Sex is a tricky topic to write about. Many a great writer has tried and sadly failed. So many, in fact, that the UK’s Literary Review has even created an award for Bad Sex in Fiction.
Yet whilst there’s nothing worse than the squeamish feeling one associates with reading an awful sex scene, there’s also no better feeling, than that which comes whilst reading a great one. Enter Anais Nin, the Grand Dame of erotic literature, who said, “Eroticism is one of the basic means of self-knowledge, as indispensable as poetry.”
Nin’s heyday was the bohemian life of Paris in the 30’s, where she had a passionate affair with fellow writer, Henry Miller. Evidently the liaison was inspirational and in the years that followed she began writing her erotic tales. Published as a collective in Little Birds and Delta of Venus, her stories examine lust, obsession, fantasy and desire through a variety of sexual encounters. Far from being perverse or pornographic however, her deftness with language and prose affirms her role as a true artiste.
As seen in The ART issue of Russh, August-September, 2010.