Page 378 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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358                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            the text causes me to take both historical and scholarly exception to its
            way-too-many mistakes and errors. Having written for encyclopedias
            myself — such as the “Mapplethorpe” entry in the prestigious British
            encyclopedia, Censorship: A World Encyclopedia, edited by Derek Jones
            for Fitzroy Dearborn, 2,950 pages (2002), and as the subject of an entry
            in the Encyclopedia of Erotic Literature edited by Gaetan Brulotte and John
            Phillips (2006), I am particularly sensitive to accuracy in this genre of
            books because what is published in them becomes, whether correct or not,
            set in stone as readers and researchers turn the pages unable to determine
            what is actually a fact, a mistake, or a political spin on the truth written
            by a particular author to pump his friends or stab his enemies. Sometimes
            pure insensitivity causes mistakes.
               For instance, Claude Summers so disrespects Drummer that, although
            the magazine is mentioned many times in The Gay and Lesbian Literary
            Heritage, Drummer is not listed even once in the index. To me the index
            of any book gives instant evidence of its depth and integrity. For all the
            importance of Drummer in coaching and publishing beginning writers
            such as John Preston, Aaron Travis, John Rowberry, and championing
            many others, this 786-page book lacks a single page or paragraph explain-
            ing anything about Drummer. Actually, I was shocked by something per-
            sonal in the book, which if the superficial take and misinformation is so
            factually wrong in the instance of the book mentioning my literary work
            and career history, then how off-key and wrong might it be in all its other
               Misinformation, and particularly the disinformation of gay politics,
            both appear on the page exactly like accurate information to the casual
            reader. I always taught my university classes in literary interpretation to
            be their own best critics, to trust no one telling them the “truth” about
            anything, and to look for the “vested interest” of the writer who is trying
            to maneuver facts and opinions in ways that may not be accurate or true.
            The ultimate goal of the intellectual life is the ability for one to become an
            analytical critic of all the misinformation, disinformation, and informa-
            tion printed and broadcast during the course of a lifetime.
               It is curious that contributor Matthew Parfitt in his “War Literature”
            listings omits Drummer itself and all its war erotica, including my “Cor-
            poral in Charge.” It is even more curious that in the section titled “Erotica
            and Pornography,” contributor Edmund Miller, Professor of English and
            Chair of the English Department at the C. W. Post Campus of Long
            Island University, who himself is an author of erotic stories, poetry, and
            scholarly books about seventeenth-century British literature, writes with
            the rather air-kiss attitude that the East Coast gay literary crowd has
            regarding the depth and complexity of West Coast writing:

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