Vintage gay fiction. I have a whole pile of it...but if what I started with is any indication of what the rest is going to be like, maybe I should just punch my own eyes out and save myself the trouble.Jourdan, Eric. Wicked Angels. Trans. Thomas J. D. Armbrecht. Binghamton: Southern Tier Editions, 2006. (Original French Edition: 1955)Summary
: Teenaged cousins Pierre and Gerard fall head-over-heels into a sadomasochistic romance that culminates in Gerard beating Pierre to death and then killing himself afterward. Comments
: This novel's checkered history includes thirty years of censorship in France, but, quite frankly, the effect of it nowadays is more flowery than lurid. The combination of Kaze to Ki no Uta
and The Story of O
had me rolling my eyes inbetween gawping at how graphic the descriptions of underaged sex are, which included occasional anachronistic (maybe?) porn vocabulary, most notably "cum." So, yeah. Insane, violent, passionate love that would be censured by society--if society bothered to notice, that is--to exquisitely beautiful to have a prosaic happy ending...oh, PLEASE. Yeah, shounen ai fans should LOVE this novel. Too bad, though, that the story doesn't stand on its own particularly well outside of its position as historical artifact and conversation piece...which is why Haworth Press published it, and not a more prestigious university press or, God forbid, a mainstream publisher. Pierre and Gerard are all but identical narrators, and if it weren't for the fact that they offered slightly different interpretations of the same shared experiences, I wouldn't have been able to tell their stories apart at all. Homosexuality as the ultimate tragic narcissism. What a concept. And thank God it's over with.Notes
: hardcover, exclusive BCE; publisher's trade paperback edition availableRating
- Only if it's up your alley; otherwise, you'll be wanting to kick it to the curb in under ten pages.