Monday, May 18, 2009

Flames, on the side of my face...

Current book: Tropic of Cancer
Pages read: 1-107

Oh my god, it's so horrible. I had no idea. I thought Joseph Conrad was bad, but this is an affront to my very being on both a literary and personal level. Remember how I had that dream in which I explained that John Updike was so bad that it was like pornography? That was inaccurate and dramatic. This is actually pornographic. I see why it was banned; it offers absolutely horrific language to describe unnecessarily vulgar and disturbing sexual situations that contribute nothing to the plot. Well, how could they contribute anything to the plot, since there isn't one?

So far, we've met the main character, who's a debauched American wanna-be writer living in Paris. He has no money, and therefore crashes at his friend Boris's until about page 90, when he gets a room at a Russian immigrant's apartment in exchange for teaching him English. Now imagine that plus meeting about a dozen people who are variously described as whores and degenerates and relate their various sexual liaisons in profane and florid prose.

It's horrible. It's not as though I want to condone censorship. Ever. At all. But I almost can't blame them. Look at this stuff. (WARNING: Awful, incredibly offensive, horribly adult content below. )
"I will ream out every wrinkle in your cunt...You can stuff toads, bats, lizards up your rectum...I will tear off a few hairs from your cunt and paste them on Boris' chin. I will bite into your clitoris and spit out two franc pieces..." (6)
Do you see what I'm saying? And there's not even any point to it. It doesn't even make sense. Christ, Henry Miller.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, I never read that. I must have been thinking of some other book. That's disgusting all right. And, if memory serves, it's also long. I would probably either skip it, or read the first and last sentence of every paragraph. Yuck!



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