Feinberg, David. “Queer and Loathing: Rants and Raves of a Raging AIDS Clone”, Penguin, 1995.
Activism, AIDS and Life
David Feinberg’s nonfiction collection of essays about himself, AIDS and life is not a new release and in fact we have already lost Feinberg to AIDS but some reason I never posted my review. This is an important book about being gay and Jewish even though that is not its intention. Feinberg tells us that what he writes here is as close to the truth as he will ever write and he uses satire and wit, pathos and some black humor to tell us about his life with AIDS. His work is unsettling as he writes about living with AIDS and to use humor to tell about it does not always work—even in the humor we feel his anger at his life be cutting short. His autobiographical pieces are angry and tender at the same time and this is not so easy to do.
Feinberg is sarcastic and he explains that he would go crazy if he had to deal with AIDS as the disease is and I think we can understand that it is not easy to write about something that you know is taking your life. He describes his life with AIDS as his “decent into HIV hell”. For me this was not an away book to read and I suspect that anyone who lived through the epidemic will say the same. Yet it is important that we know what he says because he was not the only one feeling it. The book is so profoundly human that we cannot help but understand what he says and be affected by it. Feinberg wrote these essays with the object of offending others and he indeed does.