I’m not a fan of the internet. I’m an old-fashioned gal who prefers knitting while listening to Alan Farley talk about his Noel Coward obsession on the radio to web surfing. I was violently against ebooks until a royalty statement made me change my tune (turns out I’m making money from them!).
However, cracks have recently appeared in the mud wall I have built to hold back the tide of “progress.” Friends send me links to stuff they have written that appears only online, and I have to check those out, right? From there it is an easy slide to clicking on the “this is interesting” links people also send (the traffic is less, now that people mostly post that stuff on facebook, which I rarely look at). But the biggest fissure is that I have subscribed to an online magazine– Lambda Literary. And painful as it is to admit, I have found out many valuable things I wouldn’t have otherwise.
For example, Tereska Torres, author of seminal lesbian pulp Women’s Barracks has been alive all this time! Except now she’s dead, at the age of 92, per today’s issue. I still regret that I never had a chance to interview her myself, but there’s a link to a Salon interview she did in 2005, and quotes from an Independent interview from 2007. I feel better about not liking her books after reading that she “hated” being considered queen of lesbian pulp. What do you think sold your four million copies, you ingrate? It wasn’t your turgid prose!
Even more fun is this time-travel look at lost lesbian magazines from the early days of lesbian publishing. Of course I’ve heard of Vice-Versa, and have long leaned on The Ladder for research purposes, but my new goal, shared by many I’m sure, is to find a copy of Better Homes and Dykes. If that’s impossible, I’ll take an issue of Killer Dyke – Lesbian Separatist Magazine By The Flippies (Feminist Lesbian Intergalactic Party)–from my hometown Chicago, no less!
I hold my friend Ann accountable for most of my internet surfing. I always click on the links she sends me. Since she has become a big sewer, that means a lot of sewing links, which is fine, since my idea of soothing reading is an instructional sewing book (on my to-do list: make a dress form shaped from my body using lots of duct tape and maybe some sort of plaster–I have to get that book out of the library again). Even though it took me a year to finish a simple skirt, I am delighted to know that I can replicate the dress featured on the cover of The Lion’s House, should I want to (remember that one? bad story, great cover).
Of course I’m always getting links to lesbian pulp art, and I’ve done the image search thing myself. There’s tons of it out there. Who doesn’t like lesbian pulp cover art? That’s what makes this blog unique [ed note: this claim has not been substantiated]–it’s about the content, people. I actually read the stuff. Which is why today’s recommended link for lesbian pulp fiction is this post from the Yale Library. It’s about the content! And it’s written by a Ph.D candidate! Plus, it’s heartening to know that an academic institution is collecting lesbian pulp. Although I bet they can’t match the SFPL’s Grier-McBride collection.
A last link for those who like their surfing to be about pictures rather than words: the covers from gay male pulp of the sixties–new to me and fun for boys and girls both!