The First FA in Modern Fiction?

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Ned Sonntag

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Well there was the mittelEuropean nobleman in Voltaire's CANDIDE with the 400lb wife but if we fastforward to the hallowed 60s it's the Daltryesque Tommy Fango in Kit Reed's short story THE FOOD FARM ! The angelheaded rocker comes to the eponymous venue for an acoustic gig mysterious given his macrocelebrity... there's an electric moment between the Tomster and a supersize teen-girl inmate... probably an inspiration for S.K.Goodman's MIDNITE SNACK which I adapted as an 8pg comicstrip for Cat Yronwode's RENEGADE ROMANCE#2 in what, '88?. This is all in the DIMz archives but I bring it up since the still-lovely,:wubu: still-writing Ms Reed FacebookFriended:bow: me yesterday with a link to her site with synopses of her last 10yrs-worth of dystopian-satire fantasy paperbacks including one intriguingly entitled THINNER THAN THOU. Kids! Get to the roots of Size Acceptance and order some amusing disturbing literature from this counterculture visionary!!! http://www.kitreed.net/ http://www.facebook.com/inbox/readmessage.php?t=140250321487#/profile.php?id=1186926388
 

Ned Sonntag

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"In the tomorrow of Thinner Than Thou, the cult of the body has become the one true religion. The Dedicated Sisters are a religious order sworn to help anorexic, bulimic, and morbidly obese youth. Throughout the land, houses of worship have been replaced by the health clubs of the Crossed Triceps. And through hypnotically powerful evangelical infomercials, the Reverend Earl preaches the heaven of the Afterfat, where you will look like a Greek god and can eat anything you want. Just sign over your life savings and come to Sylphania, the most luxurious weight-loss spa in the world, where the Reverend himself will personally supervise your attainment of physical perfection.
But the glory of youth and thinness that America worships conceals a hidden world where teens train for the competitive eating circuit, where fat porn and obese strippers feed people's dark desires, and where an underground railroad of rebellious religions remember when people worshipped God instead of the Afterfat.
As Annie, an anorexic, and her friend Kelly, who is so massive she can barely walk, find out, the tender promises of the Dedicated Sisters are fulfilled by forced feedings and enforced starvation in hidden prisons.
As middle-aged Jeremy discovers, Sylphania is a concentration camp where failure to lose weight and tone up leads to brutal punishment.
The Rev. Earl's public sympathy for the overweight conceals a private contempt . . . and, beneath that, a terrible longing known only to a select few.
The inevitable decay of old age is the only thing keeping mankind from reaching perfection. Luckily, Reverend Earl has a plan that will take care of that . . . ." Weird that S.K.Goodman's famous-within-our-cult wife was named... Kelly...:eek: It's from '04: I guess it slipped under my radar...
 

Windom Earle

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Some of us ancient oldtimers still have their cherished hardcover copy of Isaac Asimov's "The Science Fiction Weight-loss book," in which Kit Reed's story features. I also think we really must broaden the term "Modern" to include the First Industrial Revolution in 18th Century France and bring in the Marquis de Sade, with his stirring description of the fattened concubines of the monks of excess in "Justine." I think your initial impulse was quite correct and that we do have to go to the voluptuous and libertine aspects of the 18th Century to find the true roots of FA-dom! :bow:

PS...please for everyone to google the cartoons and caricatures of James Gillray, with whom I am sure Ned is are already most familiar, but it will be highly instructive for the children of the tribe!

View attachment cochon.jpg
 

zosimos

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I think your initial impulse was quite correct and that we do have to go to the voluptuous and libertine aspects of the 18th Century to find the true roots of FA-dom! :bow:
Quite right. I can recall reading somewhere in the voluminous and ribald diaries of James Boswell of his delighted encounter with an enormous prostitute deep in the warrens of London.
 

zosimos

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"A sphere, projecting upon a plane"





What particularly delights me about Gillray's drawings is that they always make me laugh uproariously, even though I seldom understand the complex and obscure political and historical information they reference.
 

Baba Fats

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What particularly delights me about Gillray's drawings is that they always make me laugh uproariously, even though I seldom understand the complex and obscure political and historical information they reference.
The history behind that last print ("Dido in Despair!") is worth mentioning. It's a caricature of Lady Emma Hamilton, Lord Nelson's famous lover, and it's probably a lot more realistic than her official portrait. Contemporary letters and diaries describe the celebrated beauty as "colossal," "exceedingly embonpoint," and even "the fattest woman I ever laid eyes on." She also stood a good six inches taller than the admiral, who was only about 5' 5".

Betcha didn't know that Britain's greatest naval hero was an FA.
 

Littleghost

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Well there was the mittelEuropean nobleman in Voltaire's CANDIDE with the 400lb wife ...
I must've gotten the abridged version of that in English class, because I definitely remember liking/paying attention to that story, but no real fat girls. :confused:

Some of us ancient oldtimers still have their cherished hardcover copy of Isaac Asimov's "The Science Fiction Weight-loss book," in which Kit Reed's story features.
I actually have that book! The title is only semi-deceptive as the stories range from the positive to the positively twisted, but I grabbed it because it was one of those farther out there Asimov collections I'd never heard of. Proceed eagerly but with caution. :p



"A sphere, projecting upon a plane"
What particularly delights me about Gillray's drawings is that they always make me laugh uproariously, even though I seldom understand the complex and obscure political and historical information they reference.
Obviously this was one of their far more enlightened visual aids for geometry class. Looking at it, the decline of education becomes far more self-evident. Why, if I'd had instructing like that I could've easily gotten an A+ instead of the paltry A and A- that I did.
 

Littleghost

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Also, Ned, facebook inbox messages can only be read by their intended account.
 

Ned Sonntag

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Also, Ned, facebook inbox messages can only be read by their intended account.
Well yeah but I gave 2 separate links~~ the first is to Ms Reed's publicity site for cover art & synopses... The CANDIDE reference, eh?... Voltaire IIRC mentions the nobleman's wife only obliquely and in one of the very first paragraphs. That's kool about Lady Hamilton. In the movie THAT HAMILTON WOMAN she finally has her affair with Lawrence Olivier-as-Nelson after he's one-eyed and heavily amputated, so if she was a giantess that's super-kinky. Those freakin' Brits, man...:eek::bow::eat2:
 

fachad

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Robert A. Heinlein wrote a short story called "Cliff and the Calories" in 1950. I got hold of it in the late 70s in his "Exapnded Universe" collection of short stories.

It's a story about a teen-age girl nick-named "Puddin'" who is overweight and diets to lose weight. When she finally sees her boyfriend at the end of the story, he's dissapointed that she's lost weight confesses to her that he likes her fat.

I think this story was how I knew I was not just a "lone freak" in my adolescent FA-dom.

http://www.heinleinarchives.net/upload/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=104
 

joswitch

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The history behind that last print ("Dido in Despair!") is worth mentioning. It's a caricature of Lady Emma Hamilton, Lord Nelson's famous lover, and it's probably a lot more realistic than her official portrait. Contemporary letters and diaries describe the celebrated beauty as "colossal," "exceedingly embonpoint," and even "the fattest woman I ever laid eyes on." She also stood a good six inches taller than the admiral, who was only about 5' 5".

Betcha didn't know that Britain's greatest naval hero was an FA.
I did! I think this portrait was from before she really became a BBW... but it has a certain something... :)http://www.lib-art.com/imgpainting/4/8/4784-lady-hamilton-as-a-bacchante-henry-bone.jpg
 

kioewen

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Contemporary letters and diaries describe the celebrated beauty as "colossal," "exceedingly embonpoint," and even "the fattest woman I ever laid eyes on."
This was largely because she was hiding a pregnancy at the time. Yes, she was full-figured, but in the empire dresses of the time it was possible to pass off as fullness what was largely actually pregnancy size.
 

Orso

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Another science fiction story with FAs and BBWs was published in Galaxy magazine in early Sixties, I think in 1963-1963. Unfortunately I don't remember neither title nor author. I posted about it and now the post is in the Story Reader forum:
http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59872

In short, Earth is invaded and conquered by aliens who are totally human and also FAs, because in their culture BBWs are the peak of beauty and sensuousness. So Earth BBWs organize a resistance movement, using their privileged position in the eyes of the invaders and succeed in defeating the aliens and freeing the world. I remember the name of two of the BBWs, Helen Krauss and Margo Day. I wonder if anyone remembers the story, for instance Ned, who should be more or less my age and I'm sure likes SF.

I was already an FA in those days, albeit a totally platonic one, and I was really glad to see that BBWs were the heroines of the day!
 

MuleVariationsNYC

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InJohnny Tremain, the Newberry Award winner from 1943 one of the characters is an FA. It was written by Esther Forbes. Specifically, there's a British soldier who begins to court one of the sisters in the family Tremain is apprenticed to, who is fat. There's a scene where they're sitting together and the Sgt. is putting on his best moves. The narrator then states matter of factly, "The skinny little red rascal evidently liked his ladies plump."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Johnny_Tremain_cover).jpg
 

SweetTea

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So happy to see that this book made it into a forum somewhere. My favorite story in the collection, besides Kit Reed's, was the one where a girl goes to work on a "resort" space colony where everyone is hugely fat because they don't have to worry about gravity making their enormous bodies too heavy. The mental images of the tiny girl surrounded (and scorned) by the colony's round inhabitants is one of my favorite images from the collection!

I wonder what the response would be if someone invited modern science fiction or fantasy authors to write a weight-related short story for another anthology? I wonder who would edit it?
 

Weirdo890

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Robert A. Heinlein wrote a short story called "Cliff and the Calories" in 1950. I got hold of it in the late 70s in his "Exapnded Universe" collection of short stories.

It's a story about a teen-age girl nick-named "Puddin'" who is overweight and diets to lose weight. When she finally sees her boyfriend at the end of the story, he's dissapointed that she's lost weight confesses to her that he likes her fat.

I think this story was how I knew I was not just a "lone freak" in my adolescent FA-dom.

http://www.heinleinarchives.net/upload/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=104
That's pretty cool. I think there was an episode of Naruto similar to that.
 
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