas among gay intellectuals and their allies and their determination to disseminate them among gay readers. --Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 by George Chauncey


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andrew potter

Joseph Villa (August 9, 1948 - April 13, 1995)

Joseph Villa was a pianist who specialized in the Romantic repertory and who was regularly heard in chamber music and as a recital accompanist. He died on April 13, 1995, at St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan. He was 46 and lived in Manhattan.

The cause was AIDS, said Steven Gray, his companion.

Mr. Villa was born in Garfield, N.J., on Aug. 9, 1948, and studied at the Juilliard School with Sascha Gorodnitzki. He later studied privately with Claudio Arrau and Olga Barabini, and he made his debut in a recital at Alice Tully Hall in 1972.

Mr. Villa recorded several albums of works by Liszt. One was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque Liszt in 1978. He also made recordings of works by Scriabin and Saint-Saens. As an accompanist, he gave performances with the sopranos Jessye Norman and Victoria de Los Angeles, the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and the violinists Joseph Fuchs and Eugene Fodor. And he was a frequent participant in chamber music performances at Bargemusic in Brooklyn.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/15/obituaries/joseph-villa-pianist-46.html

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