Saturday, July 7, 2007
Though porn is not erotica, erotica is porn. Erotica is pornographic poetry. The distancing of erotica from porn rubs me the wrong way, the snobbish implication that the former is somehow socially acceptable and the latter shameful, a notion no doubt dreamed up by puritanical perverted academics wanting to have their cake and eat it, too. (Though it is a shame Anais Nin never won a Nobel for her erotica.) I have no patience for people who refuse to get dirty. I also care less about getting an audience off than in making them think. The media is abuzz lumping the (non) existence of the author JT Leroy with the (non) nonfiction memoir by the bestselling James Frey. Though crucially different cases, it’s interesting to recall that when both stories first broke, those most heartily coming to the writers’ defense were those who had felt most duped, a crass display of narcissism, selfish pride at its most acute. Bruce Benderson and Oprah Winfrey didn’t want to look like chumps – their self-preservation masked as loyalty to a fellow artist. It’s fitting in a day and age when the Bush administration tries to brush off the importance of (not) finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as irrelevant to the ongoing war that the outed James Frey would find nothing wrong in publishing his fiction as fact (at least “JT Leroy” rightly presented “Sarah” as a fairytale). In 21st Century America perception trumps reality every time – a secret much dirtier than the sleaziest porn.