Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

I felt his pulsating manhood within me

There were two big parties in London last night, the British Fashion Awards, won by Stella McCartney, and the Literary Review Bad Sex Award, won, posthumously, by Norman Mailer, beating off Jeanette Winterson, a strong contender. The prize is for the most redundant and badly-written sex scene in a work of literary fiction. There was a very funny speech by the Literary Review's editor, Alexander Waugh, son of its founder Auberon Waugh and grandson of Evelyn Waugh, but I had drunk too much champagne to remember much of it this morning.

The shortlist is nominated by readers of the magazine and a large number of entries were for Ian McEwan's Chesil Beach, though as Alexander pointed out, without the sex scene there would be no novel so it could hardly be called redundant.

The eight shortlisted authors' words of purple prose were read aloud, under a full-length portrait of the young Queen Victoria with her mouth slightly open in a moue of shock. Then the prize was presented by former supermodel Marie Helvin who confessed that until she was thirteen, she had never worn a pair of shoes. The prize is a semi-abstract statue representing sex in the 1950s and a bottle of champagne, if the winner turns up, which Mailer was unable to do, for obvious reasons, so it was given to the youngest ever shortlisted author, Richard Milward.

And here is an extract from that winning entry:

The Hound began to come to life. Right in her mouth. It surprised her. Alois had been so limp. But now he was a man again! His mouth lathered with her sap, he turned around and embraced her face with all the passion of his own lips and face, ready at last to grind into her with the Hound, drive it into her piety.


John M said...

"won, posthumously, by Norman Mailer, beating off Jeanette Winterson"

A truly horrible image, but apt given the subject of the post.

Thomas said...

As heavy-handed as Jeanette Winterson is, and as disappointing as her later novels would be, I will always hold a special place in my heart for Written on the Body, if only for its first incredible paragraph.

Yes, the descriptions of sex are shockingly redundant.

Twistie said...

Oh my. The Hound? That's a descriptor I must admit I'd never run across.

At least it makes a change from 'throbbing manhood', but not a good one.

Somehow I am now consumed with a desire to write a novel and get myself at least nominated for this award.

Yes, I sometimes have very odd ambitions.

Dana said...

Which one is the Hound, and which one is Alois?

This doesn't exactly make me want to get on the Mailer ouevre any time soon.

Linda Grant said...

I believe the Hound is a portion of Alois