Re: Just a little way into _Spiders_, and...
- Towards the end we are told that Eric has read another book, besides Ethica, more than once. Is that supposed to be Barnes' Nightwood?
Finished it today and I completely agree with what someone on the message board here wrote a while ago - TVNS is probably Delany's most satisfying novel since "Stars..."
--- In email@example.com, Steve M <lists@...> wrote:
> I'm glad I didn't read this thread until after I had finished the book.
> I think there's a reason that one of the only porn films actually
> mentioned as playing at the Opera is LA Tool and Die. The opening
> "Shack" sequence roughly mirrors the truck-stop orgy scene while the
> jackoff scene at the gas station later mirrors Eric's youthful
> experience watching his Greek neighbor.
> I too found myself often distanced from the sex scenes. It was, as
> one of the two big reviews said, like reading someone else's
> pornography--though I am gay and have done some of the things
> described. And I know men like some of the characters, in the sense
> of the sexual opennness and nonomogamy, the interplays between food
> and sex, the turnon around sweat and other smells, the sexual ease.
> You're right about the Nifty connection. I thought in particular of
> the "Bob Archman" Millennium Construction Company/Catfish series both
> for the idealized setting (rich benefactor for a blue collar utopia)
> and for the sexual ethics of openness and frequent desire.
> And yet there was something about the repetition of the sexuality,
> the slow change over time of acts and desires repeated and reenacted
> that in the end worked to reveal th relationship between the two men
> and their character. It was how they learned about one another; it
> was their shared language, and as age changes that watching the
> residue of character continue without that element was fascinating.
> One of the ways the book fights pornography is that
> pornography--especially writtren pornography--is almost always about
> newness: the first time, or the first time with that person, or the
> first time for that act. Pornography rarely sticks through the long
> haul of relationship, the doing the same things with the same person
> or people, the kind of joy of familiarity and repetition, of ritual,
> of knowing what turns this person on and doing it. So as the first
> half of the book wears on and it becomes more and more about Eric and
> Shit having sex again, it becomes almost anti-pornographic.
> These are just random thoughts.
> I do know that once time started accelerating I couldn't put it down.
> The new characters on the island, the ways the outside world
> intruded, and the way others tried to redefine Eric and Shit's story
> to fit it into the community narrative were all fascinating.
> At 8:16 PM +0000 5/20/12, toddbehr60 wrote:
> >I've been slowly working my way through "Spiders" since it came out.
> >I'm about 2/3 of the way through, and I'm giving serious
> >consideration to bailing.
> >I read a few chapters, then have to flee and read something less...
> >unpleasant before returning. As one earlier poster commented, it's
> >not the sex, it's the fact that the sex is boring. I mean, if Delany
> >wants to bring pornography into the literary conversation, it
> >somewhat behooves him to, you know, make the porno HOT!
> >Sadly, it's not. I get more excitement out of a few minutes on xtube
> >or the "nifty" erotic story archive. As a middle-aged gay man, I've
> >participated in a significant percentage of the "transgressive"
> >activities detailed in the book. Not in the volumes as the
> >characters, and not with the dedication to plumbing the depths of
> >dinge evidenced by Eric, Shit, Dynamite and their neighbors, but
> >none of it is really shocking to me. Just kind of exhausting.
> >So, OK, it's porno that's not meant to arouse. So then it must be
> >trying to tell me something about the world, or at least about the
> >world inhabited by Eric and Shit. I suspect Eric's attempts to read
> >Spinoza are a clue, but I'm just not getting it. Do I need to stop
> >reading "Spiders" and go read Spinoza before it will make sense?
> >I keep waiting for something to happen that will connect with me as
> >a reader. Instead, I get a torrent of the kind of stuff that, if
> >you're not into it, just means nothing. I'm far more interested in
> >an emotional connection that the mechanics of extreme fetishism.
> >So, can someone tell me if there is ever any kind of emotional
> >payoff? I'm starting to lose hope.
> >== Posted to delany-list, hosted at yahoo groups ==
> >== A mailing list for the discussion of the works of Samuel R.
> >Delany. ==Yahoo! Groups Links