Friday, June 20, 2008

The Polymath, or the life and opinions of Samuel R. Delany

Friday, June 20, 8:00 pm, Roxie Theatre

Samuel R. ("Chip") Delany has written scads of science-fiction novels, in many of which there are characters whose gender is never quite clear. Initially the effect is unsettling — we're deeply ingrained in the habit of pigeonholing he and she — but with a little familiarity comes the realization that the story doesn't pivot on whether this character is male or female. In his personal life, too, Delany refuses to play by arbitrary societal rules, still having casual sexual encounters well into his 60s, waxing nostalgic about the porn theatres he visited in decades past. His wife would go off to her job; he would stay home and write, but then reward himself with a sex break in the theatre or in a public restroom, and he did so without shame or guilt. The Polymath is an engaging look into an ardently unconventional life; highly recommended

The Polymath, or the Life and Opinions of Samuel R. Delany, Gentleman, dir. Fred Barney Taylor, 2007 USA 75 min.

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