Occasional reflections on Life, the World, and Mathematics

Bill and Phil


Having published my comment on William S. Burroughs and his place in the grand tradition of English perversity, I should point my readers to this brilliant précis of the Burroughs corpus by Belle Waring at Crooked Timber:

I think pretty much all the Important Male Novelists of the mid to late 20th-century are such sexist dillweeds that it is actually impossible to enjoy the books. For me. Except William S. Burroughs, and that is because he does not want to sex chicks up. Not even a little bit. He wants us to be able to make clones, and then just go live on another planet with only men and boys and million-year-old crab creatures made of radioactive cadmium and then have gay sex there. It is astringently refreshing to have a novelist not care about having sex with you at all. It’s the best! Goodbye, poorly drawn female characters who exist as trophies for when the protagonists level up after a boss battle with Freudian analysis!

But I should complement this dismissal of the IMNs with this interesting feminist (or, at least, womanist) defence of Philip Roth.

 

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