Photo: Still From The Polymath, Dir. Fred Barney Taylor

Samuel R. Delany

The Motion of Light

Memoirs, memory, reflection, refraction and water itself suffuse Delany’s writing.  Delany's use of memory is striking-- the memory of the “heart-thudding astonishment, very close to fear” of seeing an undulating mass of more than a hundred copulating male bodies in St. Marks bath house. Or his personal experience of the early years of the AIDS crisis, erupting into the fantasy narrative of the ancient civilisation of Nevèrÿon. Elsewhere in his work we find Delany standing by the docks, thinking about shadow and light on water as a metaphor for race in America, while he tiredly fails to get blown. Such intimate autobiographical revelations allow him to reflect on the deepest aspects of personal and social life.

 

Content Note: Explicit Content 

  • Audio

  • Video

    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0