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Shorter Views: Queer Thoughts & the Politics of the Paraliterary [Paperback]

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Item Number 93563  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   464
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 5.75" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 31, 2000
Publisher   Wesleyan
ISBN  0819563692  
EAN  9780819563699  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
In Shorter Views, Hugo and Nebula award-winning author Samuel R. Delany brings his remarkable intellectual powers to bear on a wide range of topics. Whether he is exploring the deeply felt issues of identity, race, and sexuality, untangling the intricacies of literary theory, or the writing process itself, Delany is one of the most lucid and insightful writers of our time. These essays cluster around topics related to queer theory on the one hand, and on the other, questions concerning the paraliterary genres: science fiction, pornography, comics, and more. Readers new to Delany's work will find this collection of shorter pieces an especially good introduction, while those already familiar with his writing will appreciate having these essays between two covers for the first time.

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More About Samuel R. Delany

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Blew the top of my head off. Repeatedly  Jul 17, 2006
Over and over, Shorter Views violently expanded the way I think about sex, about language, about literature, about science fiction, and even about thinking. Reading it was bracing, challenging, frustrating, and thrilling. Parts of it are thick with critical jargon, parts of it are shockingly obscene, and a few bits manage to be both. The powerful, lucid intelligence that shines through makes all the difficulties worthwhile.
Structure and Politics  Dec 29, 2001
Over the life of his career, Delany has astounded, shocked, awed, and confounded a large and very varied audience. From his early fantasies and science fiction works, to his pornographic novels Equinox and Hogg, to his critical papers that have helped place science fiction on the radar screen of academia, to his extraordinarily structured Dhalgren, each piece of his writing displays his broad erudition, his impeccable sense of language, and a finely honed mind that is not afraid to challenge the accepted and the norm. This collection of essays, reviews, and interviews mirrors this broad range. Like most collections, the quality and style varies considerably, and the average reader may find only a few of these pieces interesting and informative, depending on the reader's own interests.

For myself, I found the second section of the book, "The Politics of the Paraliterary" to be the most interesting, with an incisive look at literary criticism as applied to science fiction, and excellent overview of the writings of Zelazny, Varley, and Gibson and what distinguishes their work as 'quality', and some revealing insights about his own works: Hogg, Trouble on Triton, Mad Man, and the Neveryon series. At places the language used is very abstract, and it helps if the reader is least somewhat familiar with the history and terms of formal literary criticism. At other places, especially in the 'Appendix' to this work, Delany, by providing some very concrete examples and clear explanations, gives the reader a great look at just what it is that 'great' writing is and how it is done.

The other two major sections of this work, "Some Queer Thoughts" and "Some Writing/Some Writers" did not interest me as much, at least partially due to the feeling that, in several of the essays within these sections, Delany was writing with an axe to grind (or a compliment to pay to a fellow writer).

Those who are interested in understanding both Delany and the world of literary criticism should read this work. Everyone who does read it will come away with a larger understanding of not just writing but politics, life, love, and the world around them.

long and boring book about nothing  Sep 13, 2001
Delany is a brilliant man and his work speaks to a number of audiences. Here's a black gay man who has a large science fiction following. I have read his autobiography and it is a really challenging book on race and sexuality in the 1950s and 1960s. Academics love Delany too. But this book was a sleeper. It's hundreds of pages of nothing. It drones and doesn't say much. Only his most hardcore fans could enjoy this rambling book. I don't even know where my copy is and don't care either.

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