tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
It took me about six weeks, but I finally finished reading Samuel Delany's recent novel _Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders_. Maybe I just have a kink for long books -- it's 804 pages and, like _Infinite Jest_ (which is even longer), I suspect it's going to be one of those books that keeps being important to me for a really long time. (The third one like that is _A Suitable Boy_ by Vikram Seth, though it hasn't stayed with me quite the same way _Infinite Jest_ has; I've also only read it once.)

In lieu of more thoughts, some quotations from it:

"'There ain't no normal," Shit said. 'That's what he always told me.' With his scruffy beard, Shit pointed his chin toward Dynamite. 'There's just comfortable and uncomfortable. And I like to be comfortable with pretty much everything.'" (p. 305)

"'Well--' Eric looked back up and put his hand on Shit's warm shoulder--'state supported marriage comes with a whole lot of assumptions about how it's gonna be, a history of who has to obey who, when you're justified in callin' it quits, all sorts of things like that. Now, you could agree with each other to change some of those things or do 'em differently, but for thousands and thousands of years gay men and women didn't have even that--except for a few Christian monasteries here and there, where the monks were allowed to marry each other. But nobody likes to think about those. For us, decidin' to be with someone else wasn't a matter of acceptin' a ready-made set of assumptions. You had to work 'em all out from the bottom up, every time--whether you was gonna be monogamous or open; and if you was gonna be open, how you was gonna do it so that it didn't bother the other person and even helped the relationship along. Workin' all that stuff out for yourselves was half the reason you went into a relationship with somebody else. We had some friends once--back when we lived in the Dump--that was faithful for ten months out the year, but for two months they'd go on vacation and do all their tom-cattin' around.' He realized he was making that up, but hell, it was plausible. 'Then they'd be faithful again. But that's how they liked to do it. Then there were guys like us that just had to make real sure that the other person was feelin' good about things, when they did it and knew they were number one and didn't mind. See, that's what people who get married don't have. Or don't have in the same way." (p. 785-786)

"'Bein' a pervert was the only was I ever learned anything worth knowin'.'" (p. 792)

There's also this epigraph, which, if I ever wrote papers anymore, I would try to include in a paper about GC:

"Except there's garbage, which is part of what we're trying to include in our work and our thought, which is to say, we are attentive still to what remains, what gets tossed away and off. We want to include the trash in many ways, thinking of this refuse according to all sorts of disposal systems." -- Avital Ronell

(no subject)

Date: 2013-10-08 04:37 am (UTC)
wild_irises: (Joanna Russ)
From: [personal profile] wild_irises
I have not been able to bring myself to read this, even though I want to, even though it doesn't squick me. The sex bores me so much that I don't get to the novel parts. But I know that's my problem.

Thanks for reminding me to try again.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-10-08 11:55 pm (UTC)
ext_17921: (Default)
From: [identity profile] lindseykuper.livejournal.com
I tried to start Dhalgren, because I found it used and it looked really interesting, but it's a challenging read and I haven't been able to hang with it. Do you have a favorite one of his that you reecommend starting with?

(no subject)

Date: 2013-10-09 06:23 am (UTC)
ivy: Two strands of ivy against a red wall (Default)
From: [personal profile] ivy
Your long quote totally resonates with me here... I've been taking the lacuna of relationships time I've had recently to think about poly and how I want to do it, and I'll probably have some better thoughts on it in the next couple days in my journal. (It turns out that having one partner, and having them have others, was just the thing to be thoughtfully productive.) Essentially, if I'm going to reject primary/secondary as a model for polyamory, I need to figure out how respecting my partners' autonomy to make their own decisions works into that. I'm uncomfortable feeling like I benefit from systemic privilege that their other partner might want more of than they get... I think primary/secondary sucks even if I am the primary. (Down with class systems! Unless everyone in them wants exactly what they have and no more. But in primary/secondary, that's not always how it works out.)

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tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

August 2014

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