Started by NEON MERCURY, March 06, 2004, 08:42:54 PM
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Quote from: Nathan Rabin, The DissolveAs a writer and a man, countercultural icon Iceberg Slim was blessed and cursed with deep sensitivity. Though he adopted a veneer of invulnerability as a hustler's professional mask, the notorious pimp-turned-author understood how what he called his "poisonous pimp charisma" and "phony glamour" affected vulnerable young women. He knew the cost of prostitution not just on prostitutes, but also on pimps, whose psyches were shaped by the brutality and violence of street life.The man born Robert Lee Maupin, who also went by Robert Beck (after his mother's last husband), was scarred by parental abandonment and a tortured relationship with his mother. But his understanding of the human psyche and his own pain didn't lead him to empathize with the prostitutes he mistreated, even as it allowed him to write about the seamy underworld with unusual psychological insight. Beck's work combined a pimp's loquaciousness with a pronounced literary bent and a pulp writer's gift for lurid storytelling. When he entered the writing game late in life, Beck wasn't just a washed-up former pimp with a typewriter and some crazy stories to share; he was a real writer, and his seminal treatises on the ugliness of the criminal world continue to cast a long shadow over hip-hop and pulp fiction.