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When I read that the theme for Wicked Wednesday was BOOKS, I thought “That’s easy, I’ll write a story about jacking off to Penthouse Letters, or something like that”, with an appropriate photo, of course. Then, I thought, that was kind of sophomoric and not really too clever, plus I don’t own anything of that type. I pondered discussing erotic literary classics and thought of the books I do have.
One rare book is Confessions of an Eastern Shame Girl by George Soulie DeMorant, a French diplomat in China at the turn of the last century. He translated many works of Chinese literature and also was instrumental to Acupuncture being introduced to the West. This story is one from the 1700’s,with lovely illustrations. This book is old and printed in Paris. Kind of reminds me of Aubrey Beardsley.
And speaking of Aubrey Beardsley, some of my favorite things are etchings and drawings. Here are my two favorite books. Beardsley, of course is quite famous, while Martin Van Maele is not. He was a Belgian illustrator and produced some exquisite, yet bizarre, erotic illustrations that were mostly published in limited editions for private collectors. This book was published in 1970 by Cythea Press with the illustrations from circa 1907.
One of my favorite things I have is a complete collection of Eros Magazine published by Ralph Ginzburg. Of course there are only four of them, because he was indicted under federal obscenity laws for the fourth issue. Eros, was a quarterly hardbound periodical containing interviews,articles and photo-essays on love and sex, and is quite beautiful. My favorite is Autumn 1962 Volume 1, Number 3. Imagine what he would have achieved without the censorship of that day. And yes, that is Marilyn Monroe on the cover, from her last studio photoshoot with Bert Stern, six weeks before her death. The photos are wonderful, as was Eros.
But getting back to my story today; I decided that it would be fun, after thinking about all the different books on Eroticism, Sex, Smut and Good Old Porn… What was the first book I saw the word Fuck or read about sex??? Traveling back in time, I came to the year 1957, when in the 8th or 9th grade a classmate (and I think it was in Algebra class, which we all hated… did’t you?) passed around a paperback book she had ‘borrowed’ from her mother. It was called Peyton Place by Grace Metalious, and it was causing quite the sensation in the book world. And there, underlined in pencil were all the juicy sex parts, some containing the word fuck. None of us read the book, but we sure read the juicy parts. Can you imagine the reaction to that book if published today?
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Thanks to Marie for giving us Wicked Wednesday… can’t wait for 200!
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