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I never knew! - Elf M. Sternberg
I never knew!
I never knew I was such a problem!

On the other hand, looking through the vast and strange array of novels written in the 1950s and 1960s, here on a single subject, I can only get more and more depressed. Who remembers any of these writers? Are they anything more than curiosities? Sometimes, writing just doesn't feel like something with an objective above and beyond just getting a momentary rush of attention.

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful

7 comments or Leave a comment
bldrnrpdx From: bldrnrpdx Date: December 18th, 2005 06:04 am (UTC) (Link)
"Satin Chaps"?
amythis From: amythis Date: December 18th, 2005 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
That threw me because the brunet looks a little like you.
mouser From: mouser Date: December 18th, 2005 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, I think it's the "90% of everything is crap" rule.

90% of ALL books are crap. 90% of gay erotica is crap.

So out of the 100% of everything (which includes all crap created) you expect something in the 10% of non-crap gay erotica from a specific two decades known for a highter-then-90% of crappiness, inside the tiny percentage labeled to be gay erotica to have floated to the top and be remembered?

Most likely there were a few good things out there, but (honestly) how many things can you name from that era? Personally, aside from Heinlein and Asimov I can't think of a blessed thing! Heck, I can't remember mch worth anything from five years ago, let alone fifty!

Don't sweat it. Trying to create a classic is, in my opinion, like that scene in "Dead Poets Society" where they read from the book trying to rate poetry in a scientific manner.

I love IMDB.com!

"Understanding Poetry," by Dr. J. Evans Pritchard, Ph.D. "To fully understand poetry, we must first be fluent with its meter, rhyme and figures of speech, then ask two questions: One, how artfully has the objective of the poem been rendered and two, How important is that objective? Question 1 rates the poem's perfection; question 2 rates its importance. And once these questions have been answered, determining the poem's greatness becomes a relatively simple matter. If the poem's score for perfection is plotted on the horizontal of a graph and its importance is plotted on the vertical, then calculating the total area of the poem yields the measure of its greatness. A sonnet by Byron might score high on the vertical but only average on the horizontal. A Shakespearean sonnet, on the other hand, would score high both horizontally and vertically, yielding a massive total area, thereby revealing the poem to be truly great. As you proceed through the poetry in this book, practice this rating method. As your ability to evaluate poems in this matter grows, so will, so will your enjoyment and understanding of poetry."

Shoot me now.

You write beause you have something to say, and at some level you think others want to hear it. Yes, there is the rush of attention, but the GOAL is to get the words out of your head. Of course there are always new words and ideas somewhere in there that demand attention, but that's for later.
riverheart From: riverheart Date: December 20th, 2005 01:09 am (UTC) (Link)
the GOAL is to get the words out of your head, because they won't leave you in peace until you do. At least, that's how it works for me with poetry. I *have to* write. I do not have the option not to write, because if I don't, it keeps plaguing me until I do. This has been going on since I was about eight, at the latest, and possibly started earlier; I used to tell stories to my brother and sister, before I learned to write, because there was no other way to get the words out of my head.

Once I have them written down, they leave me alone for a while, until the next time.
woggie From: woggie Date: December 18th, 2005 08:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Apparently the gay community remembers a book called Song of the Loon, by Richard Armory, which in the list of covers. It apparently has cult classic status.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 19th, 2005 06:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

It matters to me.

Who remembers any of these writers? Are they anything more than curiosities? Sometimes, writing just doesn't feel like something with an objective above and beyond just getting a momentary rush of attention.

I know I told you this before, but I'll say it again, 'cause it sounds like a good time to do that.

You changed things for me. When I stumbled across your writings, a decade+ ago. I hadn't heard about kink, and my instinctive stumbling had been met with lukewarm response, at best, but I knew I wanted something other than what I'd gotten in the first decade of my sexuality.

Reading your stories sparked my imagination, and let me know I wasn't alone. It sparked some experimentation in my life that laid the foundations for my happy present. I admit, I don't remember most of the characters or the plots, but some images remain (silky blue fur comes to mind, and I always think of you when I see large candy canes.) More than anything the fact your stories were there meant there were people like me. It was reassuring, and it also sparked my libido at a point when it was at an all time post-baby low. I remember I read your stories as foreplay, at a time when my relationship wasn't doing so well. In some sense, your writing kept me alive and looking for something during the time when I could easily have sunk into mediocrity and complacence and given up on sexuality.

Perhaps that sounds like I'm calling them simple porn - I'm honestly not sure whether that would bother you or not. But for me, they were more than just steamy stories that got me hot. They were like finding someone who has your features, in a land full of another ethnicity. Whether you are remembered by literature in fifty years or not, the fact you write affected my life for the better. Ironically, perhaps, it also brought me into the sphere of your life. Funny how the world works.

I can't imagine a better reason to write. Thank you Elf.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 19th, 2005 08:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I stayed in a hotel a few months ago, and in the room was a copy of a book I'd never heard of, by an author I'd never heard of: "And So To Bedlam" by Marguerite Lyon.

I *loved* it. I read it through fully twice during my stay at the hotel. But amazon doesn't mention it, and you won't find much googling either. Even though it was written in the forties (or possibly fifties) about the advertising industry, a lot of it applied startlingly well to the SF bay area tech industry today. A book that good, that relevant, really should be available somewhere. And it's not. Why?

On a more personal note, I do agree with the other poster who mentioned that your writing changed his life. The Journal Entries are every bit as much a part of my personal canon as is Hesse's "Steppenwolf" and Spider Robinson's "Callahan" stories.
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