Tag Archives: books

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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On Why I Can Deal with the Shame of my Bookcase

From Nassim Taleb’s Black Swan, on Umberto Eco’s library:

The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encylopedic, insightful, and nondull. He is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books), and separates visitors into two categories: those who react with “Wow! Signore professore dottore Eco, what a library you have! How many of these books have you read?” and the others – a very small minority – who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight read-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books.