Clung Together

I don’t often respond to specific posts from readers, but I guess that now I have my own blog I ought to get more into the habit of doing so.

Anyway, here’s a comment  by Lexie regarding my short story Clung Together sent to Literotica:

http://www.literotica.com/stories/storyfeedbackboard.php?id=314099&pagehint=6

It’s polite and well-meaning, but not exactly flattering.

Lexie has two main gripes. One is historical accuracy and the other is how erotic the story is.

With regards to his second point, I guess I’m guilty as charged. However, it’s a moot point what makes a story erotic. Some people seem to think that any story with a sex element is therefore erotic. I’m personally not sure that’s at all true. Many stories with no sex element are quite erotic and most stories with sex in it I don’t find erotic at all. However, this story does contain reference to a rape, which I don’t consider especially erotic in any circumstances, and consensual sex between two women which is only as erotic as a reader perceives it to be.

And in Lexie’s case, quite clearly, not at all.

Lexie’s other objections might well, as he says, sound pedantic. This again is a matter of opinion. Pedantry in the context of literary criticism is, I think, the laboured focus on detail at the expense of other aspects. Maybe some readers might agree with Lexie’s view. However, I don’t share Lexie’s surprise that “no one has commented in five years” on the matters he raises.

I’m not a second world war historian, but I have read widely on the holocaust and the final few weeks of the Nazi regime. Essentially, many Soviet soldiers raped the women and children they encountered fairly indiscriminately (and slaughtered many of them immediately afterwards). And the Nazis forced the last few remaining Jews in their custody on what might be called Death Marches at about the same time as the Soviet soldiers arrived. That the two events might happen at some close temporal and physical proximity does not seem very unlikely to me.

The documentation on the Soviet soldiers rape of German Women at the end of the war is very widely available and I’m sure the interested reader will easily find some graphic accounts of what happened. However, the subject of Death Marches is discussed in Wikipedia and in the harrowing account of them in the book Hitler’s Willing Executioners by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.

The story, in any case, is less a historical account than a story of redemption and forgiveness, using as a kind of metaphor the dismemberment of Germany at the end of the war and its reunification when the Berlin Wall was torn down.

Clung Together was originally submitted to the now defunct website Ruthie’s Club where it was edited by Ruthie and was later published on Literotica and Stories OnLine. Here is the illustration that was used on Ruthie’s Club:

Clung Together (illustrated by Besito)

Clung Together (illustrated by Besito)

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