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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                209
             disbelief which is the aim of fiction. “Daddies” who were at the 1970s
             Gay Renaissance party write me that they make their “Boys” who missed
             the party read Some Dance to experience the High Water Mark to which
             gay culture once rose before plague and politics destroyed the most erotic
             decade in American history.
                Born in 1939, the year after Thomas Wolfe (Look Homeward, Angel)
             died, I grew up as the other Tom Wolfe (The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-
             Flake Streamline Baby) popularized gonzo journalism in which the writer
             must participate in the story. I came of age on the rhythms of James
             Joyce, Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway. I cried when at fifteen
             I first read Walt Whitman, forbidden at my high school as filthy erotic
             literature, and I wondered why the parts the teacher thought dirty seemed
             so achingly beautiful. I’ve been balancing Whitman with Rimbaud ever
             since. Some of my writing is erotic, porno verite, because Oscar Wilde was
             right as usual: “Nothing can cure the soul but the senses.” Style sample:
                      “In the end, he could not deny his human heart.”
                           — Opening sentence, a memoir-novel,
                              Some Dance to Remember, 1990
                I confess. I breathe in experience. I exhale fiction.
                Feeling, emotion, is the oxygen of my fictive voice.
                Stories for me begin as raw emotion felt, or a disembodied “voice”
             heard. As a humanist, who is neither a feminist nor a masculinist, I wel-
             come all emotions as well as women’s voices and men’s voices which I
                As literary critic Michael Bronski points out, “In Some Dance, there
             are 9 plot lines and 15 major characters sweeping through the epic story
             of the rise and fall of everyone who was ever anyone.” Those plot lines
             and characters are intricate to the way I write: avoiding sexual stereo-
             type (Freud), going for erotic archetype (Jung). Slice-of-life stories rule,
             because that angle best matches our human lives lived in slices of time,
             emotion, and awareness.
                Fiction should render the writer invisible behind strong story arcs,
             and layered characterizations, and strong dialog. Fiction actually “works”
             when the suspension of disbelief tips the reader into saying, “Aha! This is
             real. This happened. This is autobiography.” Perhaps what is recognizable
             is my intention to try to reflect something universally human about “the
             autobiography of the reader’s inner self.” Readers of my erotic adventure-
             fiction want to know how I read their private sex journals, how I read their
             dirty minds, how I know what they did last summer. The storyteller is a
             trickster, a conjure man. Sex is only three degrees of separation.

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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