Interviewer: I’m surprised to hear you say that you think these might be–this is a for-profit venture? These are meant to make money? Because We Love Lucy, it’s pretty straightforward porn, I actually appreciate the sort of lack of story. But How to Train Your Virgin is so surreal. It’s not exactly a one-handed read, right?
Paul Chan: “I don’t know. The nice thing about what we do is we have no idea what we’re doing. And so we learned in the process of publishing these books what we’re actually doing. Just because you say, ‘Oh, I’m going to publish erotica’ doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing. And I’m very open about the fact that we have no idea what we’re doing. But we thought we’d give it a go. And so we started reaching out to friends and friends of friends to see if people might be interested, to see if artists, curators, writers, critics might be interested in writing erotic fiction. Sooner or later people started getting into it and sending us submissions and we went through a process where we picked the ones that we liked the most, and then they wrote it and we went through an editing process. But this whole process is about learning what people are reading, what people are willing to write, and what ideas of sexuality exist today, whether or not it has widespread appeal.”
In other news, I was pleased to see that both The New Museum and The Guggenheim Museum, both in New York City, are carrying How to Train Your Virgin in their stores.
You can’t take these little erotica volumes too seriously. They are silly fun, and buying them supports Badlands Unlimited’s publication of art books.