In order of necessity, what I have to say about this book:
1. Have I ever felt so angry that I needed to write [b:Hogg|85865|Hogg|Samuel R. Delany|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1354642149s/85865.jpg|589031]? Absolutely, but with almost none of the skill, and I’m endlessly thankful that I didn’t need to endure the writing process of this book.
2. If I had to choose to endure the violence of a victim from either [b:American Psycho|28676|American Psycho|Bret Easton Ellis|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348400564s/28676.jpg|2270060] or Hogg, it would easily be American Psycho. Still, I feel that AP is excessive, and Hogg is necessary art. Hogg is unipolar throughout, and would only make its statement if it was driven to the absolute extreme (which it undoubtedly is- the most disgusting thing I can possibly think of is a child sucking pus from a dick with a rusty nail in it
(disgusting imagery from the book hidden). If you can think of sicker, you have my pity, because Hogg at least exceeded the limits of my own imagination at its most twisted.)
3. The reading of this book that I would like to focus on, if it isn’t already clear, is that of homosexual frustration. I can’t begin to imagine how brave Delany had to be to write Hogg, and the message is just as true today, despite the much larger support of gay rights. My interpretation is that Hogg is the depraved world perceived by the homophobe once sexual deviance becomes commonplace. And it is completely ludicrous. It epitomises how we are made to feel by homophobes, as savages incapable of love, as pillagers and destroyers who carve out a hideous unlivable reality. In Hogg, I see that Delany has the vision and the self-belief to see that he is not a worm, a lower class citizen, but every bit as important as anyone else. I don’t know that I would have had that strength in the face of public opinion in the 60s, and I hugely admire Delany for this. To think that it was written so closely to the time of the Stonewall Riots, it is clearly a brilliantly-executed chunk of spirit representative of homosexual thought for the time.
4. In spite of how much I would love to celebrate the forward-thinking society I live in, so long as a wilfully ignorant individual exists, I will occasionally lose hours of sleep. Hogg is here to reassure me, and you.
5. I did not recommend this book to you. You should not read it. But you should be happy that it exists.