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Noir Affect$
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Christopher Breu and Elizabeth A. Hatmaker

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823287802

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823287802.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Cold Kink: Race and Sex in the African American Underworld

Cold Kink: Race and Sex in the African American Underworld

(p.78) Chapter 3 Cold Kink: Race and Sex in the African American Underworld
Noir Affect

Kirin Wachter-Grene

Fordham University Press

Iceberg Slim is the godfather of African American street lit, a genre of gritty pulp fiction informed by the black noir tradition made famous by Chester Himes in the 1950s. Slim’s work has been heralded by a massive Black readership for decades. However, it remains obscure to literary critics, likely due to its brutal misogyny. While this chapter does understand Pimp as misogynistic, it pushes on its scenes of violent sex. It interprets them as representing eroticized power exchange, a noir trademark and phenomena of interest to negative affect studies. The chapter focuses on the female characters, arguing they have considerable power to not only render Slim subordinate, but abject. And by embracing their own abjection as a site of pleasure and agency, the female characters are often able to dominate Slim because he underestimates the extent of their kinkiness—and that of his own.

Keywords:   affect, African American literature, BDSM, gender, Iceberg Slim, kink, race, sex, noir, pimp

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