DBB meets Iceberg Slim
And the preface to Slim's autobiographical first novel, Pimp, is a reminder, if one needs reminding, that sympathy need not imply approval:
"The account of my brutality and cunning as a pimp will fill many of you with revulsion, however, if one intelligent, valuable young man or woman can be saved from the destructive slime; then the displeasure I have given will have been outweighed by that individual's use of his potential in a socially constructive manner. ... Perhaps my remorse for my ghastly life will diminish to the degree that within this one book I have been allowed to purge myself. Perhaps one day I can win respect as a constructive human being. Most of all I wish to become a decent example for my children and for that wonderful woman in my grave, my mother."Another Slim novel, Trick Baby, has Iceberg in jail when the light-skinned con man character whose story the book tells is tossed into the cell. After initial suspicion, his reaction to the newcomer is practical, endearingly human, and pretty funny:
"So, since I was getting rather elderly for the pimp game, I figured I'd pick his brain and play con when I got out. After all, I'd picked Sweet Jones for the secret of the pimp game.""Within a couple of days," the prologue goes on,
"White Folks and I were like brothers. A prison cell has the strange power to quickly create friendships and trusts that would never happen in the free world. I guess it's the lowliness and misery that draws two cellmates close enough to confide their secrets. And plus, in Folks' case, the sleeping pills."
© Peter Rozovsky 2013
Labels: Iceberg Slim