The author explores first the works of Cy Twombly and then those of Natvar Bhavsar through the frame of what he describes as 'queer Zen Buddhism' or 'queer Zen'. It is important to note that his investigation requires methods beyond a traditional formal analysis of Twombly's works or a recontextualizing of the writing about them. Overall, Twombly's work and Roland Barthes's writing can help think through queer notions of nationality as well as sexuality. Jonathan Katz makes convincing parallels between the non-dualistic conception of identity often associated with Zen and queer as an unstable signifier of sexual identity. Bhavsar's works, which were not part of the exhibition that Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) brought over, were very much a product of the debates in the New York art world.
In this chapter, the author, through a family history, speaks of how forced exile persists through generations. He narrates the series of events that took place after he left England and moved to United States, including the catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors. The discussion largely focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations. The author also showcases the differences between English and American cultures.
In this chapter, the author discusses the cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s. The city of the 1920s is often referred to as 'Mr Eastman's town'. Economically, the first three decades of the twentieth century had been described as Rochester's golden age, and the centrality of Eastman-Kodak to the city's prosperity had important cultural consequences. The establishment by George Eastman of the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Theatre in 1922 was the single most important event marking the 'end of provincialism'. The 'Rochester Renaissance' owed a lot to Eastman's wealth and philanthropy .
In this chapter, the author explains the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War. The 'internment of aliens' is a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. The author describes his father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. He came to Britain from Germany in February 1938, was a class C 'enemy alien' (recognised as a genuine refugee, and officially designated a 'friendly' enemy alien). The classifications were made by wartime tribunals set up in Britain in 1939.