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Re: [delany-list] Delany, Disch, Amazon. & Wallace

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  • Dan'l Danehy-Oakes
    Hmmm. Ok, now having read the full David Foster Wallace piece, I d read it as saying that he has read and liked other Delany but found _Hogg_ phallocratic --
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 14, 2005
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      Hmmm. Ok, now having read the full David Foster Wallace piece, I'd read it
      as saying that
      he has read and liked other Delany but found _Hogg_ "phallocratic" -- a
      wrongheaded
      (imio) but not unreasonable reading. Certainly the book is _about_ (at one
      of its levels)
      a person who treats women as meat to be fucked, and who makes his living by
      his dick.

      --Dan'l
    • Robert Elkin
      And yet Hogg comes from the definite voice of a narrator, with its own personality-construct coloring all utterance; should not any charges of phallocracy be
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 14, 2005
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        And yet Hogg comes from the definite voice of a
        narrator, with its own personality-construct coloring
        all utterance; should not any charges of "phallocracy"
        be forced to recognize that fact & explain how they
        maintain themselves in light of it? As Nero Wolfe
        might say, "Pfui!"

        --- Dan'l Danehy-Oakes <katbarx@...> wrote:

        > Hmmm. Ok, now having read the full David Foster
        > Wallace piece, I'd read it
        > as saying that
        > he has read and liked other Delany but found _Hogg_
        > "phallocratic" -- a
        > wrongheaded
        > (imio) but not unreasonable reading. Certainly the
        > book is _about_ (at one
        > of its levels)
        > a person who treats women as meat to be fucked, and
        > who makes his living by
        > his dick.
        >
        > --Dan'l
        >
        >
        >


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      • Robert Elkin
        Re Updike: Witches of Eastwick is misogynistic to the max, whether intentionally or unintentionally. ... __________________________________________________ Do
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 14, 2005
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          Re Updike: Witches of Eastwick is misogynistic to the
          max, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

          --- Terence Enright <guy_fawkes99@...> wrote:

          > Well, I don't think there's necessarily any
          > indication that he's read *any* other Delany. And
          > the fact that he was able to read Delany--not Hogg,
          > but Delany--as a phallocrat, suggests he hasn't.
          >
          > Here's the relevant portion: "None of the
          > other famous phallocrats of his generation -- not
          > Mailer, not Frederick
          > Exley or Charles Bukowski or even the Samuel Delany
          > of Hogg -- excites such
          > violent dislike." Note Samuel Delany is listed with
          > other authors, not books, and appears in the context
          > of an entire article whose main point seems to be
          > that Updike's books suck because Updike sucks. If
          > there's textual support for the idea that Hogg and
          > not Delany is what DFW's attacking, I'm not aware of
          > it.
          >
          > In any case when he says "the Samuel Delany of Hogg"
          > he's acknowledging that book might be or is
          > one-of-a-kind and doesn't evince Delany's misogny
          > the way he imagines he's marshaled evidence about
          > Updike. Although I've only read the five books of
          > the Rabbit series, I suspect DFW (one of my fave
          > writers, by the way; I've read all his books) is
          > almost as wrong about Updike as he is about Delany.
          >
          >
          > Dan'l Danehy-Oakes <katbarx@...> wrote:
          > Hmmm. Ok, now having read the full David Foster
          > Wallace piece, I'd read it
          > as saying that
          > he has read and liked other Delany but found _Hogg_
          > "phallocratic" -- a
          > wrongheaded
          > (imio) but not unreasonable reading. Certainly the
          > book is _about_ (at one
          > of its levels)
          > a person who treats women as meat to be fucked, and
          > who makes his living by
          > his dick.
          >
          > --Dan'l
          >
          >
          >
          >
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        • Ron Henry
          ... Even so, not so much as a critic at a respected publication. Does anyone know how Amazon vets such reviewers? ... Actually, I disagree. I think the phrase
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 15, 2005
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            On 9/10/05, Terence Enright <guy_fawkes99@...> wrote:

            > The Amazon reviewer wasn't random, it was a staff person. So yeah, for
            > someone who's paid for it, I (foolishly?) expect a cursory level of care.

            Even so, not so much as a critic at a respected publication. Does
            anyone know how Amazon vets such reviewers?

            > The Wallace review came in the course of his baleful and weirdly personal attack on John Updike. Apparently, Wallace considers the feminist Delany a "phallocrat".

            Actually, I disagree. I think the phrase "the Delany of Hogg" is telling.

            And while Delany, the person, is a feminist, and includes feminist
            concerns in many of his novels, would you say that Hogg is a novel
            with any feminist concerns?

            > I have to assume that Hogg is the only Delany book the seemingly omniscient
            > DFW's read,

            Why? I see no evidence, and in fact the phrase "the Delany of Hogg"
            (as opposed to the "Delany of Dhalgren" or "the Delany of Neveryona"
            -- both of whom I think are concerned with feminist issues) suggests
            exactly otherwise.

            My general knowledge of DFW would lead me to idly speculate he's read
            Dhalgren, the Neveryona series, Atlantis, and Hogg, but probably not
            the early genre novels pre-Dhalgren. But who knows?

            > as his misreading is colossal. Quote and link follow below.
            >
            > Personally, I think there are some very striking similarities between DFW and
            > SRD. A paper comparing them would be a pretty interesting critical endeavor.
            > Anyone here read Infinite Jest?

            Sure. And I admire it. Coincidentally I am reading Wallace's
            non-fiction book on transfinite math right now, which is quite an
            exercise in trying to dredge up 20 year old memories of calculus
            classes from college.

            I don't see that that much correspondence between the fiction of DFW
            and Delany (other than the fact they're both extremely skilled
            contemporary novelists). I would be more likely to put DFW in a
            grouping with Don DeLillo and Pynchon.

            And I think, on a cursory review of the article, that I generally
            agree with his negative comments on Updike's work, whose writing has
            always bothered me as well, and moreso as his career has declined.
            (And tangentially, I think Nicholson Baker's crush on Updike ruined an
            otherwise brilliant possible career as a novelist.)

            My main problem with what DFW says is that associating Delany's
            intentionally-marginal porn experiment with the celebrated mainstream
            dickhead writers is too big a stretch, and a mistaken association. I
            suspect DFW was glibly trying to name-drop a trendier writer than
            Mailer and Bukowski, both of whom merely elicit tired groans from
            those who aren't fans. (I don't know Frederick Exley's work, so I
            can't compare that part of the line of citations.) For the
            contemporary scene, Delany's certainly got a sexier critical image to
            allude to in a drive-by critique, and I think that's what Wallace was
            rhetorically (mis-?) using by associating him with the tired old
            "phallocrats."

            Of course this consists of four words in a several page essay, so it's
            a pretty minor point, even for this long-time Delany reader.

            Ron Henry
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