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John (Francisco) Rechy Biography - John Rechy Comments:

subject novel literary night

Because my first novel, City of Night, was greeted by two personally assaultive reviews, one in "The New York Review of Books," the other in "The New Republic," both of which shrilly attacked the novel's salient subject (homosexuality and male-hustling) while ignoring its careful literary form, much of my subsequent work is still frequently mis-viewed, especially since those two reviews have been anthologized. I consider myself a literary writer, one attentive to structure and style as essential to meaning. Employing a variety of forms, I've explored many subjects, ranging from male-hustling (City of Night, The Sexual Outlaw) to the power of legend over myth as epitomized by Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn's Daughter), to a day in the life of a Mexican-American woman (The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gómez) to a panoramic view of Los Angeles as a modern paradise of "lost angels" (Bodies and Souls). I wish that equal critical attention were paid to the literary aspects of my writing as, often—and years later—to the subject, only the subject, of my first novel.

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over 5 years ago

Rechy's work simply isn't that good. Blaming 1967 reviews tells us more about himself than the possible value of his work. It's nice to see that he is now in his 70s and probably claiming to be 50. He's an anachronism, to say nothing of a body fascist. Let's see those pecs now, Johnny Rio! His work is self-indulgent and it's also often inaccurate. I played with boy hustlers when I was an undergrad and that was 1972. They all weren't as self-involved and pretentiously as soul-searching as the overage hustler in "The Sexual Outlaw". As for their doing nothing back — I guess those boys just weren't that into you (since much of that character represents the author) or, as I suspect, there was something very off-putting about you, almost to the point of a delusional system. I've been a practicing psychiatrist for nearly 25 years (Board-certified in all three subspecialties) and has earned a PhD in English and American Literature from an Ivy League university prior to deciding to apply to medical schools. I know what I'm talking about and I've long considered Rechy and his work to be minor footnotes both in American Lit and Gay Studies. Lots of good stuff for the shrinks who might actually be interested in his work; I'm not. I treat GLBT boys and young men at no charge for eight hours every Saturday. Given that my fee is $400/session, I consider this and other donated time my way of helping our community. I'm sure Rechy would be surprised to learn that I don't select only the boys/men to whom I might be attracted and even tempted to reciprocate with. Rechy has needed to grow up for decades now. I'm grateful that I did not attend SUNY @ StonyBrook because only an English Department full of PC sycophants would actually have hired him as Writer-in-Residence.