29 June 2009


erica jong's 1973 novel Fear of Flying isn't so much about sex, as it is about the search for self identity. here are a couple of my favorite exerpts --

~ "what was it about marriage anyway? even if you loved your husband, there came that inevitable year when fucking hm turned as bland as velveeta cheese: filling, fattening even, but no thrill to the taste buds, no bittersweet edge, no danger. and you longed for an overripe camembert, a rare goat cheese: luscious, creamy, cloven-hoofed."

~ "i remember a diet column in a medical journal of bennett's. it seemed that miss X had been on a strict diet of 600 calories a day for weeks and weeks and was still unable to lose weight. at first her puzzled doctor thought she was cheating, so he had her make careful lists of everything she ate. she didn't seem to be cheating. 'are you sure you have listed absolutely every mouthful you ate?' he asked. 'mouthful?' she asked. 'yes" the doctor said sternly. 'i didn't realize that had calories,' she said. ............. well, the upshot, of course (with pun intended) was that she was a prostitute swallowing at least ten to fifteen mouthfuls of ejaculate a day and the calories in just one good-sized spurt were enough to get her thrown out of weight watchers forever. what was the calorie count? i can't remember. but ten to fifteen ejaculations turned out to be the equivalent of a seven-course meal at the tour d'argent, though, of course, they paid you to eat instead of you paying them. poor people starving from lack of protein all over the world. if only they knew! the cure for starvation in india and the cure for the overpopulation -- both in one big swallow! one swallow doesn't make a summer, but it makes a pretty damn good nightcap."

[note: i'm particularly fond of the latter anecdote. any regular reader knows that in my view, human overpopulation is at the root of nearly any social or ecological ill you can name. i love the hilarious irony in her solution. plus it appeals to science's fundamental principle of parsimony -- a solution elegant in its simplicity.]

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