By Kevin Canty

ISBN-10: 0307826163

ISBN-13: 9780307826169

Within the culture of the works of Raymond Carver and Richard Ford, this fiction debut shines with verbal brilliance. aggravating but compellingly readable, the tales during this assortment discover the distance among unhappiness and desire, among existence because it may be and existence because it is.

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Extra info for A Stranger in This World: Stories (Vintage Contemporaries)

Sample text

It goes out of fashion and is discarded because it fails to impress. As she waits, she meditates on her relationship with Jason – is she just a possession to be displayed? She looks at her Gucci watch, a present from him, and contemplates how she will dump him. He arrives, ‘cocksure’ and ‘positively sizzling’. If only ‘he wasn’t so disarmingly horny’. No verbal greeting is exchanged but his hand goes up her skirt, discovers she’s wearing knickers and insists she takes them off. ’ In the toilet she touches the small clit ring he gave her, and finds that the piercing is healed and that touching it gives her a shock of pleasure.

If, as I noted earlier, one of the defining power structures of pornography has been the relation of male-as-subject to women-asobject, it seems that in these examples the relation is fractured but 16 MAINSTREAMING SEX by no means broken. Moreover this relation need not necessarily be underpinned by money or any coercive male power. Whether we like it or not, part of the normalization of pornography has involved the increasingly active internalization by women of their status within this dynamic.

This is a ‘game that enables one to place the limits of the fictional and the real under discussion, to make them fluid’ (1985: 49). Searching for ‘messages’ encoded in the text and their ‘decodings’ by readers ignores the complexities of the interactions readers enjoy in all media forms, including pornography. Audience research has shown that readers and viewers are self-conscious about their media practices and the ways in which these are understood (Barker and Brooks, 1998; Barker et al, 2001; Hill, 1997; Smith, 2007).

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A Stranger in This World: Stories (Vintage Contemporaries) by Kevin Canty


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