Trak E Smith with the pseudonym Trak E Sumisu author of five transgressive novels is our today's guest. He's known for writing for a very mature audience! His works are visceral, guttural, shocking, has graphic depictions of sex, and sometimes unsettling depictions of abuse. That's enticing, let's get to know him better.
Hello Trak. Very glad that you've accepted to join us. Can you tell us a bit about youserf?
After you contacted me, I checked your website and it’s very good. I’ve joined up to receive your newsletters, ordered a copy of feminomaniacs. I’ve written five transgressive novels, the first two of which have been published.
The very first was CPR: Conditional Positive Regard. That novel deals with the dark machinations of a voyeuristic and narcissistic psychotherapist as he tried to come to terms with the feelings engendered by the wife of one of his clients, and the outcome of a terrible tragedy. The second and third volumes of the CPR trilogy are written and awaiting publication.
My second novel: Taphophilia is also a dark tale of Baudelairian neo-gothic love between a jaded photographer and a young model who share a passion for cemeteries and death.
I am currently finishing my fifth transgressive novel: Confinement. It has nothing to do with the current Covid-19 world crisis.
Both CPR and Taphophilia are available on Amazon and one of the reviews describes me as ‘the British Houellebecq’. Quite an honor to even be in the same sentence as the great master of French transgressive literature.
As I write in this genre, I find it facinating to know when did you decide to become a writer in the Transgressive Genre?
I don’t recall making a conscious decision to become a writer in the transgressive genre. There’s a very real possibility that the genre chose me. What I mean by that is that first and foremost I’m a storyteller. I transcribe my stories so that they can hopefully reach a wider audience. Labels are applied to all such narratives and I think if a label had to be applied to my work it could only be described as ‘transgressive’.
For many, this genre is not attractive at all. Tell us, what about Transgressive Genre attracts you?
I’m increasingly attracted to the transgressive genre because more than any other genre in literature it holds a mirror up to life. Not the comfortable, sanitized, somewhat predictable life depicted by television, advertising, and the mainstream media. Transgressive reflections are more honest because they are not perfect.
The transgressive mirror itself is unashamedly tarnished and is invariably cracked because life is unpredictable. Life stories don’t always end well. The people in our lives are individuals and they have their own personalities, their own agenda, and those hardly ever coincide with our own.
Sticking one's head in the sand because it’s more palatable than facing reality is not a reason, it’s an excuse. The transgressive genre rejects such excuses.
I can't agree more. What do you think makes a good Transgressive story?
A good transgressive story needs to have an immediacy that is uncompromising. It needs to be unapologetic and to avoid any tendency to ‘sugar coat’ the reason for our being.
The human condition is a philosophical argument that has raged for centuries and has employed the minds of countless scholars and some of our greatest philosophers.
The question remains unanswered. I think the transgressive approach might very well be the solution. Instead of debating the meaning of life, we should accept it for what it is - warts and all - and stop wasting valuable moments on that we are incapable of altering anyway.
A good transgressive story also needs also to be free of censorship, especially self-censorship. I believe that all censorship is ultimately destructive. While some sections of society do benefit from guidance - i.e. being protected from ideas and images that are disturbing or dangerous - censorship supposes that the rest of society are unable to police their thoughts and actions. Right now, at this point in time, we are all being subjected to - if not, bombarded by - editorial bias and censorship that promotes and allows only one viewpoint. All other views are closed down. In effect, silenced. This is a form of intellectual dictatorship. Transgressive literature strikes a blow against this. It cha