Friday, June 30, 2006

JED's Sex

Link to Original Story: Sex - JED

It's actually been awhile since I wrote this. Almost a whole week! Things have been busy (or so I pretend) and so I've been working more on writing the next story than thinking about the last one. So, I just re-read it, and unsurprisingly was both embarrassed and pleased. First off I should say that JP really seemed to like this one. I think the idea was creative, and I'll give myself a clap on the back for it. The only down side is that it's more about lust than sex, but in the end I think that's okay. I also like the character of the narrator, there's something more interesting in his subtle lust than the overt lust Odysseus describes. And it was fun for me to do a bit of a fantasy. This is the first one I've done yet, and I'm proud of myself for holding out so long. That all said, I think its tone is melodramatic and stilted. Too grandiose and too awkward at the same time. Some of the sentences sound very "senior year in high school." And of course it seems rushed – I think he should have talked more about what he did before and after the sirens. In general it's not bad, though I do think it's a showcase for my limitations as much as my abilities.

I’m writing this note well down the road from when this story was written, and it’s still one of my favorites, from either of us. Sure, there’s a little graphic homosexual handjobbery going on, but that’s not the point. First of all, the story is just well-written, from start to finish. To me, the writing evokes the mood of a sky growing dark with clouds, but without rain. Second of all, it’s a fascinating take on the Odysseus myth, making what is, in reality, a fairly small aspect of the story, and allowing it to escape its confines; I love the idea that something relatively minor and trivial can be the incident that everything later revolves around. Also, both of the characters here, Odysseus himself and the narrator, are extremely complex and realistic characters. It’s not often that characters make so much of themselves known in such a small space. Finally, JED creates a powerful meditation on the nature of lust, the unbridled burning nature that drives men past the point of insanity, even when every fiber of them strains to resist. Odysseus, not the Sirens, is lust personified. He returned to his life, and he lived as best he could, but that base instinct is always there beneath the surface, screaming to get out. I think that’s true of many of us, and it’s a testament to our rationality and civilization that we don’t let it out more often.


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