I wrote a piece about censorship for Smutwriters, and I had to cut out this little thought because it didn’t fit. I loved it though, so I put it here instead:
In discussing the difference between visual mediums and the printed text, Maggie Nelson taps into the subversive nature of the printed word, “…An image created with words requires the aid of one’s own mind in its construction…it is precisely this sense of collusion between reader and text that can make the reading experience so guilt-inducing, so uncomfortable, so deeply wicked.” (The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning). When we’re enjoying our smut, we’re actively picturing it, just like people actively pictured Emma Bovary’s carriage ride and William Burroughs centipedes copulating with who knows what.
I have lots of files named orphan this or that. It eases the pain of cutting out a hunk of text you love, because you lie to yourself and say, “I’m not deleting this, I’m just putting it over here until I find a home for it.” Of course, this home never materializes, and your orphan files end up being another thing you should probably delete, much like the 40 different cover versions I have for Love on the 500.