Life and work soooo interfere with reading! Even vacations this year haven’t lent themselves to reading like I thought they would. I mean, I was vacationing on my vacation so why should I be complaining, right? I have a deeply delicious stack of books just waiting for me to discover their depths and yet…no time to do it. You know what has been a bonus though? Discovering a handful of books which can be read in a day that I’ve managed to sneak in. One more category checked off of my list!
Today’s selection is a book that is definitely one of the most (fill in the blank with intriguing? eclectic? infamous? provocative?) reads I’ve picked up in a long time. Auletris: Erotica by Anais Nin is my first foray into Nin’s work although I have certainly heard of her and her penchant for titillating stories. Auletris is composed of two separate collections of stories, “Life in Provincetown” (previously unknown until this 2016 publication) and “Marcel” (a portion of which was published in Nin’s Delta of Venus). I’m no stranger to my share of racy books with highly descriptive paragraphs of what happens when the birds and bees meet. However, Anais Nin’s prose is nothing short of magic. She elevates the genre to heights beyond the reach of mere mortals. Here’s an example:
“…one assumed she had a beautiful body, but somehow one only looked at the mouth. Somehow or other one imagined the other mouth to be equally luxuriant, equally prominent. Just as one felt that the thin-lipped mouths of Puritan women must be the exact replicas of their thin-lipped sexuality.”
Nin doesn’t just go straight for the action verbs. She’s langourous in her descriptions, evoking the imagination and placing the voyeuristic reader right there in the room. Her allusions are smart and shocking. Whether or not you’re a fan of the subject matter, Nin’s literary muscle cannot be denied.
Having said that, this book won’t be for everyone. From an Anais Nin blog, “Auletris breaks many taboos—there are tales of incest, sex with children, rape, voyeurism, cutting, sadomasochism, homoeroticism (both male and female), autoerotic asphyxiation, to name a few…”
If Fifty Shades of Grey is your only exposure to erotic works, you are truly allowing yourself to be duped! Here’s an article from The Guardian that will guide you through some other choices. Plus, for lighter but still super hot fare, check out Bertrice Small’s classic Skye O’Malley series, works by author Zane, or anything by Ellora’s Cave publishers, for example. There is also the period erotica from the Victorian era, The Pearl, which also breaks taboos like those in Auletris; not so nicely written, but certainly a staple of the genre. There are plenty of “traditional” erotica choices, and then there are the kinkier niche areas like dinosaurs or Bigfoot – stories that seem straight from the tabloids or a weird reality show on cable TV. I kid you not. Here’s a few choices from this article in The Daily Dot. There is literally something in this genre for everyone. I’m not sure they can all be read in a day, but they will keep you turning pages until late in the night. Laters, baby!