"Hogg" by Samuel R Delaney

      I am currently reading "Hogg" by Samuel R Delany.  Nuff said.  This novel has gone down in history as one of the most unpublishable works of literature.  Repugnant.  Grotesque.  Violating.  It is a slow and detailed tour of the profane.  However, what makes this novel disturbing isn't the subject matter, but the readers' response.

Allow me to rephrase:
My response to "Hogg" disturbs me.

     Delany sets the course for a smooth yet vile ride through the 31 flavors of disturbing, deviant sexual behavior.  All through the eyes of an impressionable orphan.  I feel soiled by this journey.  I feel confused by this journey.  I feel compelled to finish this journey.
     Not even halfway completed, I am gripped by the observing character that is myself.  How his logic objects as his erection sustains.  How his cock and character part ways, confusing himself.  As the reader, I am in utter suspense to discover my own boundaries and liberties.  Shame.  Arousal.  Dissonance.  A tangled web of values and visceral responses coats my experience reading this story.

Never say never.

     I thought I'd never find certain themes sexy; but I did.  My erection has betrays my morality... Its firmness suggests a likeness to the monstrous characters...  A deep part of me prays that Delany is just a good writer.  It is my wish that I'm just a victim of some kind of erotic alchemy, where he spins shit into gold.  Hopefully, I can walk away from "Hogg" soiled but unchanged.

This material contains graphic acts of:


Corey said...

"Don't you EVAHH ask me to go buy you some foul shit like that in your life" said my father.

I thought nothing about giving him the money to pick up The Mad Man by Samuel R. Delany as a Christmas gift for Marvin years ago. I wanted it to be a surprise. Marv and I were in the book store and as I looked around, Marv sat transfixed and engrossed in this book that he described as "totally gross, weird and LURID." He said it was repulsive yet he couldn't put it down, and I thought to myself "YES! THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT!."

My dad went to pick the book up for me as I asked him to. He brought it home, and sat down to browse through it, and he was thoroughly offended - YET HE KEPT READING! It seemed he was concurrently repulsed and just as intrigued as Marvin was.

That was years ago, and I have yet to take the book off the shelf and read it. Repulsion and obsession are two very related and powerful emotions. I am familiar with them both. You know I am bored alot, hence, I am just waiting for the appropriate time. Yet, I am also afraid. The world has changed so much. It used to be that one could go outside and act out that which he reads to some degree. But I have changed so much too.....at least I hope I have.

Nice post! Thanks for the reminder.

Forbidden Light said...

@Corey: That comment was a post in itself! I have so many friends who have a similar experience with Delany's work... So many people have a copy on their bookshelf with the page turned somewhere in the middle.

I must admit, it is a daunting read... I'm determined to finish! LOL



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