boy-chik Yiddish word for a young man with more chutzpah than brains. It's all about male-centered comic fiction, in the manner of P.G. Wodehouse, Peter De Vries (godfather of boychik) and more recent masters of the genre, Erik Tarloff (The Man Who Wrote the Book) and Peter Lefcourt (The Woody). Here's a place for commentary on this evolving form. You can buy Gerald's books from Amazon.com, bn.com, or your favorite bookseller in paper or ebook.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Guest Post: A Male Weighs in on A Female Perspective to Boychik Lit and related topics
Well, some of my favorite female writers are women. There's Emily Bronte, Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, Virginia Wolfe, and of course some others like the beautiful poet Anne Waldman. Have I misspelled some of these names? How condescending of me. What makes these women all better writers than I? Well, they've all got teats, for one thing. Most of them had to put on a brassiere before they could go out in public, or even to write, and put it on over both teats, and that's a hard thing for me as a man to imagine. Is this mild form of sartorial torture a character-building exercise? There's no man that's as manly as Heathcliff ... and to think some poor girl had to put on her brassiere and sit down at a writing table far out on the moors and imagine the curly-haired romantic cad. I don't think the suffering that kicked the creativity into high gear came from having to lean farther over the writing table than I would have, even if I had a writing table. No, the girls had to create men in their books so that women would buy them. This is admittedly a bigger stretch for me than for a woman, and perhaps that's the fount of their creativity. For me to create fascinating, believable men is as easy as poop. But for women? The girls worked for it with their brassieres on. Didn't they?
Labels: boychik lit, chick lit, fratire, jane austen
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I don't think boychik lit (or fratire) would exist or be identifiable as a genre if chick lit hadn't come first. If I were to put on my feminist hat (despite my lack of credentials in that area), I'd say men have a lot of nerve trying to carve out a genre in response to it since chick lit itself could be regarded as a long overdue challenge to the domination of the male-centric story in general literature. It's convenient to label Quentin Cain a fratirist now, although that's not a label you'd associate with his predecessor Jack Kerouac.
Ah...now I get it. But why bother with books at all when you've got TV? It's less work and that way you still have a hand free to pick your uh, nose.
OK Maggie maybe you think you're teasing but you're right on. Mainstream publishers, for whatever reason, have not been in the lead, presumably because they think young men don't buy many books. But the cable nets, starting with HBO, correctly assumed there was a male market analogous to "Sex and the City." So here came "Entourage," which is a critical success, don't know about its numbers. Then "Flight of the Conchords" (which may have been canceled?). On Showtime, "Californication." So TV sees the market, the book publishers are standing by. "Sex and the City" is set to shoot as a feature, and that will be huge, I think.
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