Thursday, February 14, 2013

Goodbye, old friend

 A hot bubble bath, blissfully kid-free (at least for a few minutes), with a good book and a glass of rich, Spanish wine – sometimes life doesn’t get much better.

Until, that is, the glass topples, you reach to save the wine, and in your haste, what once was a good book becomes a soggy mass as it sinks slowly into the sea of bubbles.

By the way, it turns out you can’t just place the sodden book on the edge of the tub to dry out.

The truth is, though, I really wasn’t enjoying Delta of Venus all that much. I had purchased it in college on a whim after stumbling across an Ana├»s Nin display in the campus bookstore. Amazed to find erotica displayed prominently alongside all of the, well, non-dirty books, I picked up both Delta of Venus and Little Birds. (Along with a pile of textbooks, odds and ends of school supplies, and a Go Bucks tee so I didn’t look like a total perv.)

I must’ve enjoyed reading the book at one point because it was still on my shelf after all these years. But with the passage of time and life and whatnot, I found that I wasn’t liking it much at all any more.

That’s not entirely true. I love the actual writing - beautiful, almost poetic prose (despite Nin’s instructions from her benefactor to “leave out the poetry”); vibrant imagery and rich texture.

But the subject matter? Oy, oy, oy. Pedophilia, rape, incest. About as unsexy as it gets.

Yes, I know Nin wrote the bulk of these stories for a private collector (for a dollar a page) and they weren’t published for the masses until after her death. Still doesn’t mean I have to like them.

Now granted I only read about 5 stories before dropping the book (but saving the wine – I chose wisely, as it were), and I do recall them getting less icky (i.e., consensual sex between adults) as the books progresses. But I still have zero desire to re-read Delta of Venus.

I won’t be replacing this book in my collection.


  1. at first i thought it as a book you loved, very lucky it was not,

    1. Also lucky it wasn't an e-reader! I am much more particular now with books I take to the bath, nothing that can't be easily replaced.

  2. I am glad to read you are at peace with your decision to cleanse the book of it's sins! I truly understand outgrowing our likes and growing into new likes. You may like my blog as well! Loved yours!

    1. Thanks, Richard! I've always gone through phases with my reading. Was heavy non-fiction for the last few years, now finding myself picking up old fiction favorites and new (to me) scifi more and more often lately.

      Just checked out your blog - loved your essay on Religion but can't figure out how to leave a comment....

  3. Thank you very much Jay! It means a lot you enjoyed my blog. I am looking into the trouble with the comment box, thank you for bringing that to my attention. I'll stay in touch, be back to read a bit more later this week. Richard :O)