This is a review by Mark Simpson of my novella Scribbling On Foucault’s Walls.
Regular visitors to this blog will be familiar with the spirited, sharp, thoughtful, charming, insistently-infuriatingly reasonable — and occasionally downright cantankerous — commenter Elly, alias Quiet Riot Girl.
Elly gave me enormous encouragement and support in putting together Metrosexy, which in all honesty probably would never have seen the light of day without her. She also proved tireless in spreading the word about it.
Elly is not only extremely enthusiastic about the concept of metrosexuality, she’s one of the few people to really engage with it and grasp its import. Perhaps more so than even Metrodaddy himself, who remains something of a deadbeat dad.
This is why Metrosexy is dedicated to her.
Now Elly has given birth to her own offspring. A bouncing novella called Foucault’s Daughter, about what might have happened if the famous bald homo French philosopher had been a single dad, juggling cruising Parisian S/M sex clubs with school runs. There is of course more than a little bit of QRG in Dr Foucault’s sprog, who scribbles all over his nice clean walls and then spends most of her adult life trying to live down and up to her father. Insisting that ‘macho fags’ (in QRG’s favourite phrase) acknowledge the (little) lady in their life.
It’s a fantastically, possibly madly ambitious work that self-consciously negotiates her own highly informed, passionate-but-critical and ultimately highly ambivalent investment in that very nearly extinct species: The Homosexual Intellectual. It won’t be giving too much away to tell you that Foucault’s Daughter, after prolonging the agony of The Homosexual Intellectual with its interest in him (who else shows any these days?), comes very close to euthanizing him.
Many passages in it are beautifully written and breathtakingly vivid. The scene, for instance, which rehearses the death of the famous cultural critic and QRG hero Roland Barthes in a traffic accident stays with you. Even if you feel he is being ever-so-slightly, ever-so-lovingly pushed into the path of the oncoming laundry van.
So I strongly recommend you read Foucault’s Daughter (which is free to download here). But if you do, you’ll also understand why, in the end, QRG and me, alas, had to go our separate ways.