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Jan Herman

Jan Herman

Posted: August 25, 2010 01:01 PM

Supervert Gets Into Her Head

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The last time I mentioned Supervert, the nom de plume of a writer I know, the headline, Better Than a Review, referred to a YouTube video that a fan made about Supervert's latest book, Perversity Think Tank.

The other day, an interview with Supervert showed up on the Web site Dark Markets that led me to a review of Necrophilia Variations, his previous book, about death, desire and deviance, which puts the lie to that headline. The reviewer writes:

Every once in a while, I find a book that affects me so greatly that it lingers long after it's been devoured and placed back on the shelf. I have a feeling that SUPERVERT's collection will be with me forever, worming its way deeper and deeper into my brain until its presence is untraceable.

Is there a writer alive who wouldn't kill for a review like Jessica Brown's? I don't know who Brown is. But she's one smart critic. Her interview with Supervert is terrific, too. Here's a sample:

Have you always been interested in things that are generally seen as depraved?

Yes, always. When I was being pushed out the birth canal, I managed to lift my head and give my mother a chomp on the clitoris. Nothing has changed since.

Of all unusual and unpopular practices, why did you choose exophilia and necrophilia?

It is difficult to articulate the "why" of a choice to write about something. A few nights ago I had a dream in which a friend confessed to some eccentricities in her sexuality. She was seeking some sort of approval, which I gave her. I then informed her about a sexual pathology called "anusitis diametes" -- a made-up condition, fabricated in the workshop of sleep. When I woke up, I marveled that my brain had invented this scientific-sounding term without my having the slightest idea what it meant.

Writing is a similar process. Something appears in my head and a book is the record of my attempt to fathom it. This was especially true of Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish. I didn't choose the subject so much as it forced itself on me. I made up the term "exophilia," but it was to describe something already flourishing like a tumor in my brain.

Is there anything that does personally offend you?

Bad manners. Nietzsche defined philosophy as the ability to reverse perspectives, and the same could be said of courtesy. It is a matter of thinking the thoughts of others -- the people around you, their needs, their movements, their reasons for doing what they do. A philosopher who lacks such an ability to get outside his own head can't be much of a thinker, thus courtesy is a good indicator of a genuinely philosophical temperament

What do you think about the American culture of celebrity worship? Would that be classifiable as a perversion?

Celebrity worship is very much the norm. Perversity is to turn away from it, to eschew the spotlights in favor of the obscure and the shadowy.

That's my kind of writer.