19 May 2006

Don't like NYT's 25 best books? For a twist on the top 25 list, check out Playboy's 25 sexiest novels of all times, complete with plot summary and rationale for inclusion on the list. To quote from their intro: "If reading is thinking with someone else's brain, then erotica is feeling with someone else's body parts."

I've never heard of several of the works listed. At first, I was surprised by Judy Blume's Forever , but I agree with the rationale. And I remember having to resort to stealth methods to read it when I was 15!

And the number 1 book? Fanny Hill, published in 1749 and subject to centuries of censorship. Playboy quotes it as "the first deliberately dirty novel in English" (no citation to source of the quote given).

Years ago, I was teaching a Intro the Literature class and had students complain about a story by Hal Bennet,"Dotson Gerber Resurrected" because the notes in the Norton anthology indicated that the story had been published first in Playboy and therefore couldn't be literature. BTW, that short story is in no way 'erotica'. Things don't change much over the years, do they?

Thanks to Largehearted Boy for the link.

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