Chapter

Introduction: Traversing the Hills of Edendale

Daniel Hurewitz

in Bohemian Los Angeles

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780520249257
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941694 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520249257.003.0001
Introduction: Traversing the Hills of Edendale

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One of the iconic persons of Edendale, Los Angeles was Julian Eltinge, a film and vaudeville sensation. While he was hailed and adored as one of the best performers of his time, Eltinge lost his splendor as a star. Sixty years after his death, his name was not remembered, because Eltinge was a particular kind of performer; one whose performances made him a star in the 1910s, but whose mode of performance was scorned by the mid-century and largely forgotten at the century’s end. Eltinge was a spectacular female impersonator. This book is not only about Edendale and its communities. It discusses identities, such as those of the artists, the Communists, and the homosexuals. The book discusses the politicization of sexual identity, and the changing notions and practices of selfhood. It traces the intellectual developments and the application of those ideas in how people built individual lives and communities. The construction of identity emerged from complex interactions. The emergence of homosexual politics and identity politics was not only a creative product of many homosexuals; rather, it was shaped by the community that was re-imagining the relationship between emotions and politics. Los Angeles, captivated by the ties between vice, race, and politics, participated in that transformation, which led to a political world.

Keywords: Edendale; Los Angeles; Julian Eltinge; sexual identity; construction of identity; homosexual politics; identity politics

Chapter.  7628 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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