Dodie Bellamy interviewed by Matias Viegener

Cunt_Norton-Dodie_Bellamy-Postcard_blogThis Los Angeles Review of Books interview brings together two Les Figues authors—Matias Viegener (2500 Random Things About Me Too) interviewing Dodie Bellamy (Cunt Norton). Read along as they discuss poetry, pornography, and literary arousal:

Matias Viegener: Perhaps not a pornographer then, but I and many people I know think of you in part as a sex writer. I agree with you that Kathy was less turned on by the sex she was writing than the act of writing the sex. You often follow your desire, or your narrator’s desire. Might this be a feminist gesture, not to defend against the reader’s arousal, but to prioritize your own?

Dodie Bellamy: Yes, sex has been an ongoing topic in my writing. When I first met you in the late 1980s I was writing the stories for my Hanuman collection, Feminist Hijinx, which was about female friendship, and not sex per se. I was new to prose, so I kept things pretty simple in that book. It’s in The Letters of Mina Harker that I really jumped into the thick of sexual experience, and I tried to approach that experience from as many vantage points as I could come up with. Reading Dennis Cooper, for instance, I noticed how in Dennis’s work, sex is as much a state of mind as something that happens between two people. So, I started to more deeply explore Mina’s (and Dodie’s) sexuality when no actual sex was imminent — the erotics of standing on a crowded bus, for instance. Sexuality became a beam of light to project onto the world.

Read the full interview at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

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