Write a sex scene is an impossible task

>> Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's a strange career path you can use a body throbbing before your second cup of coffee are discussed. But such is the fate (and the minimum requirement of caffeine) of a writer on the territory of the dangerous arena of sex too.

Metaphorical and lyrical, or brutally realistic? Picky Rothian link or joyous Cooperesque skirt? Is a risk of your browser to increase tone, drop your book of horror, or worse, fall on the nerves in confusion. For as the writer Martin Amis observed last weekend, the act of translation in print is an impossible task. "It's not that someone will knock on track [describing it]," he said. "There is no right way."

The long sex scene in his book The pregnant widow is easy to write, he told the Cheltenham Literary Festival, "because it was anachronistic ... pornography for reasons of plot." It is true emotion of sex on the page He says it is "impossible" writer and "embarrassment" for the reader.

I understand this view. In nine novels about the complexity of human relationships that I have difficulty in balancing the exposure of erotic satisfaction of both lovers, and envy disgusted type: "... and then he closed the door behind her."

The most urgent problem is, of course, language. For gynecological, and you talk like a biology textbook, the words "penis" and "vagina" has occupied a supernatural power the narrative flow interrupted. But using understatement and a world of potential pitfalls open like a big gaping ... (You get the picture).

As the Literary Review Bad Sex Awards show, the more "literary" book, the more adamant unlyrical description. Anyone for a vulva as a "head of Gorgon, a cyclops stationary (Jonathan Littell)? Care to hang in Tom Wolfe's definitely non-erotic" ENT caves Norman Mailer can? Have been good Amerique's Finest novelist, but I'm chased by his description of a penis "soft as a coil of excrement", as I am a woman climax by David Mitchell, who "a noise like a tortured Moomintroll.

DH Lawrence wrote explicitly, but has a spiritual element. If he said. "Life is sometimes messy art must" Otherwise, I can only imagine the scene in the library of the Atonement by Ian McEwan that management of both explicit erotic, all avoid the cliché metaphor or ugly McEwan. of course, the sex scene with the definition of evil On Chesil Beach, a novel about a matching wedding night failed.

Novelist India Knight, the anthology The Dirty Bits for Girls is made, said that people are much more difficult to get the right sex scenes women get. "I think men of a certain age should be prohibited to write. I love Philip Roth is tense over a number of occasions - once with a scene of cows [The Human Stain] and, even more problematic with a scene where two women are hot gay "activated" by the grace of Manly octogenarian protagonist's hips [The lesson of humility]. You do not know where to look. "

Rachel Johnson, a novelist and editor of La Dame, agrees. It is still injured after receiving the Bad Sex Prize for his book Hell Shire, and proposes to his next book a free sex zone makes. "Roth, Updike et al were masturbating in their keyboards for decades ... When people do, they are seen as literary - but when women do is seen as confessional or self-descriptive.


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