Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I mean, I had never heard of this until recently when I had been dared to read it, and yes, I knew that I was getting into heavy erotica, but I hadn't expected it to be so damn good.
Seriously. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was almost completely unable to stand up during most of the read, and because I was using text-t0-speech, that mean being rather unpleasantly surprised as I was up and about during my day.
I wanted to scream out, "Oh, come on!" or "This isn't Fair!" at random people as I was reading.
And then, at various moments, I pondered the great mystery of why so many men don't read this kind of romance. It's very easy, my dear women. In fact's extremely hard to hide the fact. Forget about all the scoffing and the hems and the haws and all the condescending humor that jerky men use to explain why they don't read this stuff. It's all baloney.
This book is full of really good stuff.
Extremely good stuff: from the pure writing, the interweaving themes and characters and the way that the individual stories make up a much grander story of sexuality, right down the purely expert and sensual eroticism of the sex acts themselves. I've never read better, but I'll admit that most of what I've read has really been quite horrible.
Even so, I'm amazed at how sensual she can turn all these kinds of turns, or even the direction she takes them. So many of my own sensibilities were shocked and disturbed as I read a few particularly difficult scenes, but as a whole, the entire book was truly amazing. Perhaps all that illicit and taboo material functions fantastically as the spice that tips us in and out of our complacency and into the deeper animal parts of us that love to be shocked, allowing us to enjoy the rest of the tales like we're getting away with something even more absolutely naughty than it really might be.
Seriously, if every erotic writer or if ANY writer including a sex scene might take a page out of her book, so many of the greatest crimes against sex might be rectified.
Seriously, people, this is Literature, plain and simple, with a freedom applied to women's sensuality that is really quite brilliant. It should be studied, applauded, and copied. Alas.
I hope her writing is always remembered. :)
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