As a kick off to my contribution to this particular blog I will start by dispensing my view on a subject widely condemned in literature, one which has come under a lot of negative criticism in the past and still does so even within the 21st century. The subject is the use and publication of Gay literature. In my own personal experience I’ve trifled with books written by gay authors, scholars and teachers alike and I find the subject extremely tentative, perplexing, raw, ingenuous and veracious. However many and I use this next term loosely: corporate bastards decide to use the author’s sexuality to define their writing, the overall meaning and moral of their tale.
I was reading an article in a magazine about a new show starting soon, the show was like many, based around a best-selling book. the editors of the magazine decided to put in the added mention of the author of this particular book being a lesbian. I don’t know why I felt so vigorously ‘pissed’ at this added mention of the author’s sexuality something within me struck a chord. It was as if by mentioning the author’s sexuality readers would promptly presume that the show was now going to be more riveting, intriguing. The topic of gay literature has been condemned throughout its years and only really began to headline its way forward due to Stonewall in 1969. However, even today as I was surfing the internet for books to buy I could search for books under the tag: Gay and Lesbian. Why do people, critics, authors and men alike feel the need to categorize books due to their sexuality, surely they’re just books? The book in question with the tv show was ‘The Night Watch’ by Sarah Waters, I must admit I am unfamiliar with the text and therefore I resolved to googling the work in question. Sarah Waters herself has described “I’m writing with a clear lesbian agenda in the novels. It’s right there at the heart of the books.” She calls it “incidental”, because of her own sexual orientation. “That’s how it is in my life, and that’s how it is, really, for most lesbian and gay people, isn’t it? It’s sort of just there in your life.” Okay, so that’s one author that doesn’t mind being stereotyped. Except it does leave me to question whether receiving wide attention and praise for her antics as a ‘lesbian author’ have led her to continue down this road instead of breaching out onto something else. I don’t intend to read Sarah Waters, I mustn’t doubt her for going down the route she has, as an author you dow hat you feel best, I just believe we shouldn’t class authors by their sexuality or even find the need to mention it for factors such as recognition, principle and with regards for tv: Viewers. Some companies use the sexuality of the author of the topic of the book as a way to make more money, gain wider critically acclaimed media attention, that’s not how the literary world should be, but it seems it is and the divide between ‘non gay art’ to ‘gay art’ is even more clear in the 21st Century then it ever has been before, and probably ever will.