The Sexual Orientation of Writers

July 13, 2011

Literary criticism never seems to be complete without an investigation into the sexual orientation of authors. Prurience. Voyeurism. Call it what it is. Sexual orientation has no bearing on the output of the writer. Nevertheless critics, scholars, and researchers waste no time getting to it. They can’t leave it alone.

I have long been annoyed by the tedium, the shabbiness, the absolutely purposeless of it. But the moment that finally sparked me into action arrived when a former English professor whom I detested for his smugness wrote a literary article “speculating,” mind you, on the orientation of one of our fine American writers. And it was published. I read about the article in an alumnae newsletter tidbit. I hollered to the heavens, “So what?” I was so angry that I wrote an entire novel for the purpose of excoriating his kind. The title is, THE EXECUTION.

 Today, with the advent of gays “coming out,” with their parades, their political activism, and most recently with same-sex marriage looming on the scene, it seems to me that the literary gang must look elsewhere for their kicks. Sexual orientation is a dead subject. And good riddance.