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Re: [delany-list] Thomas Disch, what are you on?

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  • Dan'l Danehy-Oakes
    ... Yeah, I d like to see that also. ... Possibly Disch misread. There is (at least in the first edition) a definite intention, supported by a rather
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 14 12:32 PM
      > > Then
      > > David Foster Wallace suggests Hogg is proof of Delany's misogyny and
      > > of his being a misognyist.
      >Can you provide a reference for this review?

      Yeah, I'd like to see that also.

      > > Then, Thomas Disch of all people describes
      > > The Mad Man as Delany's "nadir" and says that its "doubtful thesis is
      > > that HIV is not the cause of AIDS." What the fuck?

      Possibly Disch misread. There is (at least in the first edition) a definite
      intention, supported by a rather controversial medical study reprinted as
      an appendix, to suggest that blowjobs are not high-risk behavior, that
      HIV is primarily transmitted through buttfuckery. Delany _is_ correct in
      his suggestion (here and elsewhere) that this study should have been
      followed up, whether to confirm or deny.

      >... Disch
      >in the last 20 years has become quite infamous for his sf criticism,
      >which many consider full of cheap shots and ad hominems, and generally
      >dismissive of the genre as immature and sub-literary.

      Actually, I -- as a huge reader and fan and occasional writer of SFF --
      find Disch's criticism acute and accurate. It is also merciless.

      Disch managed to offend me, just once, and it wasn't with an essay
      but a poem, in which he punctured the (admittedly) muzzy mysticism
      of Herb Varley's short story "The Persistence of Vision" in a way that
      was very cruel, not to Varley, but to his then-wife, who was chairbound.

      >See chiefly his book "The Dreams Our Stuff is Made of" (I think that's the
      >title), though there is a more recent one, I think, that I have not had a
      >look at.

      Oh, well, I'll go the full distance and recommend "Dreams" highly. It's
      ascerbic, funny, and pinpoints everything wrong with the ultramontane
      form of SFF triumphalism. It isn't anti-SF; it's anti-"SF is the One True
      Literary Form for the Twenty-first Century."

      Incidentally, I also highly recommend Disch's more recent novels,
      such as "The M.D.," "The Priest," and "The Substitute." They're vicious
      urban horror novels with a satirical streak a mile wide.

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