Casaubon's Book

I’ve often wondered what I should write after everyone is already living the Zombie attack and is bored with hearing about how to grow food and mend your socks. I figure at some point, the market will be saturated by such things, and people will want to escape – and I should start thinking now about escapist fiction. I was thinking detective novels, but I clearly should have been thinking “porn.”

Apparently IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri has already begun preparing for his post-climate crisis second career, by writing what nearly every review suggests is an unbelievably bad smutty novel with lots of heaving breasts. As I said, I was thinking some other kind of genre fiction, maybe SF or mysteries, but now I’m thinking “I couldn’t possibly write worse sex scenes than the ones excerpted in these reviews…hmmmm…”

We do need fiction, of course, to dramatize our experience – good stories are essential. It is perfectly possible that the reviews under-rate the book, that there is some fine science here, and complex, nuanced characterizations, along with the descriptions of voluptuous heaving breasts and sixty-plus scientists getting a firm hold on them. It is even possible that those breasts are heaving due to toxic air pollution. I shouldn’t mock, right?

Right?

Sharon

Comments

  1. #1 NM
    February 9, 2010

    Oh, please mock. For the good of us all, ignore those finer impulses. : D

  2. #2 Phil
    February 9, 2010

    The man’s just trying to keep abreast of the problem….

  3. #3 HG
    February 9, 2010

    Of greater concern will be if Al Gore buys the movie rights the book.

  4. #4 D. C. Sessions
    February 9, 2010

    There is just something about the phrase “heaving breasts” that makes me queasy. Maybe it’s remembering the old warning that “more than a mouthful is wasted.”

    On the other hand, if the name gets associated with really down-in-the-mud smut, maybe more people will read the actual report by mistake.

  5. #5 Nomen Nescio
    February 9, 2010

    hey, it’s the one genre you know people will always be reading. if the zombie apocalypse gets bad enough “detectives” and their work might become just a faded memory, but so long as life goes on humans will be interested in heaving bosoms. :-)

  6. #6 jdhuey
    February 9, 2010

    Way back, when I was in college, I had a friend who wrote (and sold!) porn to help pay his way through school. He was an English major and could write superbly; however, when he wrote porn he found he had to write badly in order for it to be commercially viable. As he put it: “Well written porn becomes erotica and erotica don’t pay the bills.”

  7. #7 Sharon Astyk
    February 9, 2010

    Jdhuey, I’ve heard the same. English grad students make their side cash writing a bizarre number of things from bodice rippers to horror, and porn included, and the “write bad” rule is generally more profitable.

    DC, I forgot to mention in my comments post that people can be banned from my blog for insufficiently appreciating the generously endowed ;-). Huge tracts of land are good, damn it!

    Sharon

  8. #8 Jim Thomerson
    February 9, 2010

    I was riding a Greyhound through the south. There was young man reading a pocketbook, titled, “Lust Mistress”, or some such. When we stopped for lunch we ended up at the same table. He told me, “This is a really good book. This is the first book I have ever read. When I finish this one, I think I will get another book to read.” Surely there is some profound piece of educational insight buried in this story.

  9. #9 D. C. Sessions
    February 9, 2010

    DC, I forgot to mention in my comments post that people can be banned from my blog for insufficiently appreciating the generously endowed ;-).

    Oh, I’m appreciative! My rule is, “It’s all good [1].”

    It’s that verb, you see …

    Huge tracts of land are good, damn it!

    No argument there — remember, I’m from long lines of farmers on both sides of the family. Land is good. Plowing is good. Mi… Let’s stop while I’m ahead.

    [1] No, I won’t attach photos of $EX-WIFE. However, the record should show that lack of “appreciation” was never an issue.

  10. #10 Brad K.
    February 9, 2010

    Folks, could we please focus on the essentials? We need to assure shelter, and food, first. We should be focusing on fiction extolling finding shelter when in need, and food security, to set the mood and tone for actual survival. We need to reach those in need the most plainly, leading with the most needed assurance and guidance.

    Deceptive and manipulative marketing bait-and-switch tactics are the tools of the Industrial revolution, of a consumer-driven economy, of “stupid voters” politics.

    Mere crass smut and searching for a comfortable, dependable companion, enjoying life within the family and community may fail to support an ever-growing, cheap energy, carbon insensitive economy, but be more worthwhile in the months and generations to come.

    High class, cultured smut, outside the minimum needed for the instruction and titillation of each generation, should be reviled as crass consumerism, the cause of forests to be demolished, mountains to be mined for polluting and carbon generating coal, and the election of deceitful politicians.

    Unless it is smut about a comfortable, dependable life companion, that is. If I wanted to see Grandma kiss Grandpa, I should be able see that at home. Hopefully I won’t see much more detail than that.

  11. #11 Greenpa
    February 9, 2010

    Brad: “Folks, could we please focus on the essentials? We need to assure shelter, and food, first.”

    Gotta tell ya- one of the absolute essentials for survival is a good sense of humor; one of Sharon’s great attributes.

    Maybe “abundant” would be better than “great”? hm…

  12. #12 Greenpa
    February 9, 2010

    HMMM. ya know, it occurs to me…

    SHARON is an English major…

    I would bet good money you’ve got a bodice ripper started and on your computer. It’s almost a given.

    Though these days, they’re more like “bodice bursters” – the elegant young ladies positively explode out of their bodices as their dukes, earls, and pirates pursue them.

    So- Sharon- come clean. Are you secretly writing smut? :-)

  13. #13 Seth Gordon
    February 9, 2010

    Dear Penthouse:

    Let me tell you about the time this housewife called me up to replace her leaky old windows with triple-glazed low-emissivity glass….

  14. #14 doug
    February 10, 2010

    Greenpa,

    What is a “bodice” and how old would one have to be to have actually encountered one?

  15. #15 Sharon Astyk
    February 10, 2010

    Doug, that’s cruel – Greenpa is nowhere near old enough to have ripped bodices in his youth ;-).

    I actually don’t have a bodice ripper on my computer – it is a genre I’ve never attempted. I know a bunch of people who did write them, because after all, if you are immersed in a historical period, you might as well make some money out of it. The problem is that with a couple of exceptions, I don’t like romance novels, and I realized that to write one, I’d have to read them.

    Brad, I think the last thing we need is to be very serious. That way leads to disaster ;-).

    Sharon

  16. #16 Greenpa
    February 10, 2010

    Doug, and Sharon- pish-tush! and piffle!

    Bodices still exist in many places. While I was not offered an opportunity to rip it, my accountant wore one 3 times a week, for hours, just a year ago.

    She had a job at a local historical park, “being” a historical person from about 1890, and they were after 100% authentic, in character at all times. It was hot, and uncomfortable, possibly additional reasons to burst out of them.

    My goodness, you guys need to get out more! I guarantee there’s a place you could buy a bodice within 100 miles of each of you.

  17. #17 D. C. Sessions
    February 10, 2010

    Bodices still exist in many places.

    One of the many pleasant benefits of the Society for Creative Anachronism, that.

  18. #18 dogear6
    February 10, 2010

    This was a great light hearted break from the topics so often discussed here. I enjoy them – from hearing about the children to Sharon’s latest oops, to now discussing bodice rippers!

    They all make for good reading.

  19. #19 gaiasdaughter
    February 10, 2010

    Dang, first John Edwards then Tiger Woods and now Rajendra Pachauri. Are there no smutless heroes left for us shameless hussies to adulate?

  20. #20 Claire
    February 11, 2010

    God, how I loved romance novels in my youth. Consumed them. Got to where I realized I knew the basic plot line of every one of them. I favored the ones set in current times, not the historical romances. I could tell you almost to the page number when the heroine (always a heroine) would first get laid, when she and the beloved would have some kind of falling out, when they would get back together (that always in the last few pages).

    For awhile I thought I should write a feminist romance novel. The violence in the standard romance novel always bothered me (it always seemed like the woman had to *forced* into the sexual encounter in a more or less subtle way). Never did it; after I took a creative writing class, I realized I write nonfiction, not fiction. But it still sounds like a good idea. I might even read it if someone wrote one.

    I only wish I could write something halfway as funny as Sharon and the rest of you did. Maybe someday … the pun on *abreast* was wonderful!

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