Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bad Sex, a Three-Volume Post

1. The British mag Literary Review does a "Bad Sex" award, "with the aim of gently dissuading authors and publishers from including unconvincing, perfunctory, embarrassing or redundant passages of a sexual nature in otherwise sound literary novels." Some of the shortlisted passages are amusing, though there isn't much that compares to the 2005 winner:
And he came hard in her mouth and his dick jumped around and rattled on her teeth and he blacked out and she took his dick out of her mouth and lifted herself from his face and whipped the pillow away and he gasped and glugged at the air, and he came again so hard that his dick wrenched out of her hand and a shot of it hit him straight in the eye and stung like nothing he'd ever had in there, and he yelled with the pain, but the yell could have been anything, and as she grabbed at his dick, which was leaping around like a shower dropped in an empty bath, she scratched his back deeply with the nails of both hands and he shot three more times, in thick stripes on her chest. Like Zorro.

2. Rod Liddle rambles about the former floridity and recent flaccidity of John Updike in the Times [of London].

3. [Update. See my review.] I've been reading Anne Enright's new collection of stories, Yesterday's Weather, which is very good, incomparably better than her novel, The Gathering. (Review to follow when I finish the book.) It is relevant to this post because of her story "The Bad Sex Weekend," which has this characteristic and beautifully poised sentence:
The sex, when it happened, an aimless battering around the nub of him, which was sadly distant and, she supposed, numb with drink.


Grobstein said...

I did not much like The Gathering.

Zed said...

I was ambivalent about it. There was some good prose, I thought, but it was structurally unsound. The short stories are on the whole less ill-conceived and better written.