Re: RARA-AVIS: _Pimp_

Dave (
Mon, 10 May 1999 11:08:30 -0700 I guess I should respond, since I'm one of the (apparently) few Iceberg
Slim advocators on the list. I reread it a few months ago, and agree
that its style is colorful, but ultimately the story loses steam --
can't say Iceberg's "rehabilitation" had much resonance for me.

However, the peculiar sado-masochism/manipulation of the pimp/whore
relationship does stand out to me. Iceberg describes it all, first from
the point of view of the "mark," later from the "mack." As I was
searching for some info online, I came across this quotation from a
newspaper interview in the seventies, in regards to Iceberg's theory of

" ... the pimp's mauling of the sexual object is perhaps a more severe
version of what happens in conventional relationships. For instance, in
so-called "square" sexual bouts, the woman winds up, of course, flat on
her back in a submissive position. If a man is aware of what sexual
button to push to enhance a woman's gratification, he will bite her with
the proper degree of ferocity. If he inflicted that kind of punishment
on her when she was not in a state of rapture, she would resent it... "

Thus, Iceberg's work and life represents a sort of apogee (or nadir) of
the fantasy of male potency and control. This ideal, to my mind, is
directly related to the hard-boiled school, which is basically male
centered and oriented. But Iceberg Slim doesn't hold back in his
exploration of the bleakness of life on the street -- the sheer
psycho/physical brutality of his scenes continually fascinates me -- on
a level far more powerful than, say a Block or Ellroy, because theirs
feel like writerly fabrications. Of course, Iceberg could just be
hustling me ...

The interviews I'm referring to are worth a look. In a truly articulate
fashion, he discusses the rage of the black male in American society, as
manifest through pimpdom and hustling ...

Excuse me, but I gotta split and score myself some "vines ..."



"Fate, or some mysterious force, can put the finger on you or me for no good reason at all."
-- Tom Neal, "Detour"

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