Subject: Working Late
Hi Ana. Wont be able to mark it out to the bard. Working late. Feel freezer to take the helicopter for a spin. Plz don't change the channels on the TV. Changed your do not eat list to include broccoli will have paperwork for you to reflect this in am. peace. Christian. xoxo
The avant-garde tradition was at the heart of "genre fiction" long before magical realism snuck its scrummy sandwich of strangeness up onto that ascetic's pillar of privilege and began sating appetites disregarded by contemporary realism. Funny enough, while some intransigent blowhards maintain the delusion that to be truly serious as a writer one just must write contemporary realism, the public starved by that thin gruel, lacking not plot per se but rather viscerality, has slowly made it quite clear that they'd really quite like something different now, please. Not more of the same. That's a demand "genre fiction" has been supplying from the outset, not just in the superficial novelty of fresh conceits that is a selling point for science fiction and fantasy, but in the innovations of form that happen as an idiom argues with its history.
There's only so long you can feed people melodrama muted to a low drone before they drift away.
The history of sex is also a literary history. From Catulo and Sappho to Candy and Fanny Hill or the Marquis de Sade and Story of O, the way we make love owes a lot to our curiosity, to the voyeuristic side of our nature and the many forms of artistic representation that allow us to peek into the forbidden or daring practices of others. Clothes, movies, porn sites and the like do their part, but books are still unrivaled in their capacity to evoke fantasies and fuel the erotic imagination. A book does not allow the reader to be just an observer; it requires the intrinsic complicity of the mind, which stages a mental production based on the often sparse notes of the author, fantasies woven by words forcing the reader to bring into play his or her own desires or experiences.
That's it. That's all. Fifty Shades of Grey is porn, and porn can be quite fun. With the publishing industry in such choppy waters, I fail to understand why this record-pounding paperback has come in for extra-special derision all over the world, other than the fact that some people are appalled at the idea that somewhere out there, well over ten million women might be – whisper it – masturbating.
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