Friday, 26 November 2010
Jan Vander Laenen: SKILFULLY LOVINGLY
Hot off the press from SIZZLER RENAISSANCE,dazzling male-male encounters - from the depths to the sublime.Jan Vander Laenen is one of Europe's most celebrated gay male voices. This first ever collection includes stories from Best Gay Erotica, Best Gay Love Stories, Bears, Passions, Stories of Extreme Sex, and more. The Duquesnoy Trilogy is a miniature outline of the leather scene; A Glass of Cognac, a very French story about betrayal and unfaithfulness. Many of these stories are situated in Brussels, Belgium, the city where he happens to live and which, as the capital of the European Community, already displays the international chaos characterized by our present world – and that makes it the perfect breeding ground for an author with imagination.
Truth is available in the street for free (...). Bluntly stated, the
writer's mission is skilfully and lovingly to lie.
– Richard Walter
Maybe Richard Walter is right with the above quotation. It may
indeed be the writer's task to lie, or at least cover up reality, or give
it some spin.
Until now, my own life, my own reality, has certainly not been
boring. I have been through the necessary trials and tribulations in
the areas of family, friendship, love, eroticism and professional life– perhaps enough to write an autobiography – in short, a list of
naked truths with a possible central theme, one that would serve
the statement "character is destiny”
Meanwhile, the short story has become my cherished genre; it gives me the possibility to focus on one single event of my life, add some autobiographic ingredients and white lies, and elaborate these to a mini-intrigue with a plot, a beginning, a middle and an end, so that eventually this event is transformed into a meaningful experience – or so it seems.
Some examples? The opening short story, My funny Valentine, becomes a perfidious example of what sexual jealousy can lead to; The Vibrator, an amusing testimony of the symptoms of anal addiction, The Duquesnoy Trilogy, a miniature outline of the leather scene, The Corpse Washer, a romantic rhapsody on the theme of absolute love, A Glass of Cognac, a very French story about betrayal and unfaithfulness.
The number of stories I have written, in addition to plays, novels, essays and scripts, must have now grown to more than a hundred. The forty stories in this collection are those that have succeeded, for one reason or another, in becoming an English language version due to a faithful translator.
They are some what haphazardly arranged and can be read in random order. Many are situated in Brussels, Belgium, the city where I happen to live and which, as the capital of the European Community, already displays the international chaos characterised by our present world – and that makes it the perfect breeding ground for an author with imagination.
So, imagination; I would hope that this collection principally bears witness of an imagination filtered through the prism of logic, the same imagination that I so admire in the anonymous and renowned authors of the short story genre, 1001 Nights, the fairy tales by Andersen and Grimm, the dark stories of Edgar Allan Poe, the raw sketches of Guy de Maupassant, the Urban Legends by Harold Brunvand.
I hope you enjoy reading this collection!
– Jan Vander Laenen
“My Funny Valentin is a story of revenge. It is indeed an illustration of the old saying; “revenge is a dish best served cold.” So say the English, and I think the French say it too. Jan writes with humour about a love turned sour, and I am with him all the way when, he calls on supernatural assistance, to triumph over the unkindness of a so called friend.
In “A Last Cigarette,” Jan demonstrates an irrepressibly, wicked humour, a wit that crosses geographical and cultural divides. Do you need to be a Gay man to fully appreciate this story? Coming from a Straight woman, definitely not. Do you need to have been a smoker? No! No” You just need to be receptive to a playful story teller, who spins you a tale that may, or may not be true.
How many of us can honestly say that we haven’t played a mischievous joke on a friend? In Laetitia’s Curriculum Vitae, Jan is a bad, bad man, rewriting Laetitia’s history. It’s a funny, provocative tale, with an enchanting end.
Enjoy “Duquesnoy. Three Tales About A Brussels Leather Bar: Prince Albert. !Be prepared to giggle until you pee yourself at the antics of the crowd at the Brussels leather bar. Jan writes enticingly and joyfully, celebrating his orientation as a Gay man in a small area of town, where everyone knows everyone else.
Jan writes playfully about sex. The stories are enchanting; full of life and vigour. The way Jan uses language is divine, as he carves out imagery, using word and metaphor to bring the reader enthralling, bewitching pictures, that draw on our deepest, darkest desires. I cannot recommend Jan’s book highly enough. He amuses, entertains, even shocks sometimes. Read it alone, read it with one, or two partners, whatever takes your fancy, but I guarantee you won’t be able to put “Skilfully, Lovingly” down, as you beg, pleading, for just one more story.