Page 241 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                221
                A person has to be very brave to write porno, and very secure to
             publish under their own name, because sooner or later “everything you
             say can and will be used against you.”
                For better or for worse, critics often mention my style. “Fritscher is a
             stylist.” On a scale of 10, they love it or hate it. Mason Powell, known to
             me only by reputation, is the author of many books including the S&M
             classic, The Brig (serialized in Drummer, 1984), and the romantic-crime
             novel, For the Love of a Green-Eyed Piano Player. He is a San Francisco
             literary critic who wrote an unsolicited review of my fiction anthology,
             Rainbow County and Other Stories (1999):

                Book reviewers, almost as much as music critics, strive desper-
                ately for an original turn of phrase or image with which to imbue
                the prose which is their work and which, perforce, inevitably
                falls into a routine of tedium. One of the more overused descrip-
                tors which one encounters these days is that of “a unique voice.”
                Yet with regard to Jack Fritscher I am forced to score and heat up
                that chestnut, for nobody, to the best of my knowledge, writes
                with anything closely approaching Fritscher’s level of raw pas-
                sion, poetry, and over the top sense of verbal drive . . . .  Some writ-
                ers fall naturally into either the medium of the novel or the short
                story, and I think perhaps Fritscher is at his best in the short
                story. That may be because of the white hot heat with which
                he sets word to paper. The novel requires some leisure, some
                pause to reflect; Fritscher is not contemplative, he is passionate,
                in your face, all over you. He is not Brahms, he is Edgar Varese,
                assaulting you with mind pictures and word stretches that may
                very well tear the membrane.
                    Or maybe it is just that nobody can sustain the levels he
                reaches for more than the duration of a short story. In this col-
                lection of twenty works, both short stories and narrative poems,
                he goes the limit. All the icons for which he is famous are on
                display: the musclemen, the soldiers, the cowboys, the prisoners;
                but his takes on the icons are more intense, more extreme, than
                I think any other writer would care to set out.
                    I am no novice when it comes to writing about sadomas-
                ochistic sex; it is a fascinating means of illuminating areas of
                human consciousness which cannot be lit with any other torch.
                But Fritscher goes way, way, beyond anything which I would
                seek to see. Be warned: there are stories in this book that are
                too intense for me, stories that not only extend the envelope but
                put it through a shredder and set fire to it. If you are not up to

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