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66                                      Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
               He received his doctorate in American Literature from Loyola Uni-
            versity, Chicago, where with the cooperation of Tennessee Williams he
            wrote his dissertation, Love and Death in Tennessee Williams. Moving into
            academia, where he hung with the poet Thom Gunn, he became a tenured
            university professor while hanging out with the likes of Andy Warhol,
            Mario Amaya, Robert Mapplethorpe, George Dureau, Sam Steward (Phil
            Andros), Edward Lucie-Smith, as well as Picasso biographer, John Rich-
            ardson, and the High Priest of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey, whom
            he featured in his book, Popular Witchcraft.
               From the mid-1960s, he combined the strange bedfellows of aca-
            demic discourse, mainstream literature, pop culture, sexual politics,
            witchcraft, erotic photography, and the world of gay male pornography
            on page and on screen. He is the founding San Francisco editor in chief of
            the legendary Drummer magazine in which his work appeared for 25 years
            and which he used as background for his signature novel, Some Dance to
               As author of a dozen books and writer-director of more than 150 gay
            documentary and erotic videos, he works and lives near the Golden Gate
            Bridge with his domestic lover of nearly 30 years, Mark Hemry, where
            Pornographic Pulsar chased him down for a few gems to share with his
            readers, viewers, fans, and detractors, as well as LGBT studies mavens.

            Pornographic Pulsar: During the interview Fritscher came across as sweet
            but unshakable, charismatic and full of opinions, but not opinionated,
            even though my job was to ask him to opine. I did not find myself expe-
            riencing my usual anxiety at interviewing brilliant academics. As anyone
            who knows me will attest, I have a love-hate relationship with the world
            of academia and it is interesting to note that Fritscher seems to be the
            exception to every rule of its jargon and pomposity.
               One hates to trip on one’s own clown shoes, but fools rush in! You
            cannot imagine my embarrassment when I realized I had been mispro-
            nouncing his former lover’s name, “Mapplethorpe,” through the first
            half of our chat. (The first syllable is pronounced like the tree, not like
            “grapple.”) Oh, well. He never pointed it out. He simply pronounced it
            correctly. Actually, I was just glad I understood most of what he was talk-
            ing about. There is simply nothing worse than being in over one’s head
            without a life jacket during an interview with someone whose literary
            work has been explored by so many other journalists and critics (and men
            jerking off) who may have a far better insight into the interview subject
            than I do.

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