I got my daily dose of humility today.
Fight Club is gay.
I had seen the movie, read the book, and heard the theory, and still dismissed it as nonsense. Clearly, it was about masculinity! About fighting, about men in a feminized world.
In my defense, I hadn’t known that Palahniuk himself was gay at the time, but still, it should have been obvious, and I missed it.
Of all the words of tongue and pen,
The saddest: Vox was right again…
If you’re skeptical, you really have to watch the video to get why. The secret is in the language, and Vox goes through the illustrative quotes that demonstrate the case. But Bob’s bitch-tits and hugging, the gun-in-the-mouth opening, the protagonist’s antipathy towards women (Marla)… they all make more sense through a different filter.
While this may ruin the book for some people, I find that it doesn’t for me. The point in identifying this metaphor isn’t to condemn the book, but to train yourself to see layered meaning in writing and in literature, and to read books — and people — better. In my opinion, it’s still an excellent book; in fact, if anything, it highlights the skill of the writer.
As an aside, it is curious that most of the writers I enjoy the most aren’t heterosexual. Douglas Murray, Jack Donovan, and Milo Yiannoupolos have been among my favorite living political writers for almost a decade now (and if I am being honest, I have to admit I enjoy Greg Johnson’s work too). Palahniuk doesn’t break the mold here. He fits it.
Lest the reader get any ideas, I am happily married to a beautiful woman and a father. And of course, Vox is pretty heterosexual too.