TOPMAN ¶ Online Writings by and about John Preston

References to John Preston in Fiction

This page includes references to sexuality.

John Preston sent Jason, his slave, an envelope containing a few long steel pins. No words. I hardly aspire to that fierce poetry; it takes my breath away.

[The narrator of Robert Glück's Jack the Modernist (1985)]

De Sade, at the mere sight of [Michel Foucault] and his following flock of boyish ghosts, laughs so hard now that [Foucault] can no longer enjoy a quiet night of whist and brandy cordials with the Marquis and the Borgias, Cesare and Lucrezia. And Bataille and Nietzsche, whenever they pass him on another of their peripatetic conversations, no longer stop to invite him to walk the gardens with them. Even the American, John Preston, he laments, refuses to fuck him because he feels it's demeaning to fist a man whose legend valorizes the desire-driven and genitalized jerk-off fantasies of so many twenty-something post-gay geekoids like me.

[The ghost of Michel Foucault, speaking about his afterlife to an admirer, in Ian Philips's "Foucault's Pendulous . . ." Suspect Thoughts: A Journal of Subversive Writing (2000).]

I found him nosing around my room when I came in from the kitchen where I'd gone to get us something to drink. At the bedside table he picked up a book – a very battered copy of Mr. Benson. He grinned, and slung himself on my bed as though he habitually lounged there to read. He held the book in his left hand and of course it fell right open – to the part where Mr. Benson takes his new boy to meet all his friends.

"Stroke book, eh?" Jack was, I could tell, amused.

I just said, "You've read it, I suppose."

"Read it? Honey, I'm sure you were still in junior high. For a while there, this character was everybody's role model – or dream daddy." Jack was fingering the teeth marks where one time I had bitten the book during an especially big come.

I blushed. "Well, that historical moment may be over for you, but the dykes have gotten hold of him now."

"I'm not even sure I can picture that," Jack said.

[A conversation between a leatherman and his female "boy" in Carol Queen's The Leather Daddy and the Femme (1998, 2003).]

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Creative Commons License: Some Rights ReservedThis text, or a variation on it, was originally published at as part of Topman: Online Writings by and about John Preston. Copyright © 2004-6 Dusk Peterson. Some rights reserved. The text is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License ( You may freely print, post, e-mail, share, or otherwise distribute the text for noncommercial purposes, provided that you include this paragraph. The author's policies on derivative works and fan works are available online (