In a movie review from Time (http://time.com/5440357/bohemian-rhapsody-freddie-mercury-queerness/ ), there are a few sentences I don’t understand.

What made Freddie Mercury such a captivating public figure is the same thing that makes him such a difficult subject to capture fully on film: his multitudes. Examine his sexuality alone and you have contractions twisting and knotting within one rather petite man. He never formally came out, yet his queerness was imprinted on the very band he fronted and named, Queen. He is said to have had an insatiable appetite for sex with men, yet his most enduring relationship seems to have been with a woman to whom he was once engaged (and who inherited the majority of his fortune when he died of AIDS in 1991), Mary Austen. He fluidly presented along the femme-butch spectrum, equally convincing in glam drag, in drag drag, and in the cartoonishly masculine “Castro clone” uniform (tight jeans, tank top, an imposing mustache, muscles) that originated in San Francisco in the early ’70s.

Please have a look at the emboldened sentence. I don’t understand what “contractions” means here. I looked up in a dictionary but I don’t feel the given definitions make sense. Is “twisting and knotting” an idiom? But I have no idea at all.

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    Probably a typo for "contradictions"? The review goes on to list a series of contradictions. Commented Dec 22, 2018 at 23:57

1 Answer 1


It is a typo. The word should be "contradictions". The "A yet B" structure of the subsequent sentences makes that clear.

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