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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 65

                              by Alexander Renault

                        “An artist does not reflect himself in his art
                             as much as he provides a mirror
                       for the readers and viewers to see themselves.”
                                   –Jack Fritscher

             Thumbnail (2003): Jack Fritscher is an enigma of grand proportions, and
             one of the most respected and controversial writers of his versatile genera-
             tion which includes John Rechy, Edmund White, Anne Rice, William
             Carney, Felice Picano, Allan Gurganus, Dorothy Allison, Armistead
             Maupin, Larry Kramer, Rita Mae Brown, and Andrew Halloran.
                You cultural “completists” who like reading lists and comparable
             books, check out these comps. In memoirs in the shape of novels, Edmund
             White’s A Boy’s Own Story and Felice Picano’s Ambidextrous: The Secret
             Lives of Children compare to Fritscher’s What They Did to the Kid: Confes-
             sions of an Altar Boy; additionally, White’s Loss within Loss: Artists in the
             Age of Aids compares to Fritscher’s Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly
             Camera; Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire compares with his Popu-
             lar Witchcraft: Straight from the Witch’s Mouth; John Rechy’s Numbers and
             William Carney’s The Real Thing compare with his Leather Blues plus his
             Drummer magazine writing which fills five separate volumes of his fic-
             tion books, including Corporal in Charge and Rainbow County; Armistead
             Maupin’s Tales of the City, Larry Kramer’s Faggots, and Andrew Halloran’s
             Dancer from the Dance compare with his Some Dance to Remember: A
             Novel of Gay Liberation in San Francisco 1970-1982; Allan Gurganus’
             Oldest Living Confederate Widow, Dorothy Allison’s Trash, and Rita Mae
             Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle compare with his Geography of Women as well as
             with his Sweet Embraceable You: Coffee-House Stories.
                All these authors have lived interesting lives, but it is rare to find
             an artist who has lived a life so filled with operatic opposing forces, but
             then, San Francisco writer Fritscher, who shares a birthday with Lillian
             Hellman, is a Gemini, moon in Leo, with Scorpio Rising. From 1953-
             1963, he was schooled in the Latin, Greek, British, and American classics
             in the prestigious Vatican seminary, the Pontifical College Josephinum,
             and is actually an ordained exorcist possessing all the minor orders of the
             Catholic priesthood.

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