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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
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      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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