Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Have I mentioned I've been collecting vintage gay paperbacks? While my amassing of them has been fairly recent, I do have about a dozen that have been on my book shelf for years, including James Barr's The Occasional Man pictured above. But until recently, I hadn't really appreciated them, and guess why? I hadn't really spent time reading them! The basic 70's/80's titles like Suck It Slave and Ride A Hot Marine have fairly limited appeal (no different than your basic Honcho piece of "friction"), but it's the earlier ones, the pre-porn ones from primarily the 60's that are most intriguing to me. Yes, it's the stories, the characters, even when fairly stereotypical, sometimes the language, the inevitable alcoholic lost soul, etc that grab me. And doing a teeny bit of online research on the subject of gay pulp fiction, I realized why this appealed to me - mass-produced, these were really the only popular formats for portraying gay and lesbian characters. Others have written books, dissertations, even documentaries, so I won't bother, but I have to say, it's rather addictive.