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Selfish, Little The Annotated Lesley Ann Downey (2004)
Fiction Review by The Drug Stuffed Corpse

Selfish, Little The Annotated Lesley Ann Downey (2004) Peter Sotos

Void Books

In the precursive introduction to Peter Sotos' seminal text Total Abuse, shit-magnet Jim Goad (Answer Me!) bragged, "No one comes close to Sotos in his ability to rape a blank page." A decade later blank pages still shudder at his name, fearing both his heightened literary acumen and its phallic implications. In Selfish, Little (SL) Sotos first touches and caresses the page; covets it; and whispers into its ear everything he wants to do to it. He wants to hear cries and pleadings - to see bruises and sundered 'innocence' in a quest to create his own pornography; only when the benign is perverted is he ready to plunge his pen into it with glee in his eyes and promises to kill it's parents if it dares tell anyone. In SL, the author delves into obsession in a sublime, didactic fashion. The text is as important as its context. Each word; sentence; paragraph is as decadent as it is malignant and wonderfully foul. His words are tortuous to digest; an inquisition; an ordeal. SL is his most audacious piece to date demarcating the shady boundaries of pornography as explained from outside the penumbra of acceptable behavior - and how it always relates back to his one surrogate totem: Lesley Ann Downey. It is sleaze, but culturally relevant sleaze nonetheless. He does not explain what factors culled together make pornography. Instead, he delineates what pornography means to him. SL is an introspective book that asks 'what is pornography' and more importantly, 'I comprehend that what I consider pornography is wrong - so why am I still obsessed with it?' It is a carnal confessional from the greatest transgressive writer of our times. I am not purporting to understand the pathology of Sotos, yet this personal, diary-like tome does not always necessitate a 'reading-between-the-lines'. He tries to understand his urges and unburdens himself by detailing what he must do to curb these obsessions by proxy; he elucidates what actions need undertaking when what you desire is unattainable. Sotos takes great pains to detail every taste, smell and nuance; his words are like semen oozing from a rape victim. He guides us through the detritus of man's basest instinct, into an impersonal labyrinth of porn shops, gay bars and glory holes, uncovering the cancerous lump that wallows outside of socially acceptable behavior. I can understand that to an overwhelming majority SL is nothing more than groping, misanthropic child-pornography. However, as contemptible as the subject is to the aforementioned majority, the author adroitly balances vulgarity and obscenity with intelligence and insight. The salacious tome is enlightening as it is obscene and apexes any current, subversive text.

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