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  • Dan'l Danehy-Oakes
    There s a fairly serious article about _Hogg_ on the Topolivres website (http://blog.topolivres.com/blogtopolivres/48/), which is in French. I put it through
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 14 2:36 PM
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      There's a fairly serious article about _Hogg_ on the "Topolivres" website
      (http://blog.topolivres.com/blogtopolivres/48/), which is in French.

      I put it through Babelfish (babelfish.altavista.com) to help my faltering
      French. It didn't help much, but the text that came back has some
      great examples of bad machine translation. I'm posting it here for
      y'all's delectation.


      Samuel Delany devastates his reader

      Your library will not occur from them.
      topolivres underlines some works by the way of the Net.

      Still a novel of blood and indecent assault? Bruce Benderson, J.T.
      LeRoy, Scott Heims... The American vogue is with the obscenity.
      The recent publication of Hogg, refused during more than twenty
      years, seems to confirm it. Let us guarantee that the hero and
      narrator, old with twelve, thirteen years, will be endowed with a
      quasi-supernatural sexual precocity and will be affubl� of the nickname
      of "cocksucker", which will summarize his report/ratio with the beings
      perfectly; that the book will be reduced to a series of scenes of an
      insupportable sexual violence, according to crescendo of atrocity, on
      bottom of bars of lorry drivers and crasseuses lanes; that the ultimate
      objective of the author will consist in revealing the infamous share
      placed of each one of us, with the edges of inhumanity, human
      perversion. Gained, gained and regained. And yet, Hogg relegates
      all its successors to the row of impostors, perverts at the small
      week. Delany aims higher.

      Its ambition pushes it to devastate its reader, to reduce out of pulp
      its least wills of identification to the characters, to destroy his righter
      definition of the "literary" word. Perhaps the first chapter read, you
      will smile of the abuses language to which the typically American
      practice of the co-optation of authors leads - which "remarkable literary
      qualities" Norman Mailer it could well detect in this orgy of orduriers
      terms and tables smeared with the body fluids? It is to be wondered
      how the author manages to compose of the sentences who hold
      upright with the only words "chibre", "pisses", "jute" and "shit"!... But
      here, it is really the question raised - vomitted, �ruct�e - by Hogg : as
      from which moment a novel does cross it the terminals of the "arts

      The first crack (but not only) by which the charpie of the book flows
      on its reader, at the point to bury it, it is the body with body. The
      moment when the grimace wave of dislike, posted to mark a certain
      distance with "this kind of books", transfers with the abrupt fall of
      blood in the heels, accompanied by cold sweats and powerful nauseas,
      of those which force you to close again the book under penalty of him
      to return immediately what it inflicts you. How many novels made you
      this effect? It will be objected that any horrible or pornographic
      description, the Pavlovian reflex of the body answers, that a gadget
      SAS fulfills this function just as easily, and that the true literature
      precisely consists in suggesting without showing. Question of subtlety.
      But how to explain, in this case, that last "the" scene of apotheosis,
      with the ray tortures mental and abomination, the effect remains and
      does not release you any more, following the example virus which
      would have contaminated you? You will miss weakening by reading
      the episode of the self-mutilation practised by the character of
      Denny, but certainly not because what arrives to him could have
      arrived to you. You have nothing to do with Denny, who masturbates
      exactly as it breathes and with which it idea to rape somebody can
      appear tempting. On the other hand, you know it closely, if not why
      such an amount of compassion in its connection? Like Cocksucker and
      of monstrous Hogg, ogre ventripotent remarkable by his stink and his
      vocation to produce human waste, Denny is the reincarnation of a
      mythical figure - in fact, that of Priape. Only the mutilation can tear
      off it with this black share projected in him by the shade of the satyr
      and reject it, brutally, on the firm ground (reasonable reality, cleansed,

      And what discovers Denny, by taking its painful first steps there? That
      this space is deserted. By beginning your reading, you thought of
      dealing with band of removed from rim social cases, irremediable
      perverts: Hogg, Cocksucker, Neg' and the Wop, selling their services
      of sworn in rapists with some notable cocufi�s (and vindicatory),
      symbolically represented this barbarian impulse driven back by the others,
      assumed by them. Insipid social criticism, you thought then, opposing
      the sleeping partners, powerful machiavelic, with the fauna of obscure
      who, "at least", do not hesitate to put the hands in dirty oil. But here,
      you guess soon that the matter of Samuel Delany is not there. The
      monsters which populate Hogg are not symbols decorating the texture
      of the novel, they make it up very whole, like the scraps of a flesh
      sutured together. All monstrosity and only monstrosity.

      In Hogg, you do not have your place as yourself. Thus, the character
      of the police officer who, surprising the rape of Cocksucker by two
      fishermen, pronounces the first judicious words of the book - "What is
      it that this mess?"-, is not long in you giving up, mutant in his turn in
      a monster of the olden days -"But what it is that this small tared",
      hal�te it before crawling on the young boy, whose simple presence
      seems to be enough to metamorphose the men in animals... You here
      again only with your humanity. To continue your reading (and you will
      want mordicus to complete it, would be this to only show again some
      the infamous writer), you know that it will be necessary for you to be
      stripped yourself and to choose, among the peels at disposal, that
      which will suit you like a glove. Neither derision nor subjacent morals
      to which to hang up again itself, it will be necessary to go there. Will
      you be ogre, demon, goule, satyr? This choice is left to you, but you
      will not have any right to call upon a "reason" with this one, in a world
      where only "the desire", with the most barbarian direction of the
      term, fact office of law. Lesson uttered by Hogg, monster d�cisionnaire
      as regards monstrosity, in the legislature as in the executive: "If you
      make a trick like that, guy, it is that t'en want (...). But you can find
      me only one filth of reason to do that?"

      In company of Cocksucker, you will drink until more thirst the dregs
      which will be thrown to you in grazing ground. Then, in race end, the
      engine will tire. When "the desire" for ransacking any piece of existing
      matter and spirit decrease, that does there remain, in the world of
      Hogg ? Once is not habit, the answer is delivered by Cocksucker, single
      marked word by him, sounding as a perverted version of the nice
      proverb according to which the truth always leaves the mouth of the
      children: Nothing. Inevitably, nothing, no sound, no light. All is darkened.

      Samuel Delany
      Translated from English (the United States) by Norbert Naigeon
      Disorders/Laurence Viallet 2006
      23 euros

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