Monday, July 9, 2012

The non-perils of sex writing

A few days ago, a friend sent me a link to an interview in the Paris Review: Nicholson Baker, The Art of Fiction No. 212.   Though I'd been intrigued over the years with various titles of his, I'd not read any of his books yet. When House of Holes came out last year, I put it on my mental "to read" list, but of course our library doesn't have it (or any of his sexually-themed books). I've since checked out The Mezzanine (his first novel) from the library and started it last night. I think I've found another writer whose strange work I love.

The interview is long, and I had to read it in chunks because I was otherwise occupied. But it is well worth the time. What I most loved about the interview was Mr. Baker's answer to the question "Can we talk a little about the perils of sex writing?" Mr. Baker answered "Yes. There aren't any."!!! :-)

I would love to know if the interviewer was as flummoxed as it seemed. A little further on, Mr. Baker is asked "Is writing about sex arousing for you as you’re writing it?" and part of his answer is the whole reason for this post. "There’s no point in doing it if it isn’t arousing to some degree. Erotic-romance novelists talk about, after certain chapters, taking a “fun break.” You’re imagining all these wild, explicit things. I think it would be really perverse to sit there completely unmoved."

But we, as in those of us who write erotica/smut/porn/whatever already know that. ;-)

Something about reading this review made me very happy. Nicholson Baker had much more to say about "sex writing," so go read the interview. It's great!


Joan Price said...

I loved House of Holes! I reviewed it here:

I invited Nicholson Baker to contribute to my upcoming anthology: Still Naked: Erotica for Seniors (our wonderful Erobintica is a one of our writers!). He applauded the idea of it but said he had too many commitments.

Erobintica said...

Hi Joan,

Just read your review of House of Holes and I'm most definitely going to have to read it. If it's funny while making some serious points (which it seems to from what you say in your review), it sounds like something I'd like to read!

Aww, and that's too bad (he turned it down), it would be an honor to share pages with him!