This distinguished first novel is the story of a young man’s attempt to understand what it means for him to love – to love another man and to live in our post-AIDS society. He knows that his relationship with a lover will be nothing like his parents’ marriage. But, by the same token, he has no desire to follow the examples set out by his gay friends. Caught between two impossible alternatives – marriage based on emotional dependency and a life of sexual encounters with strangers – he seeks to discover a new way-- his own way – with the help of the Blue Lady. Weaving narrative, personal myth, and poetry, the novel is one of the first to deal with the realities of navagating desire in light of HIV disease.
Examining the life and work of three Italian artists of the fascist years – writer Giovanni Comisso; poet and painter Filippo de Pisis; painter Corrado Cagli – Queer Ventennio explores the competing ways in which male homoeroticism was understood in Italy in the years between the world wars. Seeking to interrupt the narrative that understands “our” modern sexuality as a historical shift from a concern with acts to identities, it examines the ways in which these artists turned to myth and the classical past to understand their erotic attachments to other men. The fact that fascism also turned to the past for inspiration complicates attempts to identify an Italian fascist aesthetic and reminds us that modernism itself was haunted by a variety of investments in the so-called primitive.
In addition to two novels and four scholarly monographs, Champagne has published academic essays, personal narrative, and poems in both anthologies and literary and scholarly journals.
Champagne’s work has been reviewed in such venues as TLS, Modernism/modernity, and gender/sexuality/Italy. For a list of Champagne’s citations, see the complete Google Scholar page.