The Catch Trap

The Catch Trap - Marion Zimmer Bradley [These notes were writte in 1985:]. Two people do a flying trapeze act, and fall in love with each other, face outside opposition, split up, and eventually, older and wiser, realize they can't live without each other, establish a new and firmer relationsip, and square things with difficult relatives. Oh, and not at all incidentally, they're both male: Mario and Tommy. I always suspected Zimmer Bradley had an overtly gay novel in her, though I'm surprised it took her till '79 to write it, and that she chose to set it on planet Earth in the 20th century. The central metaphor is the flying trapeze itself, which she brings into none-too-subtle equivalence with the sex act. But in fact, it's the progress of the "relationship" (the 70s term is all too apt) that she's really interested in, and although one notch up, the whole novel is distinctly reminiscent of the K/S 'zine literature. That is, there's a self-conscious, analytic, very me-generation feel to the way human relations are handled; a tendency to go slightly abstract, and a great faith in the all-healing powers of talking. Zimmer Bradley has a stronger hold on both her plot and her prose than many of the amateurs, of course. And she manages to people her canvas with some interesting subordinate characters in the way of circus people, and to include some pretty lyrical passages about 'flying,' apparently an obsession. Yet the imaginative power seems to have been largely left back in Darkover, somehow.