Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Norman Mailer Update

Dead author wins bad sex award - CNN.com: "The conception of Adolf Hitler was never going to make for easy reading.

But late American novelist Norman Mailer's explicit rendition of the incestuous encounter between the genocidal German dictator's parents has won the writer one of the world's most dubious literary prizes. advertisement Mailer, who died of renal failure last month at 84, was one of five candidates for the annual 'Bad Sex in Fiction Award' which aims to highlight crude and tasteless descriptions of sex in modern novels."

Update: for more on the nominees, click here.

7 comments:

jjs said...

ymhdtMay I discuss writing sexual scenes here? I think the door has been opened for the matter to have a bit of a literary light shone on it, thanks to this item under discussion. Writing sex scens should be mandatory exercizes in Writing 101, whether in a formal writing course or in the informal ones undertaken by the unschooled practitioners. If i was getting paid for this, this would be a really interesting article you are reading but since the pay stinks here, and i dont mean maybe, I'll just say that it is the best formal drill anyone can do - AND THERE AINT NO PUNS BEIN' THROWN AROUND HERE ANYWHERE, JUST FOR THE RECORD, SO BACK OFF - the best formal drill anyone can do who wants to work the "describing" muscle that really neeeds to be developed in writers who want to succeed in something other than exhausting your reader, the best formal drill you can do is to write sex scenes. Because you always know when you are starting to do a worthwhile job of it, and when, on the other hand, you are just being annoyingly boring. I am going to cease now, that's enough for these wages, and probably enough for the PG13 rating that this blog probably tries to maintain.

Anders E said...

The curious of you can find a few examples from this year's candidates here:

http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,,2217735,00.html

Bill Crider said...

I apologize for the wages. Those guys who wrote for the old stroke books, now, they knew how to write sex scenes.

Anders E said...

That link did not quite make it into my comment, but you can click my name. Or try searching at

http://books.guardian.co.uk

Bill Crider said...

I'll put the link in the original article.

contemplative-moment gomer said...

I read the few selections that were offered on the link, and I have to say, reading bad sex-scene writing is an entertaining as reading good sex-scene writing. It's too bad there were so few offered. From a bureaucratic, colic Senator point of view, and also from a self-righteous finger-pointing nagging housewife point of view, assuming the two are different, you could run "bad sex scene writing" examples all day long and nobody would complain since it was being presented as Bad Writing and therefore could not possibly be titillating, which of course is the sin we must not be allowed to commit, in any direrction or from any angle; the sin of titillating or being titillated. The fact that Thomas Wolfe did not show up at his own selection event shows you what pompous asses writers are, and also what lazy asses writers are.

jjs said...

One of the pitfalls of becoming a "Literary" guy in the writing game is that you have to steer clear of pornography. Whatever that is. Because, for one thing, your wife won't like it. And for another thing because your agent and your publisher might lose sales. Or their own wives will give them grief over it. And so it is that when times change, and when writing graphic sex becomes almost mandatory, the "proper" literary types are thrown into an arena they clearly do not feel comfortalbe in. Then all the literature - whatever that is - that they may have in them, runs for cover, and just Really Crappy Prose is all that remains. And so they write that. And then we all laugh. So it all works out.