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Would you pick up a book of erotic short stories?

I had begun reading an unusual book called 'blue: The Tranquebar Book of Erotic Stories from Sri Lanka' edited by Ameena Hussein. It is recommended as a break-through in Sri Lankan writing. Here's a book review of it by Sharanya Manivannan.

This is definitely not a genre I read. But my rationale for picking this up was: Why not just see another person's perspective about an aspect of life that you know nothing about? 

The problem is: As a reader, I felt a complete disconnect as I began reading this book. I could not understand what made so many young writers put in so much effort to write this kind of fiction. This book, no matter what the reviews say, is not a milestone in Sri Lankan writing. I couldn't tolerate it at all.

Coming back to the genre of erotic books, the last book I read was 'Autobiography of a Sex Worker' by a Malayali woman - this was at least three years ago. After reading the book, I found myself able to empathize with sex workers in India. I saw a different world that shocked my sensibility and yet I began to feel for these women.

You may surprise someone by seeing real life and real people differently. That's one of the reasons I love to read. When I read, I don't 'judge' people. I love and accept them. I question their choices out of curiosity and not necessarily to be critical of them.

Most importantly, you become so involved with the characters and their lives that you begin to rework your perspective on people, their lives and choices.

We need more stories - erotic or not - to carry us away into a world of imagination. After all, it is only during these times that your creative spirit is rediscovered and savored.   



How do you like to explore newness and creativity - be it in books, films, stories you read? How open are you to "shocking" stories and how does it change the way you relate to real happenings in the real world?
I would love to know your thoughts.

Comments

Vinaya Naidu said…
Have read erotic situations in mainstream novels, but not a complete book. I have gone through the Kamasutra book too, partly out of curiosity for the ancient thought processes and realized nothing ever changes, and rest to understand how men perceive women. We are sex objects majorly, even in those ages.

Eroticism and pornography are subjects we may not find appealing, but like you said, looking at these with open minds, I have realized that there are vast segments in society who rely on books/media to feel complete in their unfulfilled lives. And there are others making easy money out of this weakness. i've heard Tarun Tejpal is a big writer of erotic :)

Personally, I have a work timetable and some weekend goal for personal growth. I enjoy doing art & crafts, read my email subscriptions or squeeze in a book at bedtime. (I'm struggling to complete Lance Armstrong's Its not about the bike!!!!)

Its genuinely difficult to be focused and not have an uncorrupted mind, but I try to imagine that there is a beautiful rainbow beyond the horizon!
Vishnu said…
Hmm...sorry the book didn't resonate, Swapna. Literature and art is interesting in that it can impact each of us in a different way. So subjective! I would never read or watch so many things, including Stephen King novels, or any horror movies, books, but there's a huge market for them. I saw all the positive reviews for 50 shades of grey, a book about sex also, and still haven't had a chance to check it out.

I'm actually the opposite - I know what I like and rewatch or reread what I enjoy repeatedly. lol If you liked it once, you know you'll like it again.

While new genres and different books can probably open up our minds and lead us to different ways of thinking, life's too short to spend our time on things that don't connect with us. My 2 cents anyway.
@Vinaya: The point you made about how men perceive women as sex object rankles because it is a fact and disturbingly so.

I hadn't known that Tarun Tejpal is an authority on erotic writing till I picked up one of his books from the British Library and couldn't push myself to read more than three chapters....it was not exactly the kind of literary masterpiece I thought I would look forward to reading...so, left it there..:))

The Lance Armstrong book is a well known one and I am keen to read it some day. Love the way you talk about the beautiful rainbow beyond the horizon. With you, on that.
@Vishnu: Interesting...I too liked to reread and rewatch the books and movies that I enjoy.....so I can connect to you on that. It's like something of a 'mind comfort' thing.

Loved the way you have summed it up in your words: Life's too short to spend our time on things that don't connect with us.
@Vishnu: Interesting...I too liked to reread and rewatch the books and movies that I enjoy.....so I can connect to you on that. It's like something of a 'mind comfort' thing.

Loved the way you have summed it up in your words: Life's too short to spend our time on things that don't connect with us.

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