Queer Men and the Precincts of Surrealism
Edited by Peter Dubé
5.5" x 8.25", 148
Dreams, desire, darkened streets and the sudden miracles that appear there, the deep places of the mind. Two groups made these the heart of a radical project of liberation: queers and surrealism.
Better than many others, queers understand the power of these dark areas. The rich, complicated culture we’ve created for ourselves is constantly ready to allow us to follow our dreams and fantasies, carried by the surging waves of sexuality into some pretty and magical places. It’s just as clear that the surrealists were chasing similar adventures as far back as the ‘Twenties and ‘Thirties. Given the similarity of their motivations, why have the two so often been in violent opposition to each other?
Madder Love is an anthology of cutting-edge writing that wants to look at that a little closer. It opens up the surreal possibilities of queer literature while simultaneously displacing the historic homophobia of Surrealism.
From dream states to erotic obsessions, from the muttering of the unconscious to parallel worlds (and the weirder cracks in this one) Madder Love tackles why surrealism can be so queer, and why being queer can be so surreal.
Contributions from Will Aitken, Stephen Beachy, Jeffery Beam, Stephen Boyer, Tom Cardamone, Sven Davisson, Peter Dubé, Craig L. Gidney, Nicholas Alexander Hayes, Trebor Healey, Kevin Killian, Shaun Levin and Rob Stephenson help make the case.
Cover Art: Evergon, Faerie from Midsummer Night's Dream, 1997, hologramme.
Madder Love isn’t for everyone. Want some pat story that takes you by the hand and leads you through the familiar plot structure like a docent at the kid’s museum? Then don’t even try. Want a quick wank? Not going to happen here. This anthology may be just too far out there for you. But if you’re willing to try something different and stretch your brain, you may find the erotic possibilities of surrealism. -Kathleen Bradean, Erotica Revealed [Full Review]
Madder Love is an anthology of new writing that brings the culture of surrealism a little closer. It is cutting-edge literature and it displaces the homophobia that was historically associated with surrealism. The stories actually show how surrealism is as gay as possible and likewise shows how being queer can be surreal. -Amos Lesson
Some of the stories that stood out for me as responding to that treatment? Epidemic, which threads together narrative fragments with the lyrical certainty of a dream. Dim Star Described which is a beautiful pitch-perfect literary urban fantasy. Five Views of Mt. Fuji, a series of layered sketches that draws the reader in. Yolk, which is short, and rich, and physical, and glowing, like the rich gold of a Renaissance egg tempera painting. The Magus Club, which I almost didn't want to let settle into my mind, because it's genuinely creepy.
Overall, this is a well balanced collection, showcasing some vivid and unusual writing; a collection I recommend dipping into. -Rainbow Reviews [Full Review]