The Collar and the Sword: Queer Resistance in Samuel R. Delany’s Tales of Nevèrÿon
Abstract

Abstract:

This paper explores depictions of queerness and resistance in Samuel Delany’s Tales of Nevèrÿon. The paper particularly focuses on the characters of Gorgik the Liberator, an antislavery crusader and BDSM enthusiast, who is never actually seen liberating a slave in the book and Raven, a woman warrior from a matriarchal land. While Gorgik wears a slave’s collar as a symbol of both his commitment to liberation and his queer sexuality, Raven’s twin-bladed sword represents her commitment to violent resistance of misogyny and, in a reversal of the usual phallic symbolism of the sword, symbolizes a vagina.