Tuesday, May 8, 2012

More than Fifty Shades of Grey...

by Laura Sullivan

I admit, I haven't yet read Fifty Shades of Grey, but can't help but be intrigued. Is it buzz about a really good book, or buzz about a not very literary book that for some reason (we know what that reason is, really) has captured our imagination? 

People are either raving about how fun and refreshing it is to read such a sexy book, or are on the opposite side, taking it off the shelves of their libraries and descrying it as porn, as they have just done in Florida. Why is it wrong to enjoy such a book, when murder mysteries are perfectly acceptable? Killing someone, a life ending force, is okay, but a life beginning force is not? Only if you enjoy it, apparently!

Sex in books is as old as books themselves. It is part of life- what part of life isn't in books? Rape, murder, thievery, spies, car chases, love stories, financial success, collapse and ruin. All safe topics. Why not sex? The Kama Sutra was written (and drawn) in 200 B. C., and it is still in print today. Enjoy whatever book you read, and enjoy these sexy titles that were the Fifty Shades of their time:

Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D. H. Lawrence (1928) about an upper class English woman and her affair with a gardener. The shock the shame! Very erotic and literary. I read this once in a book club with all the ladies in book club and our husbands at the once a year book club that we invite the men to. It was a very fun and lively discussion, to say the least!

Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert (1856) is about a doctor's wife and her adulterous affairs. Flaubert was put on trial for the lewd content of this book. He was cleared, and it is now considered a masterpiece by a literary giant.

The White Hotel, by D. M. Thomas (1981) A fictionalized account about one of Sigmund Freud's patients and her erotic fantasies. Set in Vienna in the 1930's, it is about an opera singer patient of Freud's, and his mixed feelings fer her. It's a three-fer: sexy, historical and literary too.

There are so, so many more literary, sexy books like this that I could mention that have merit. Give Fifty Shades of Grey some time to see where it falls in the pantheon of literature. Any book you enjoy has merit, sometimes especially the sexy ones.

1 comment:

  1. Hi All,
    Am I getting old and cranky? Maybe, but I thought that 50 Shades was so poorly written and really stupid, and not good for young gals -so call me cranky. It's a sad but true tale that some books make money and others delight, inform and inspire...