Nov 21, 2008

Bad sex in writing? Is there such a thing?

Bad sex writing is not like bad sex, in that even when it's bad, it's still pretty good. No,whereas bad sex can be fun, bad sex writing is unintentionally funny, which even bad sex should probably not aspire to.

My point? The nominees for this years' Literary Review Bad Sex in Writing have just been announced.

The contenders? Alastair Campbell, Simon Montefiore, John Updike, Isabel Fonseca, Kathy Lett, James Buchan, Ann Allestree, and...
new age novelist Paulo Coelho for his novel Brida, in which the act of sex – on a public footpath – is described as "the moment when Eve was reabsorbed into Adam's body and the two halves became Creation".

"At last, she could no longer control the world around her," Coelho continues, "her five senses seemed to break free and she wasn't strong enough to hold on to them. As if struck by a sacred bolt of lightning, she unleashed them, and the world, the seagulls, the taste of salt, the hard earth, the smell of the sea, the clouds, all disappeared, and in their place appeared a vast gold light, which grew and grew until it touched the most distant star in the galaxy."
Full disclosure: I've read only one Coelho book, and it wasn't the new age feel-goodery of The Alchemist. No, it was the loathsomely dull Eleven Minutes. And given that that novel, ostensibly about a young woman's burgeoning sexual desire, had all the sexual intensity of your grandfather giving a lecture on gynecology, I'm rootin' for Coelho all the way.

Read the entire Guardian article HERE. And beware of the winning Norman Mailer quotation from last year: I'll have nightmares for weeks.

And this has given me an idea...Any publicity is good publicity, right? Well, prepare yourself for the mother of all bad sex writing. In my next novel, I'll pen a moment of coitus so profoundly disturbing that they'll have to give me the award.


John Mutford said...

An overwrought Coelho book? Wow.

Can't wait for your next book by the way.

Mark said...

But Corey, I think the spirit of the thing is that it is UNintentionally funny.

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