Lesser known Masterpieces of Literary Smut

For those who understand the appeal of learning things from books. You probably won’t find them arousing, but they do engorge the mind.

  • The Devil in the Flesh by Raymond Radigeut
    – a highly sexed teen beats a path through provincial pubic hair.
  • The White Hotel by D.H. Thomas
    – First wave psychoanalysis, prophecy and the erotics of death. I should point out that this book will sear your brain like a grill pan.
  • Against Nature (À Rebours) by Joris-Karl Huysmans
    – the corrupting novel mentioned obliquely by Wilde in Dorian Gray. Zola hated it; only a good thing.
  • The Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille
    – the Surrealists ended up being too staid for Bataille. Watersports, peeled eggs, saucepans. Do the math.
  • Ice by Anna Kavan
    – not conventionally erotic but hauntingly sadistic and compelling. Woman and man in pursuit of each other, a world encroached by ice, a prisoner escaping her jailer.The ice is encroaching global winter but also the white powder Kavan couldn’t do without.
  • The Fermata, Vox, and House of Holes by Nicholson Baker.
    – I haven’t read HoH yet but The Fermata manages to be both comedic and titillating, a tricky combo. Filth as satire.
  • A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter
    – an affair so tightly written and flawless, you’re intruding. Heartless, pellucid voyeurism.
  • Casanova’s autobiography
    – go for the abridged version. Terrifying cures for the pox.
  • Benevenuto Cellini’s autobiography
    – surfing the alpha juice of the Damien Hirst of his era.
  • Fanny Hill by John Cleland
    – quintessentially English in preoccupations.
  • The Naked Civil Servant by Quentin Crisp
    – Crisp only had sex to be polite, but he makes the blackout sound like a romp.
  • James Joyce’s letters to Nora Barnacle
    – Joyce has coprophagic fantasies. Just saying. Also, his side of the correspondence is all that survives so another instance of bloody writers hogging the spotlight.
  • Junkie and Naked Lunch by William S Burroughs
    – the junk is ‘sposed to make you uninterested in sinking your spunk but Old Bill was a man of appetites, despite vampiric appearance.
  • Most things by JG Ballard
    – somehow I get a film by Michael Mann running in my head when I read Ballard. As sheened and distant as a Hajime Sorayama prOnbot.

Books that are not recommended

  • The Thousand and One Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade. Very, very repetitive.
  • American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis – do not go here looking for squirmy fun. Satire that looks into the black heart of man, yes.

Essential primers for a woman in search of cautionary tales of faux-empowerment

And if you’re looking for some fine Australian literary erotica? Linda Jaivan has a ball taking the po-face out of poking in pretty much all her fiction. Chris Flynn over at Overland also has a few fine suggestions.

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2 thoughts on “Lesser known Masterpieces of Literary Smut

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