Saturday, March 15, 2014

Readin 'n' writin' Saturday Random Ten

This week I filled in a previously barren part of my cultural education by reading some James Baldwin, specifically Another Country.  Which is a great novel, as well as an emotional, verbose, and excessive one.  And there's something else I've noticed.

It's no secret, and hasn't been for a while, that a lot of guys are turned on by the idea of women together sexually.  As for the gender flip, for a long time it was assumed that women didn't have this kind of interest.  In the Internet era, however, that assumption has been challenged.  Fan fiction, in which more of the authors are female than male, thrives on gay romance and sex, as illustrated here:

Now Baldwin was gay himself, so the sex in the novel was probably a lot of him writing what he knew.  Still, there are three major characters in the novel who somehow jump between gay and straight lovin'. The other two are the French gay lover of one of the three and a fairly clueless husband.  So while it's a weighty book about race in America, in a lot of ways it feels like he wrote the template for yaoi oriented fanfic.

Also I sent off a story today.  It's been a challenge getting it to where I wanted it to be, but I learned some things on the way.  The 'zine I sent it off to is fairly prestigious, so I'm staying realistic.  If they don't want it then I'll just try somewhere else.

1. Lou Rawls - Breaking My Back (Instead of Using My Mind)
2. Brian Eno - Driving Me Backwards
3. Jimi Hendrix Experience - Fire
4. The Clash - Complete Control
5. Imperial Teen - Overtaken
6. The Cramps - Green Fuz
7. Ladytron - AMTV
8. Morphine - Thursday
9. Arcade Fire - You Already Know
10. Dinah Washington - A Foggy Day


susan said...

James Baldwin was a man who was able to capture the essence of so many aspects of life because he lived them. I haven't read that book since I was young, but I do remember liking it at the time. (I had to look up the meaning of 'yaoi')

I'm glad to hear you've written a story you like enough to submit to a 'zine. I do hope they like it.

It's good to see so many artists and songs I recognize on this week's SR10. I've always liked Lou Rawls.

Ben said...

It's a very generous book in its way, and I'm glad to have taken the time to read it. Re "yaoi", happy to be educational. :)

I've been working on concision in my writing. Hoping it pays off.

Got to give it up for Mr. Rawls!