Samuel Delany

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Finished 'Dhalgren' recently and its easily the best of his fiction (i've read 'jewels of aptor' and 'nova' too). I got his biog and will get round to it sometime.

What abt his other non-fiction. what would you recommend?

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Sunday, 4 January 2004 15:25 (twenty years ago) link

I was on a bit of a Delany kick early last year and read The Einstein Intersection, Babel 17, Nova, and Tales of Neveryon. I liked all of them, but The Einstein Intersection was probably my favorite -- an sf classical mythology US folklore mishmash. Tales of Neveryon was a lot of fun too: an explication of modern critical theory through a pre-historical (comparable to Sumeria? Babylon?) fantasy setting. Really well written. Also, if you haven't read much or any of his short fiction a collection of his short stories was released recently entitled Aye and Gomorrah.

I have a copy of Dhalgren sitting on my bookshelf staring me down, but I have not tried it yet.

Er. Just noticed you were asking about NON-fiction. I haven't read any of that, sorry!


Finn Smith, Monday, 5 January 2004 16:31 (twenty years ago) link

don't be sorry do extend this to fiction too.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 5 January 2004 16:47 (twenty years ago) link

I read Aye and Gomorrah, loved it. Even the stories that are seemingly really straight (ha) fantasy or sci-fi (they range over a few decades of his work) have at least one brilliant image or character moment. I keep buying copies of his 1960's pulpy-looking sci-fi for 50 cents each when I'm in used bookstores, but I haven't read any of them yet. I think the covers are putting me off.

I really want to read 1984, but I haven't seen it anywhere.

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 5 January 2004 20:04 (twenty years ago) link

it's not dhalgren that's the masterwork, it's Stars in my Pocket like Grains of Sand.

it's a beautiful book. it's like he took the ideas of the academic left (barthes/foucault and the gender studies crowd in particular), ideas we all love but constantly get to hear derided as vague or impractical, and used it as the starting point for visualizing a society in the future. and he playfully calls it "the sygn". and he posits a parallel society called "the family", vaguely egalitarian but very conservative, too. and he weaves the tension between these two societies into and around an affecting love story.

it's great, one of my favoritest books ever. it's got the mad world-building of dune, the same philosophical gravitas, but also delany's own particular ideas and stamp.

vahid (vahid), Wednesday, 7 January 2004 22:01 (twenty years ago) link

dear god i have to read that

tom west (thomp), Thursday, 8 January 2004 16:38 (twenty years ago) link

the only one's i've read, i think, are babel-17 and nova. i was trying to think of a science fiction author to compare borges to the other day, he's perhaps closer than any of the ones i could actually think of

tom west (thomp), Thursday, 8 January 2004 16:40 (twenty years ago) link

The plot of 'stars...' sounds quite a bit like Dhalgren's (not so much plot but i recognize a lot of things there). anyway, I'll def do a search on this.

also, when I said 'Dhalgren' was his best I meant it as his best of the three works of fiction of his that i have read.

jordan- my jewels of aptor cover is one of those 'pulpy' fantasy ones. It doesn't put me off at all actually.

he does blur the lines between what you would think is fantasy and what you would recognize as sci-fi.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Thursday, 8 January 2004 16:55 (twenty years ago) link

Does 'Stars...' have a comparable amount of underage group sex to Dhalgren?

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 8 January 2004 17:04 (twenty years ago) link

no. it has adult sex, between male humans, mostly, but also a fair bit between humans and aliens. actually one of the main characters is mentally handicapped, so i guess there's an interesting parallel to underage sex. and the sex isn't that sexy. it's sort of sad and tender.

i guess the book is like an answer to "trouble on triton", except it posits a heterotopia that is far more advanced than "...triton"'s and one that delany is much less ambiguous.

plot-wise it's more like dhalgren in reverse: or dhalgren told from the point of view of the hippy girlfriend (what was her name?) but yeah, mentally twisted stranger comes to town and upsets everything, for sure.

vahid (vahid), Thursday, 8 January 2004 21:25 (twenty years ago) link

that should read ambiguous about.

vahid (vahid), Thursday, 8 January 2004 21:26 (twenty years ago) link

"i was trying to think of a science fiction author to compare borges to the other day, he's perhaps closer than any of the ones i could actually think of"

Delany is a good choice for this comparison, but Gene Wolfe may be an even better one. Wolfe has mentioned his debt to and respect for Borges in interviews, has stories which are homages to him, and seems to have modeled a character after him (Ultan the Librarian).

finn, Monday, 12 January 2004 18:19 (twenty years ago) link

t's like he took the ideas of the academic left (barthes/foucault and the gender studies crowd in particular), ideas we all love but constantly get to hear derided as vague or impractical, and used it as the starting point for visualizing a society in the future.

Have you read the Neveryona books, where he mixes pomo crit and sword and sorcery?

Nonfiction: It's all good. "Times Square Red, Times Square Blue" is fantastic, his autobiographical writing is fantastic (start with "The Motion of Light in Water", a lot of his crit is keen. After you're more familiar with him, his book of letters, "1984", is quite good too, as is his memoire of living in a commune in the late 60s, "Heavenly Breakfast".

Casuistry (Chris P), Sunday, 18 January 2004 01:55 (twenty years ago) link

three years pass...

I'm almost done with Dark Reflections and I really like it. It's laid-back, unassuming, pseudo-autobiography, but really nicely written.

Jordan, Wednesday, 14 November 2007 17:32 (sixteen years ago) link

It is next on my funtime reading list, but that probably means I won't start it for a few weeks.

Casuistry, Wednesday, 14 November 2007 19:37 (sixteen years ago) link

I've never read Delany, barring a couple of short stories, but I picked up a copy of "Neveryóna" at a used books sale today, thinking it was the first in the series. Should I hold out and get the first short story collection first, or is this quite alright as a starting-point? Or should all four(?) books be read in the order of release?
The titles of the chapters in this one are great! Makes it look like Montaigne of Middle-Earth. The cover art is hilarious as well, being basically the worst-of-the-worst of mid-80s fantasy paperbacks. Very shiny buttocks on the hero.
Ah: (there's a castle-in-the-sky and dragon on the back of the cover, don't you worry)

Øystein, Saturday, 17 November 2007 16:51 (sixteen years ago) link

Read the biog, really some incredible stuff in that. Great cover.

Picked up "Mad Man" last week on the cheap. Give that a go soon.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 17 November 2007 19:20 (sixteen years ago) link

Neveryóna is book two, I believe, so you might as well read the first book first. It's a stand-alone novel, but it's nice to fit it into the context of the first book.

Casuistry, Saturday, 17 November 2007 22:57 (sixteen years ago) link

two years pass...

I recently bought Dhalgren and Stars in my pocket like grains of sand. Which one do I read first?

prettylikealaindelon, Thursday, 28 October 2010 21:11 (thirteen years ago) link

Dhalgren is the better and more important book, but Stars is pretty good too. I'd say read Stars as an appetizer, and if you haven't read Delany before, as an introduction to his prose style. It's too bad the sequel to Stars isn't going to happen.

Unfrozen Caveman Board-Lawyer (WmC), Thursday, 28 October 2010 21:43 (thirteen years ago) link

im reading a book of short stories by this guy and hes hella easy to find v cheap

plax (ico), Thursday, 28 October 2010 21:49 (thirteen years ago) link

man when i clicked on this i was so afraid it was going to be a r.i.p. revive

bows don't kill people, arrows do (Jordan), Thursday, 28 October 2010 22:02 (thirteen years ago) link

btw i read 'dhalgren' first, and then 'stars...' after i was convinced and wanted more.

bows don't kill people, arrows do (Jordan), Thursday, 28 October 2010 22:03 (thirteen years ago) link

Just bought Dhalgren--am both looking forward to it, and intimidated by the size

buildings with goats on the roof (James Morrison), Thursday, 28 October 2010 22:25 (thirteen years ago) link

Thanks to all for the quick replies! I haven't read Delany before but I think I am going to try Dhalgren first. I am pretty hyped to be honest.

prettylikealaindelon, Thursday, 28 October 2010 22:28 (thirteen years ago) link

I read it (Dhalgren) about 6-7 times during the 80s. I need to reread Stars and the Neveryon books next. I started rereading Nova a couple of months ago and thought it had aged very badly...gave it up after about 80 pages.

Unfrozen Caveman Board-Lawyer (WmC), Thursday, 28 October 2010 22:34 (thirteen years ago) link

...and this thread title irritates the hell out of me. It's like a film thread called "Chuck Heston."

Unfrozen Caveman Board-Lawyer (WmC), Thursday, 28 October 2010 22:35 (thirteen years ago) link

ok, I feel better now. May Julio Desouza forgive me.

Unfrozen Caveman Board-Lawyer (WmC), Thursday, 28 October 2010 22:46 (thirteen years ago) link

i actually like triton and stars more than i do dhalgren, not entirely sure why

thomp, Friday, 29 October 2010 12:23 (thirteen years ago) link

congratulations u dont like kiddie sex

plax (ico), Friday, 29 October 2010 12:26 (thirteen years ago) link

wait, what happened to the thread title?

once a remy bean always a (remy bean), Friday, 29 October 2010 12:53 (thirteen years ago) link

surely the lead's relationship with an autistic character in 'stars ...' is just as troubling on that level as the fifteen year old in dhalgren? or is there something i'm forgetting. i mean, none of these books is quite hogg, i mean.

thomp, Friday, 29 October 2010 13:00 (thirteen years ago) link

yeah, i feel like the quote-unquote kiddie sex in dhalgren is totally an exploration of transgression and mental/social/literary breakdown that isn't really about what it's about.

of course, that could also be the polite lie i tell myself so that i can enjoy the rest of the book.

once a remy bean always a (remy bean), Friday, 29 October 2010 13:23 (thirteen years ago) link

I changed the title from "Sam Delany" to "Samuel Delany."

Unfrozen Caveman Board-Lawyer (WmC), Friday, 29 October 2010 13:28 (thirteen years ago) link

a regular Chip off the old block?

once a remy bean always a (remy bean), Friday, 29 October 2010 15:43 (thirteen years ago) link


Unfrozen Caveman Board-Lawyer (WmC), Friday, 29 October 2010 15:48 (thirteen years ago) link

WmC - I forgive you.

im reading a book of short stories by this guy and hes hella easy to find v cheap

Lots of Delany around but I've never seen a copy of Stars

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 30 October 2010 08:04 (thirteen years ago) link

Not having read Dhalgren, Babel-17 is the best of his I have read: so joyously full of great ideas, so much bouncy FUN

buildings with goats on the roof (James Morrison), Sunday, 31 October 2010 06:40 (thirteen years ago) link

two months pass...

I just finished Dhalgren, so great, thanks guys. Call me a fag, but I always get a little bit sad when I finish a big novel and this was no exception. I'm thinking of reading Stars now.

historyyy (prettylikealaindelon), Sunday, 2 January 2011 20:51 (thirteen years ago) link

call me a fag

plax (ico), Sunday, 2 January 2011 21:01 (thirteen years ago) link

one month passes...

Just finished Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand. Totally different pace from Dhalgren, this had me clawing for the main narrative for most of the book. As a result, I really didn't give enough attention to some of the detailed description which I feel is a really big part of this book - to realise the sensations and image of these planets, especially Velm. The relationship between Marq and Rat made me quite sick, knowing you can't help but be attracted to another being is somewhat sickening, Marq didn't complain of course, but like those couples who seem so made for eachother, as a couple they struck me as boring and corny.

historyyy (prettylikealaindelon), Monday, 21 February 2011 15:04 (thirteen years ago) link

the hands-as-parentheses bit is pretty central, iirc

i'm curious what the other half of it would have looked like: a tour of a planet from the other set of aliens (the Family?), plus a coda? i don't know. i don't remember a lot of the details but it's my favourite of his books. this is in part due to a bit which isn't particularly central to the thrust of the book in itself, that part in the opening section where rat (?) finds a mental implant that lets him read/experience the entire western canon in seconds; that hit me in a peculiar way, as a teen.

thomp, Monday, 21 February 2011 15:15 (thirteen years ago) link

I was particularly taken by that opening section too, and was expecting the book to take off from there, to my surprise, it was not to be. Thanks for your thoughts.

historyyy (prettylikealaindelon), Monday, 21 February 2011 16:09 (thirteen years ago) link

I've bought Dhalgren, and keep picking it up, but it's so huuuuuge. Need to gather my resources.

the most cuddlesome bug that ever was borned (James Morrison), Monday, 21 February 2011 22:49 (thirteen years ago) link

I read Driftglass in my early teens. Didn't get everything but got a lot. Delany for me will always represent vistas opening (yet in truth I never read much past Nova). "Night and The Loves..." was exactly what I wished a short story would do. It probably still is but I don't dare reread it.

His use, over and over, of teen-prodigy characters didn't seem realistic when I was that age, and far into adulthood, having seen a certain amount, I find it a gimmick and more about Delany (or SF) than about the world.

These days, the imaginary world of Delany that fascinates me is his lost New York, as unreachable as his distant planets.

alimosina, Monday, 21 February 2011 23:42 (thirteen years ago) link

Editing issue: should be "did exactly what" and "probably still does."

alimosina, Tuesday, 22 February 2011 15:13 (thirteen years ago) link

I shall begin reading The Mad Man soon, I'm expecting some of Delany's 'lost New York'.

historyyy (prettylikealaindelon), Tuesday, 22 February 2011 15:43 (thirteen years ago) link

You won't be disappointed there, as I recall.

old man yells at poop first thing in the morning (pixel farmer), Tuesday, 22 February 2011 16:36 (thirteen years ago) link

And check Heavenly Breakfast, an autobiographical novel(pub. 1979). Its title is also the name of a real-life 60s NYC psych-folk band. SD was a satellite member, sort of.

dow, Tuesday, 1 March 2011 00:33 (thirteen years ago) link

Also loads of 1960-1965 Manhattan in his memoir, The Motion of Light in Water.

I was just looking at the wiki for his next novel -- it's done, he's just having trouble finding a publisher. It was originally supposed to be published by Alyson Publications, but apparently they've gone under and he's back to shopping it around to publishers.

WmC, Tuesday, 1 March 2011 01:49 (thirteen years ago) link

This thread is v repetitive

Οὖτις, Sunday, 2 April 2017 01:20 (six years ago) link

six months pass...

In Glasgow for several events during the next Arika eisode:

Susan Stranglehands (jed_), Sunday, 29 October 2017 14:50 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

Just finished Dhalgren, my first trip into Delany. I really liked large chunks of it, but other portions were definitely a slog. Even aside from the tedious descriptions of underage orgies, it did feel like some of the same plot points just kept cycling through without moving the story forward. But many of the characters were terrifically drawn and I enjoyed his world-building, what's a good next step?

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 24 April 2019 13:14 (four years ago) link

I enjoyed Dhalgren alright but somehow that's where I got off the bus, many years ago--several people have told me I should have at least gone on to Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, and maybe I will, but right now thinking of re-reading his fun, imaginative debutThe Jewels of Aptor, published when he was 19, I think, also should dig up my copy of a chunky drugstore paperback, The Complete Nebula Award-Winning Fiction of Samuel R. Delany. which Amazon describes thusly:Combined edition of two novels and two short stories which won the Nebula Award. Babel - 17 (winner, 1966 Nebula, 1995 James Tiptree, Jr. Award, Classics; nominated, 1967 Hugo Award; 1975 Locus Poll Award, All-Time Best Novel (Place: 36)); A Fabulous, Formless Darkness (original title The Einstein Intersection) (winner, 1967 Nebula Award; nominated, 1968 Hugo Award); Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones (winner, 1969 Nebula Award, 1970 Hugo Award); Aye, and Gomorrah (winner, 1967 Nebula Award; nominated, 1968 Hugo Award) The cheapest (by far) copy they have of this is $24.03, but worth it, if condition is okay. They have a lot more by him.

dow, Wednesday, 24 April 2019 21:24 (four years ago) link

that sounds like a good 'tracklist' for sure.

You might check out the Neveryon stuff, bronze age fantasy as vehicle for a dive into semiotics. I loved the two of them I read.

Triton is great also.

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 24 April 2019 21:27 (four years ago) link

I enjoyed the Neveryon books on rereading a couple of years ago. Reread The Einstein Intersection last year and understood it better than the first time I read it. Nova, Triton, and Stars in My Pocket are all good.

The Mod Who Banned Liberty Valance (WmC), Wednesday, 24 April 2019 22:47 (four years ago) link

imo triton and stars in my pocket are the masterworks

the late great, Wednesday, 24 April 2019 23:52 (four years ago) link

Thanks! I think I'm leaning to Stars In My Pocket next, though it may come down to what the library has available.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 25 April 2019 14:36 (four years ago) link

six months pass...

First living author to get a Dover Thrift Edition. Dark Reflections is kind of an odd choice in his oeuvre to get that treatment, but ok.

Trussrippers WILL be persecuted! (WmC), Tuesday, 12 November 2019 22:21 (four years ago) link

one month passes...
six months pass...

Steve Smith
Today I learned that Samuel R. Delany is an operaphile, a Wagnerite, and a former supernumerary at the
. Thanks,

Has written fascinating essays on Wagner and Artaud, Wagner and Willa Cather...

And he's on Twitter now
11:34 AM · Jul 19, 2020

dow, Sunday, 19 July 2020 17:20 (three years ago) link

An experiment in gay pornography and realistic storytelling

dow, Sunday, 19 July 2020 17:35 (three years ago) link

i'm starting through the valley of the nest of spiders, random thoughts:

1) descriptions and fetishization of human filth, stench, shit, etc, can't bother you
2) there's a fan fiction quality to it tbh but the descriptions of one moment into the next into the next are kind of soothing
3) delany definitely comes from a different era as far as gay libidinal energy is concerned. there's a fetishization of the positively masculine that's always present.
4) his style is burdensome and opaque but weirdly readable. what happens next is what keeps me going. you can glaze over certain bits of sentences and descriptions and it's ok.
5) i'm making it sound bad for some reason but i'm enjoying it. feels a little bit like guilty pleasure reading but that's good for me right now, the last thing i want is dutiful reading.

carin' (map), Sunday, 19 July 2020 17:56 (three years ago) link

also enjoyably light-hearted for all the sex with super-hung homeless dudes

some dweeby jokes that aren't really funny but i appreciate

it reminds me of reading porn i would find on newsgroups in my teens. but sneaking in the political/ontological point that existence itself is worth existing for. already a spinoza mention. it's fun for me but i would definitely hesitate to recommend it to someone unless i knew it was "up" their "alley" haha.

carin' (map), Sunday, 19 July 2020 18:03 (three years ago) link

oh, i also don't think he's good at being "realistic" if that's what he's trying to do for this novel, this stuff still feels very much in the fantasy lane even though it's not in the fantasy genre if that makes sense.

carin' (map), Sunday, 19 July 2020 18:05 (three years ago) link

i think it winds up unambiguously 'science fiction' by the end, doesn't it? or at least a long way into the future; maybe just 'utopian fiction'

that said i never finished it

the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Monday, 20 July 2020 13:50 (three years ago) link

i find delany's model of 'pornographic' writing pretty interesting even though none of it gets me off; he may have been the first writer to make sex literarily interesting for me in that way? idk how many others have succeeded, maybe it's just him

the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Monday, 20 July 2020 13:53 (three years ago) link

as i wrote above and also jordan, it's always a relief to open this thread and have it not be an RIP post

the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Monday, 20 July 2020 13:53 (three years ago) link


i said all those things above very prematurely, don't know why i was so opinionated after like 15 pages. anyway now i'm 25 pages in after the convo with bill bottom and i'm loving it. it's also really funny! kind of feels like a massive gift so far tbh.

his sex writing isn't embarrassingly hot but it's salacious and gets at the right details and it's panoramic and just... lively and fascinating. it takes cliches and turns them into more realistic commentary on what a sensuous queer existence could or might look like. actually the scene that bill bottom describes in the park, that one did arouse me a little bit haha.

Give me a Chad Smith-type feel (map), Tuesday, 21 July 2020 02:48 (three years ago) link

Was going to add this to a recent ILM thread on rock fiction which I can't find now: Delany's Heavenly Breakfast, which I took as a novel, but wiki sez: Heavenly Breakfast: An Essay on the Winter of Love is a 1979 memoir by author, professor, and critic Samuel R. Delany.[1] It details the time he spent living in a commune in New York City during the winter of 1967-1968,[2] although altering some details.[3]

Heavenly Breakfast was also the name of the rock band that lived in the commune, which consisted of Steve Wiseman, Susan Schweers, Bert Lee (later of the Central Park Sheiks)[4], and Delany.[5]
A fairly comsic rock-jazz-folk-etc. way of life; some good bits about timing the echo from a waterfall or something for flute solos-as-duets---also duh lots of polydolly sexandrugs for heavenly breakfast.
Think I once saw listing of an LP by a group of this name, but dunno if same or maybe took their name from book.
A goodread, as I anciently recall.

dow, Friday, 24 July 2020 19:38 (three years ago) link

a fairly *cosmic*, I meant to say.

dow, Friday, 24 July 2020 19:38 (three years ago) link

I listened to an interview with him recently. He recalled asking Judith Merrill if Donald Wollheim hadn't told him about fan communities and conventions for racist reasons, Merrill replied that she would normally assume it was racism but in this case it was just that Wollheim had absolutely no social skills.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:03 (three years ago) link

— Samuel R Delany (@SamuelRDelany1) July 28, 2020

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 29 July 2020 13:08 (three years ago) link


Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 29 July 2020 17:11 (three years ago) link


Give me a Chad Smith-type feel (map), Wednesday, 29 July 2020 17:15 (three years ago) link

I love Dhalgren and Hogg and TSR,TSB and Heavenly Breakfast, but pretty much anything he's written recently is not very good. And he was, by all accounts, an awful teacher.

He is a very dear man, however!!

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Friday, 31 July 2020 14:28 (three years ago) link

"And he was, by all accounts, an awful teacher."

That really surprises me, can I hear more about this?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 31 July 2020 18:45 (three years ago) link

"I'm really supposed to read all of this...this awful stuff?!?"

"Well yes, Chip, that is your job here."

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Friday, 31 July 2020 19:23 (three years ago) link

haha it doesn't surprise me in the least

Give me a Chad Smith-type feel (map), Friday, 31 July 2020 19:26 (three years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Delany tweets longer about a recent discovery re gay science fiction history, hope this link works, but if not, guess you can check his twitter account directly? should I do it this way

dow, Sunday, 23 August 2020 02:46 (three years ago) link

Anyway, it has to do with Sturgeon getting blacklisted for a while for submitting short st ory "The World Well Lost," though fatwa was lifted and as D points out, the story is in TS's Collectes Stories and they were both on the first panel for Gay Science Fiction and there's something about Jack Womack's Flying Saucers Are Real and the Shaver Mystery (he spells it "Shavery" at one point), something to do w Gay Fying Saucers maybe? Aklso about Ray Palmer, four feet tall and I don't understand this post overall.
account: Takes lots of pictures of his TV, maybe with his smartphone, a geezer thing. Note he's there as samuelrdelany, there's a also a samueldelany w/o initial in London.

dow, Sunday, 23 August 2020 02:59 (three years ago) link

"The World Well Lost" had gay theme apparently.

dow, Sunday, 23 August 2020 02:59 (three years ago) link

Gay Flying Saucers dammit and what is up with my typing overall? Sorry! Not drinking, maybe going blind and/or too fast.

dow, Sunday, 23 August 2020 03:01 (three years ago) link

To be perfectly frank, I love Chip, but his recent work as well as his written presence on the internet is sometimes very difficult to decipher. He's one of those people whom I think has so much floating around in his head that as he's gotten older, he sometimes spins out on weird paths that don't make a lot of sense.

healthy cocaine off perfect butts (the table is the table), Monday, 24 August 2020 22:01 (three years ago) link

eight months pass...

Delany posted yesterday (FB) about choosing clothes for a New Yorker photo shoot. Fingers crossed for a full profile.

In my house are many Manchins (WmC), Tuesday, 18 May 2021 18:08 (two years ago) link

Hope so! They published an astute take on the work of Octavia Butler in March, guess the rest is behind paywall (I happened to see the print edition), but here's the opening:

dow, Thursday, 20 May 2021 00:03 (two years ago) link

I can't read the full text just now, but maybe this is The New Yorker piece in question WmC. Interesting photograph, I like it.

brain (krakow), Saturday, 29 May 2021 18:33 (two years ago) link

Unfortunately it's just a paragraph in the "This Week" section.

The “Carte Blanche” film series at moma, programmed by the prodigious science-fiction writer Samuel R. Delany, concludes this week with two personal works. He discusses his childhood in Harlem and his life as a gay man in nineteen-sixties New York in Fred Barney Taylor’s illuminating documentary “The Polymath, or The Life and Opinions of Samuel R. Delany, Gentleman,” from 2007. Delany displays his directorial art in the 1971 featurette “The Orchid,” which blends street theatre and joyful eroticism with ingenious special effects.

In my house are many Manchins (WmC), Saturday, 29 May 2021 20:05 (two years ago) link

ten months pass...

I like the point about wanting more radical readers

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 13 April 2022 19:10 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

A terrific new profile in the NYer:

The Terroir of Tiny Town (WmC), Monday, 3 July 2023 16:26 (seven months ago) link

Interesting he mentions Gay Davenport.

Looking For Mr. Goodreads (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 3 July 2023 18:14 (seven months ago) link

Heh. Guy Davenport.

Looking For Mr. Goodreads (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 3 July 2023 18:16 (seven months ago) link

Every serious writer I know admires Davenport.

butt dumb tight my boners got boners (the table is the table), Monday, 3 July 2023 20:25 (seven months ago) link

this had me rolling

We exited onto a narrow street with a huge mural commemorating the struggle for L.G.B.T.Q. rights. Steam billowed from a vent in the sidewalk, dissipating, as we neared, to reveal a blanket-covered heap. People were sleeping outside all over the neighborhood, which, before its gentrification, had been a red-light district. Delany, as usual, pulled out his phone to take a picture; across the way, a group of smartly dressed young women shot him a reproachful look.

“Could you not?” one said.

Rickett crossed his arms and smiled: “He’s never seen a homeless person before.”

ꙮ (map), Monday, 3 July 2023 21:10 (seven months ago) link

loved reading that piece

ivy (BradNelson), Monday, 3 July 2023 21:52 (seven months ago) link

I used to live down the street from Delany. I saw him walking around a few times before I realized who he was.

Alito Bit of Soap (President Keyes), Monday, 3 July 2023 22:15 (seven months ago) link

Really enjoyed the piece. I must read something by Davenport.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 3 July 2023 22:33 (seven months ago) link

I have only read a few of his books, I am most fond of Geography of the Imagination. His poems are largely great. I don’t care for his fiction but ymmv

butt dumb tight my boners got boners (the table is the table), Tuesday, 4 July 2023 02:03 (seven months ago) link

Reflecting a bit more and it feels like there is some overselling of Delany's prose than is necessary...pretty good profile but it's sorta shameful that they only bothered when he is old and at the end.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 5 July 2023 14:00 (seven months ago) link

I read Delany's autobiography. Those sections about Marilyn Hacker reading Victorian novels all day while Delany was at work were pretty funny.

Alito Bit of Soap (President Keyes), Wednesday, 5 July 2023 14:04 (seven months ago) link

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