If I’ve been posting less, it’s that I want to devote more energy to finally getting at least a first draft of this book finished.
It’s a week later than I hoped, but I finished a draft of Chapter 4, on Orientalism, weighing in at a little over 7,000 words. It covers the centuries-long influence of Europeans being held prisoner in North Africa and the Ottoman Empire, and the lasting influence on pornography and sexual fantasy. I also touch on American captivity narratives, which are largely about white settlers abducted by Native Americans.
There are a few points I would like to cover, like Burton’s quasi-translation of the Kama Sutra and the vogue for exotic sexuality among certain Orientalist elites, but that may have to go in a later chapter. One of the things I’ve realized in this process is that I can’t include everything I’ve researched. I have to pick and choose, both for length and to keep the narrative pacing going. Just accumulating information and references will bore the reader.
Next is Chapter 5, “The Peculiar Institution.” This should be relatively easy, as I already wrote an earlier draft that covered Atlantic slavery but proved to be too long. I particularly went overboard describing the Munby-Cullwick relationship. Chop that down to 6-8,000 words and that should be good, at least for a first draft. The goal is to get it done by the end of June.