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Homosexual overtones in Palahniuk books?


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First - let me say that I am in no way being critical of Chuck's sexuality in this thread.

I have recently been reading up on Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Criticism and how it constructed itself within the novels of homosexual writers, poets and otherwise. Most times these writers will subliminally or very overtly paste the experiences that come with being the "other" sexual affiliation - alienation, same-sex bonding even if not sexual, phallic and female symbols, oppression, and so on and so forth. I haven't read a Chuck book since Haunted was released (and I would honestly rather forget it) so I thought it would be interesting to look into this texts and see how Chuck's sexual preference presented itself in the novels.

Some seem obvious, at least to me.

I refer most obviously to homosocial bonding between the narrator and Tyler in [U]FC[/U] that might not ever transform itself sexually, but still has a tension of overt jealousy and deep-rooted attraction or fondness for Durden. Even when not sexual, this type of bonding is seen to build community and a sense of human identity that is trivalized in everyday culture due to the anxiety in homogonized society directed at a same-sex preference.

I think the most pointedly gay or homosexually-oriented novel is [U]Invisible Monsters[/U]. My memories are sporadic and unfulfilling in this regard, but shuffling through the basic concepts left seem to leave me remembering the main character's brother dying of AIDS, a decidedly gay stereotype (yet he came back, I forget how, someone please refresh me), to the transexual nature of Brandy Alexander (her brother? again, refresh me).

I think the nature of this novel in itself - commentary on the social image of beauty, cosmetic surgery and consumerism - is decidedly gay in nature and seemingly only would be attacked or approached this abrasively by a gay novelist.

It's also notable that this book was in fact Chuck's first, and to most that first novel is some harrowing transcription of one's life story or something thematically similar that drives, or inspires, the writer. Thereforth can be a mix of the spur of the moment ideas or emotion, but most would agree that that first novel is the blood boiling on the stove for the longest time - the most engaging and driving ideas and convinctions of the writer there transcribed on the page.

Public critique has described Chuck as "embarassed" of his own sexuality and that might be partially rooted in the title and main character of the novel itself - a "Invisible Monster", as it were.

Some basic research also revealed some trechant criticism from female reviewers that proclaim Chuck sexist -

[i]Still, there are even more serious accusations made against Palahniuk's work. Critics have claimed that they see elements of sexism in his writing. Much of this has fallen on the film adaptation of Fight Club, though it is worth noting that the screenplay was not written by Palahniuk himself. Still, there are those who claim his novels also contain sexist statements. Most famous amongst these critics is Laura Miller of, who wrote a scathing review of Diary.[10] Fans have made counterarguments against these accusations, noting that characters who hold these opinions at one point in the novel will change for the better over the course of the story. In particular, some fans (as well as Palahniuk himself) have retorted to Miller's accusations of sexism in Salon's Letters section.[11] Many have argued that Miller and similar critics ignore the existence of Palahniuk's female fans; in fact, some of those who criticized Miller's review are female fans themselves. However, these instances neither prove nor disprove his supposed sexist overtones.[/i]

Reading this paragraph makes these elements come to the forefront at a more alarming rate - although I discount it - I do feel the elements of male emphasis and slight demonizing of the female sex , although I feel it is not disfiguring or "othering" in any way.

This is only touching base on the ever present elements of Chuck's sexuality in the text and I would love to hear what others have to add to my displaced memory banks in regards to the subject.