Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Norman Mailer and Bad Sex

I do like this piece of news. It tickles my irony bone. So to speak. On my shelves I have a select handful of books on writing ( I know, I need more). Perhaps the most useful in terms of unleashing my pen has been Stephen King's On Writing, a surprisingly well written piece on writing. Bet he worked hard on that title. It's one of those volumes that is read in a sitting but every couple of pages you are being struck by the "bleeding obvious". Quite liberating really. I read Bag of Bones immediately afterwards (he was drafting that novel when he was working on On Writing), and I found myself testing the theory as I read. Putting it into practice has been a far tougher gig.

Another volume which sits up there with On Writing is Norman Mailer's The Spooky Art. Norman of course is famous for his irascible personality and his so called "innovative journalistic" style. I figured you could do a whole lot worse than reading what Norman has to say about writing when trying to figure out your own writing.

So to read in today's news that Mr Mailer, also famous for recently becoming deceased, has won this years prize for the worst account of sex in fiction. The Bad Sex in Fiction Award no less. Not a bad way to back up a couple of Pulitzers.

Here is how he earned it. From his novel "The Castle in the Forest." It gives me immense encouragement. On writing mind you.
"So Klara turned head to foot and put her most unmentionable part down on his hard-breathing nose and mouth and took his old battering ram into her lips."

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