Trash Literature: Reports of Incest in Democratic and Failed States, The Cases of Jaycee Lee Dugard and Mackenzie Phillips
Narratives of incest, pedophilia, and rape project an ample spectrum of sexual fantasies for purchase in the market place, translating violence into cultural discourse, as in serial killer or incest stories. These are big business narratives. So-called Trash Literature thrives on them. On the flip side, stories of child abuse and violence against women stunt the imagination. Stories of materialized male fantasies bring us face-to-face with the incongruous-grotesque, a style resulting from an inflection and intensity that signifies a mixture of the harrowing and gruesome, abhorrent and bizarre. The mode hits the reader in her guts, pointing in the direction of the unbearable in affect: that which can no longer be listened to, can no longer be seen or comprehended, a threshold. No single master code seems capable of embracing these fantasies in their entirety. Lacan’s concept of narcissism may offer the reader a preview of the barely graspable; a concept that, in cramming everything into a convenient explanation, discloses previously undisclosed pathways hanging over sexual fantasies. The psyche is revealed as an immense universe, a network of points of affinity and traumas. As it stands, male erotica seems to escape the complicity with some meta-narrative, with fictions than render possible representation but certainly fit what Lauren Berlant dares to call public intimacy. We examined the materialization of this concept in the last chapter.