Slash My Marx Up

Posted: August 29, 2010 in Slashfic, Uncategorized, Writing
Tags: , ,

When I first started to ask what is this thing the kids call ‘slash’? Oh not very long ago at all, many years after it emerged into the popular (sub)culture, I said I’d love to write some Karl Marx slash. I was trying to be clever, and suggest that I am no populist, no Potterist, no Dr Who or Clameron type slasher. If I was to slash my heroes, I’d go for the top dog. And I knew no-one else would have been so clever as me.

But they have. And here it is. Marx and Engels in a tortured, homoerotic dialectic:

But it is not only the great Communist philosophers who have been slashed up by the fic writers. Nazi slash is another popular genre: type ‘Nazi Slash’ into google or live journal and you will see just how popular it is.
In case Himmler and Goering getting a bit hot under their uniforms isn’t quite your cup of tea, I offer you this fictional version of Nazislash- a re-imagining of scenes between the characters of Inglorious Basterds. Hollywood Nazi Porn at its finest:
But what is going on here? Why have we taken to writing steamy scenarios for such nefarious characters from history and popular culture?
As if he had stepped into our rather surreal, slashed up postmodern world himself, Foucault had something to say that could well be applied to this contemporary phenomenon:
‘Power has an erotic charge. There’s an historical problem involved here. How is it that Nazism-which was represented by shabby, pathetic puritanical characters laughably Victorian old maids, or at best, smutty individuals-how has it now managed to become, in France, in Germany, in the United States, in all pornographic literature throughout the world, the ultimate symbol of eroticism?  … But what’s going on at the moment? Aren’t we witnessing beginnings of a re-eroticization of power, taken to a pathetic, ridiculous extreme…?’
Michel Foucault (1996) ‘Film and Popular Memory’ in Foucault Live (Interviews, 1961-1984), New York: Semiotext(e), p. 127. French original 1974
I don’t have an answer to Foucault’s question. I am drawn to slashfic, partly because I think it has the potential to subvert dominant power structures and figureheads. But, from his vantage point in the past – he certainly makes an interesting observation about our present day fascination with eroticising powerful and famous figures.


  1. Kimboosan says:

    *snicker* Rule 34, BAYYBEEEE!!!

    My fave are the anthropomorphic slash – I wrote pencil case/cabinet once; a friend regularly does things like Romance/Porn.

    TBH, I think slash is an unheralded revolution re: porn for women. many women I know came into fanfic slash with very little/no exposure to porn at all, and find the welcoming and exploratory nature of good slash fanfic communities inspiring to their own sexuality. I can’t tell you how many women have said to me that they hate visual porn, only to change their tunes after being exposed to recommendations of visual porn that are essentially “group selected” for the female gaze (as with that LJ posting a few days ago).

    It is no lie, either, that many younger women are exploring aspects of their own sexuality (orientation, kinks, fetishes, etc.) via slash long before they actually get busy sexually in RL. (which leads to the whole mary sue phenomenon, and also a lot of anime-tropes driven painfully terrible romance featuring bad sex…but hey, I was 14 once too! LOL!)

    Not to mention that it is proving to be a “training ground” for many emergent erotica writers. As a female-oriented and -driven community project, I don’t think there has ever been anything like it, culturally speaking. It cuts across race, class, nationality and education; so of course, it is mostly mocked and ridiculed by mainstream academia, for the most part. *sigh*

    Oooo! Tangent! Sorry. I’m in the wine today. 🙂

  2. It is a fascinating genre indeed! I feel a bit out of my depth with it to be honest. But still want to try some ideas…

  3. I was so looking forwards to some kinky involvement of their beards!

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