Shorter Views

Samuel R. DeLaney, Author, Samuel R. Delany, Author Wesleyan University Press $50 (476p) ISBN 978-0-8195-6368-2
Living up to essayist and science fiction author Delany's reputation for pushing literary and cultural boundaries, these 25 essays, interviews and reviews, all of which appeared between 1987 and 1998 in a variety of literary magazines and anthologies, encompass both traditional literary criticism and autobiography. From his explication of Jacques Derrida's literary theories as applied to U.S. science fiction to his analysis of the African-American s&m scene and its effect on his writing, Delany's remarkable erudition is as evident as his ability to generate controversy. In a provocative essay, ""Pornography and Censorship,"" he discusses how critical evaluations of pornography and other sexual writings would be more valid if the critics discussed their own arousal. In ""The Making of Hogg,"" Delany discusses the writing and the critical reception of his novel, which was considered so sexually violent that it took 22 years for it to be published. In the middle of an interview about the literary canon, he includes a 10-page riff, replete with new scholarship, on how the suppression of information about Stephen Crane's homosexuality has helped to secure Crane's place in American literature. Delany's third book this year (after Times Square Red, Times Square Blue and Bread & Wine), this important collection demonstrates his passion and intelligence, and his dedication to pursuing difficult questions about writing, theory, teaching and sexuality. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
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