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Re: Just a little way into _Spiders_, and...

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  • vpoleganov
    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
    Message 1 of 15 , May 25, 2012
      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 delany-list@yahoogroups.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
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
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