Saturday, October 5, 2013
Learning the Difference
You would be wrong.
I don't loathe erotica. I loathe badly written porn, sure, but not all erotica counts as such. A book can contain beautiful, even graphic, descriptions of sex and sexuality without crossing over the line to smut. A writer must learn the difference.
For instance, I wouldn't at all mind my husband watching Orange is the New Black. It is a great show. Yeah, there's some graphic female on female sex. Could I do without that? Sure. But the show is solid. The writing is wonderful. The point of the show is not the sex. The point is the story, and you'd be hard pressed to take an honest look at a women's prison and NOT include girl on girl action and inmates sleeping with guards. That's how it is. On the other hand, I won't be buying my man a subscription to Hustler.
That's the difference between the new trend toward over-sexed novels and a book like Sappho's Leap
Sappho has fascinated me for a while. Very few female voices filter down thousands of years. Sappho's has. Why? Maybe it is the universal truth in her simple stanzas. We are love. Men, women, parents, lovers, etc...
Love love love love love love.
I enjoyed Jong's novel. I have heard her name for ages and always planned to read one of her books. I'm glad I chose this one. Her storytelling is superb. It isn't overly flowery or descriptive, but it is honest in its telling. I like that. I found myself immediately drawn into Sappho's tale. I wanted to know every detail. I wanted to love her and be loved by her. I felt transported to a world that only exists in history, one I rarely think much about.
A beautiful read. A lesson in accurately and beautifully portraying a sexually liberated women without making her seem a dirty slut and without making dirty slut-hood seem desirable. ;)
Brava, Ms Jong. Brava.