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Review of Classic Erotic Tales
Review of Classic Erotic Tales
My review of Classic Erotic Tales, Castle Books, 1994, 256pp.
This is a collection of erotic writings spanning many centuries and cultures up to the current period. The erotic experience is described in a variety of ways by the different writers represented: Boccaccio, Voltaire, Boswell, Devereaux, John Updike, Alina Reyes, Almudena Grandes, Nicholson Baker, Marilyn French, and others including anonymous sources. It includes a story called simply "Walter" from My Secret Life published in France in the 1880's. It was an underground classic of the Victorian Period. The author, Walter, was never revealed. There are three examples of Victorian erotica and one from the Edwardian period.
The writings are sexually stimulating, some more than others. Some are shocking; there's one story concerned primarily with pedophilia that eventually transforms into ongoing sexual liaisons after adulthood and marriage. Most are very graphic.
The earlier works are not as explicit as those beginning with the work of Boswell (1740-1795). From the inside jacket: "Classic Erotic Tales is a feast of uninhibited writing about sexual encounters--sometimes shocking, often hilarious and always compulsively readable."
Here's an excerpt from Walter:
"She then came and stood naked by the bedside, -- 'Aren't you going to get up? -- fearing her reply, 'Let me have you again,' I said, -- she laughed and gave me a towel -- 'Dry your prick -- you can't do it again.' -- 'Can't I, -- look?' My pego was nearly full size. She got on to the bed, laid hold of it, and passed one thigh over my haunch, my fingers titillated her clitoris for a minute, and so we laid lewdly handling each other. Then our bodies were one again, and a fuck longer, more intense in its mental pleasure, more full of idealities, more complete in its physical enjoyment to me, was over within a quarter of an hour after I had had her the first time. -- Nor did she hurry me, but we lay naked, with my prick in her lovely body, in the somnolence of pleasure and voluptuous fatigue, a long time, speechless."
And, again from Walter:
"Then came the letch -- 'Let me gamahuche [the verb form of cunnilingus] you.' -- 'I won't you beast.' -- 'You did the other day.' -- 'Be content then, I won't now.' -- and she would not. But I kissed her thighs, buried my nose in the curls of her motte, begging, entreating her, till at length she fell back, saying, 'I don't like it, you beast.' -- Her thighs opened and crossed my arms, whilst clasping her ivory buttocks my mouth sought her delicious scented furrow, and licked it with exquisite delight."
Unless you're familiar with the sexual terms of the 18th and 19th centuries, you'll need to Google some of the words. That will point you to sites that translate the vernacular. None of the online dictionaries are of any help.
I read slowly, the product of an incompetent public school, but I read this book in one day--a new record for me. The copy I read was from the public library (it surprised me how much erotica is in the NYC Public Library system) but I've since purchased my own copy--the hardcover copy is about $9.00 online--because I think I'm going to want to reread parts of this book several more times. My only advice is that you not read it on a bus or train or anywhere public, not because someone might see you reading erotica but because if you're a guy you're going to be walking around with a hardon and if you're a gal you might leave a wet spot where you're sitting.