Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The catch-up. Further to my idiotic thoughts about fag hags from last year, I just saw a blog post that alerted me to the fierce (pardon my pun) debates being fought over the authorship of male/male slash fiction.

Is it a queer practice, even if the authors themselves do not identify as queer? Do you have to "write what you know", or can you successfully "write the other"? Are women offensively appropriating gay male culture, or is any attempt to police female-authored erotica just another attempt to police female sexuality? And is writing about sex between male characters simply a reflection of internalised misogyny – that the writers don't deem female characters interesting enough?

I don't really have any answers to these questions, and honestly, I feel uncomfortable even trying to participate in these debates. I don't write fanfic (indeed, for me it's one of the more acutely embarrassing fan practices), and am unfamiliar with the current state of identity politics.

Generally these days, my thinking roams over a pretty wide terrain. I tend to skim over the surfaces of topics in search of ideas, and then when I need to explain a certain idea at length I tend to immerse myself in it. I've always felt very keenly the need to mount unimpeachable – or at least impressively coherent – arguments. It's my nightmare that I will be jeered at for being ill-informed, so I tend to spend time making sure I am impregnable on this front.

This is why it takes me so long to write even the most superficial story. This is why late Sunday night I was boning up on Aarne-Thompson's and Propp's respective classification schemes of folk tales, and on Homeric notions of xenia, the ancient Greek ethic of hospitality, to ensure I nailed several paragraphs in an essay. These paragraphs ended up being edited out. So there you go. My research was wasted.

But anyway, my point here is that I can tell when I am in danger of being absorbed by a topic and wanting to spend all my time learning all I can about it so that I can write about it with some authority. And I know that if I embark down some queer politics wormhole, I won't have time to do any of the thinking and writing I need to get done in order to make my living.

hey. I've just come across your blog. I've just started my own. Would you be interested in being involved in a discussion about rape fiction's place in erotica and society's views of women etc.?

if so my details:

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