Google Alerts are great for tracking peoples’ reactions to Bookkake, and they’re also liberal in the spellings they allow ( “Did you really mean… ?” ), and so we found a direction to Bookcake in our inbox one bright, shiny morning.
Bookcake turns out to be the Spanish publisher of Lube Magazine, whose first issue, a week later, was heard falling through our letterbox. An excellent compendium of dirty photography (and one dirty story) by the likes of Piepke, Emilie Jouvet, Patrick Mettraux, Javier Giner, Jules Julien, Edgar Ibáñez, Bruce LaBruce, Iván Soldo, Álvaro Villarrubia, Bartek Arobal and Donatien Veismann, all of whom are worth checking out.
More spreads after the jump; you can buy Lube from lubemagazine.com.
Read the rest of this post →
The Daily Beast had a recent article on what the author, Tracy Quan, termed Kinkonomics: the growing number of women turning to freelance dominatrix work as the economy tanks. In New York dungeons, such as Le Salon DeSade and Rebecca’s Hidden Chamber, there’s good money to be made:
Jessica, a pro-domme in her late twenties, apprenticed at a dungeon before striking out on her own. In Manhattan dungeons, she says, the typical cut on a $200 session is 60-40 in the dungeon’s favor. To people who make their entire living in the sex industry—professional escorts who get $500 an hour, for instance—such rates can seem abusive. But freelancers see it differently. “If you’re making $8 an hour at your day job, $80 is awesome,” says Jessica. “There’s no shortage of women willing to work at those rates.”
It’s a cyclical thing, apparently – the current situation a replay of the 2002 technology bust – but it brought to mind those authors who also turn to the seamy side during tough times. Sphere has just released In Bed With…, a collection of erotica for women by a collection of household-name women writers, including Adele Parks, Ali Smith, Chris Manby, Daisy Waugh, Kathy Lette and Maggie Alderson.
The kicker is that, while the authors are listed in the front of the book, the stories themselves are unattributed. Is this titillation, or shame? Are these authors proud of their filth, or afraid to be associated with it? Like the dominatrixes of New York, do they wear masks to heighten the mystery – or to make it easier to return to the straight world when the tough times are over?
Pseudonyms, unattributed works, a renunciations have always been a part of dirty fiction. The author of Bookkake’s own Memoirs of a Young Rakehell, Guillaume Apollinaire, began his life as Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary de Wąż-Kostrowicki, but it’s by his pseudonym that he has become much better known. He was first translated into English by one ‘Oscar Mole’ – in fact, a psudonym of Alexander Trocchi (who Bookkake’s wanted to publish for some time – see our introduction by Stewart Home).
Trocchi himself wrote under a number of pseudonyms: the delicious White Thighs and Helen and Desire appeared under the pen-name “Frances Lengel”, while Thongs bore the name of the enticing-sounding “Carmenicita de Las Lunas”. All of these first appeared from Maurice Girodias’ legendary Olympia Press, whose Travellers Companions series was almost exclusively composed of anonymous and pseudonymous titles – look out for fine works by “William Talsman”, “Harriet Daimler” and “Keith Kerner”. Terry Southern’s wickedly funny collaboration with Mason Hoffenberg, Candy, also from Olympia, appeared authored by “Maxwell Kenton”.
John Cleland tried to renounce Fanny Hill to avoid prosecution, having first published it anonymously – as did “Walter”, the author of the seminal (but largely dull) Victorian erotic compendium My Secret Life, now widely, but not conclusively, believed to have been the sex-obsessed bibliographer Henry Spencer Ashbee. Auden refused ever to claim credit for the quite extraordinarily filthy The Platonic Blow – which luckily for us means it is not protected by copyright, and you can find on our 404 page.
The most famous dirty lit pseudonym is probably that of Dominique Aury who double-bluffed everyone with The Story of O, which appeared under the name of Pauline Reage but was widely assumed to have been by a man. Pseudonyms seemed to have had rather a comeback in recent years with the rise of the both the sex-bloggers (Girl With A One Track Mind, Belle De Jour – named for the original hard-times hooker) and the sex memoirists (the barely-disguised Melissa Ps and Catherine Ms), with a corresponding, increasing desire to unmask those behind them. If a pseudonym is what’s required before an author with something to get off their chest will let their work out into the world, long may they continue.
The Weekend took me to town: I wandered down the Charing Cross Road to see my friends at Any Amount of Books, Watkins and Red Snapper, alongside St Martin’s-in-the-Fields and across Trafalgar Square before, passing beneath Admiralty Arch, I found myself on the edges of St James’ Park. Which of course reminded me of Rochester…
A Ramble in St. James’s Park
Much wine had passed, with grave discourse
Of who fucks who, and who does worse
(Such as you usually do hear
From those that diet at the Bear),
When I, who still take care to see
Drunkenness relieved by lechery,
Went out into St. James’s Park
To cool my head and fire my heart.
But though St. James has th’ honor on ‘t,
‘Tis consecrate to prick and cunt.
There, by a most incestuous birth,
Strange woods spring from the teeming earth;
For they relate how heretofore,
When ancient Pict began to whore,
Deluded of his assignation
(Jilting, it seems, was then in fashion),
Poor pensive lover, in this place
Would frig upon his mother’s face;
Whence rows of mandrakes tall did rise
Whose lewd tops fucked the very skies.
Each imitative branch does twine
In some loved fold of Aretine,
And nightly now beneath their shade
Are buggeries, rapes, and incests made.
Unto this all-sin-sheltering grove
Whores of the bulk and the alcove,
Great ladies, chambermaids, and drudges,
The ragpicker, and heiress trudges.
Carmen, divines, great lords, and tailors,
Prentices, poets, pimps, and jailers,
Footmen, fine fops do here arrive,
And here promiscuously they swive.
Along these hallowed walks it was
That I beheld Corinna pass.
Whoever had been by to see
The proud disdain she cast on me
Through charming eyes, he would have swore
She dropped from heaven that very hour,
Forsaking the divine abode
In scorn of some despairing god.
But mark what creatures women are:
How infinitely vile, when fair!
Three knights o’ the’ elbow and the slur
With wriggling tails made up to her.
The first was of your Whitehall blades,
Near kin t’ th’ Mother of the Maids;
Graced by whose favor he was able
To bring a friend t’ th’ Waiters’ table,
Where he had heard Sir Edward Sutton
Say how the King loved Banstead mutton;
Since when he’d ne’er be brought to eat
By ‘s good will any other meat.
In this, as well as all the rest,
He ventures to do like the best,
But wanting common sense, th’ ingredient
In choosing well not least expedient,
Converts abortive imitation
To universal affectation.
Thus he not only eats and talks
But feels and smells, sits down and walks,
Nay looks, and lives, and loves by rote,
In an old tawdry birthday coat.
The second was a Grays Inn wit,
A great inhabiter of the pit,
Where critic-like he sits and squints,
Steals pocket handkerchiefs, and hints
From ‘s neighbor, and the comedy,
To court, and pay, his landlady.
The third, a lady’s eldest son
Within few years of twenty-one
Who hopes from his propitious fate,
Against he comes to his estate,
By these two worthies to be made
A most accomplished tearing blade.
One, in a strain ‘twixt tune and nonsense,
Cries, “Madam, I have loved you long since.
Permit me your fair hand to kiss”;
When at her mouth her cunt cries, “Yes!”
In short, without much more ado,
Joyful and pleased, away she flew,
And with these three confounded asses
From park to hackney coach she passes.
So a proud bitch does lead about
Of humble curs the amorous rout,
Who most obsequiously do hunt
The savory scent of salt-swoln cunt.
Some power more patient now relate
The sense of this surprising fate.
Gods! that a thing admired by me
Should fall to so much infamy.
Had she picked out, to rub her arse on,
Some stiff-pricked clown or well-hung parson,
Each job of whose spermatic sluice
Had filled her cunt with wholesome juice,
I the proceeding should have praised
In hope sh’ had quenched a fire I raised.
Such natural freedoms are but just:
There’s something generous in mere lust.
But to turn a damned abandoned jade
When neither head nor tail persuade;
To be a whore in understanding,
A passive pot for fools to spend in!
The devil played booty, sure, with thee
To bring a blot on infamy.
But why am I, of all mankind,
To so severe a fate designed?
Ungrateful! Why this treachery
To humble fond, believing me,
Who gave you privilege above
The nice allowances of love?
Did ever I refuse to bear
The meanest part your lust could spare?
When your lewd cunt came spewing home
Drenched with the seed of half the town,
My dram of sperm was supped up after
For the digestive surfeit water.
Full gorged at another time
With a vast meal of slime
Which your devouring cunt had drawn
From porters’ backs and footmen’s brawn,
I was content to serve you up
My ballock-full for your grace cup,
Nor ever thought it an abuse
While you had pleasure for excuse –
You that could make my heart away
For noise and color, and betray
The secrets of my tender hours
To such knight-errant paramours,
When, leaning on your faithless breast,
Wrapped in security and rest,
Soft kindness all my powers did move,
And reason lay dissolved in love!
May stinking vapors choke your womb
Such as the men you dote upon
May your depraved appetite,
That could in whiffling fools delight,
Beget such frenzies in your mind
You may go mad for the north wind,
And fixing all your hopes upon’t
To have him bluster in your cunt,
Turn up your longing arse t’ th’ air
And perish in a wild despair!
But cowards shall forget to rant,
Schoolboys to frig, old whores to paint;
The Jesuits’ fraternity
Shall leave the use of buggery;
Crab-louse, inspired with grace divine,
From earthly cod to heaven shall climb;
Physicians shall believe in Jesus,
And disobedience cease to please us,
Ere I desist with all my power
To plague this woman and undo her.
But my revenge will best be timed
When she is married that is limed.
In that most lamentable state
I’ll make her feel my scorn and hate:
Pelt her with scandals, truth or lies,
And her poor cur with jealousied,
Till I have torn him from her breech,
While she whines like a dog-drawn bitch;
Loathed and despised, kicked out o’ th’ Town
Into some dirty hole alone,
To chew the cud of misery
And know she owes it all to me.
And may no woman better thrive
That dares prophane the cunt I swive!
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (April 1, 1647–July 26, 1680) was an English libertine, a friend of King Charles II, and the writer of much satirical and bawdy poetry.
I usually steer clear of discussions on the subject of food and sex, which too often waffle on about ill-defined notions of sensuality, before descending to sub-9½ Weeks symbolism, without ever getting truly filthy.
However, this essay from the Policy Review, by Mary Eberstadt, takes a behavioral, social approach to the question Is Food the New Sex? and analyses the reversal in attitude to the two activities that has taken place.
Taking as it’s starting-point Betty and Jennifer – a hypothetical 50s housewife and her hypothetical 30 year old daughter in the present – the essay demonstrates how the moral imperative people used to find in sex had been transferred to food:
Betty thinks food is a matter of taste, whereas sex is governed by universal moral law; and Jennifer thinks exactly the reverse. Most important, once again, is the difference in moral attitude between the two women on this subject of sex. Betty feels that there is a right and wrong about sexual choices that transcends any individual act, and Jennifer — exceptions noted — does not. It’s not that Jennifer lacks for opinions about sex, any more than Betty does about food. It’s just that, for the most part, they are limited to what she personally does and doesn’t like.
The piece is extremely well argued, and you should read it in its entirety. But, as it goes on to ask, if it is true that food is the new sex, “where does that leave sex?” The conclusions are troubling, pointing to the rise of ‘junk sex’, and implying that human’s have a deep, Kantian need for some kind of moral code, and as our stigmas about sex have relaxed, we’ve simply transferred them to other arenas of life:
Events have proven Nietzsche wrong about his wider hope that men and women of the future would simply enjoy the benefits of free sex without any attendant seismic shifts. For there may in fact be no such thing as a destigmatization of sex simplicitur, as the events outlined in this essay suggest. The rise of a recognizably Kantian, morally universalizable code concerning food — beginning with the international vegetarian movement of the last century and proceeding with increasing moral fervor into our own times via macrobiotics, veganism/vegetarianism, and European codes of terroir — has paralleled exactly the waning of a universally accepted sexual code in the Western world during these same years.
Great stuff. Anyway, I just wanted to say that the essay is a format whose time has come again – after a quiet couple of decades, the internet seems to be encouraging this sort of medium-length, well-argued stuff again. I’d urge you to read Paul Graham’s ‘The Age of the Essay‘ too – a wonderful discussion of the how, the what, and the why of the form.
Image: Au Naturel, 1994, Sarah Lucas, via the Tate.
Several news outlets this morning carry the story of British author Geraldine Bedell being banned from the Emirates Airline International Festival of Literature in Dubai because of the depiction of a homosexual relationship in her novel The Gulf Between Us, and possible queries about its stance on Islam.
[Multiple updates with response from the festival and partners, and some authors pulling out (appended below).]
The Telegraph quotes festival director Isobel Abulhoul saying that “I do not want our festival remembered for the launch of a controversial book. If we launched the book and a journalist happened to read it, then you could imagine the political fallout that would follow. This could be a minefield.”
MSNBC reports that festival organizers complained that “it talks about Islam and queries what is said.”
The New York Times quotes Bedell’s publisher, Juliet Annan, saying: ”It’s all very unfortunate. In effect the censor has said they will ban it, which means no book chain can buy it.”
The Dubai Festival calls itself “the first true literary Festival in the Middle East celebrating the world of books in all its infinite variety” – a shocking claim to be making when it in fact singles out and censors books whose variety it finds it impossible to confront. There is no place for censorship in literature, or at any “true” literary festival.
The festival claims as attendees the writers Anthony Horowitz, Kate Adie, Chimamanda Adichie, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Lauren Child, Terry Brooks, Alexander Maitland, Kate Mosse, Brian Aldiss, Robert Irwin, Rachel Billington, Frank McCourt, Sir Mark Tully, Wilbur Smith, Anita Nair, Victoria Hislop, Philippa Gregory, Margaret Atwood, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Karin Slaughter, Louis de Bernières and a host of others. It is sponsored by Emirates Airlines, and partners include Time Out and the British Council.
I urge you to contact these individuals and organisations and express your dismay at the actions of the festival, and urge them to either boycott the festival, or engage with the organisers and insist that work invited to the festival is not censored in this way.
Let’s be entirely clear about this: the suppression of literature leads to the suppression of people. Article 177 of the Penal Code of Dubai imposes imprisonment of up to 10 years on consensual homosexual relations, which is regularly enforced (see Wikipedia article). Oppression is a result of ignorance, and literature can be one of the great forces to bring understanding and the ending of such oppression. Authors, journalists and all lovers of literature should see it as something to be supported, argued over, but never suppressed.
After the jump, I’ve provided contact details for those listed above. Please consider contacting them.
Read the rest of this post →
Bookkake was exceedingly chuffed to find itself featured on the pages of one of its favourite design blogs the other day, as Caustic Cover Critic wrote, very appreciatively, about our covers:
Having just come across a publisher I’d not heard of before, I was really impressed by their cover designs. The publisher is Bookkake, and their specialty is saucy stuff, old and new, as well as a fascinating blog…
Thanks so much. And, coincidentally, we were already preparing our own little homage to another recent post on CCC, highlighting these wonderful pulp jackets from the 1950s and 60s:
You can check out the full collection over at Hang Fire Books’ Flickr stream.
Hello Monday! I declare this week to be bodily fluids week, as I finally started reading Charlotte Roche’s much-discussed Wetlands over the weekend, and it’s filled my head with all kinds of secretions, seepages and discharges. I’ll get a full review up soon – but know that it is brilliant. In the mean time, here’s a suitably moist Monday Poem from English poet Hugo Williams:
I wonder will I speak to the girl
sitting opposite me on this train.
I wonder will my mouth open and say,
‘Are you going all the way
to Newcastle?’ or ‘Can I get you a coffee?’
Or will it simply go ‘aaaaah’
as if it had a mind of its own?
Half closing eggshell blue eyes,
she runs her hand through her hair
so that it clings to the carriage cloth;
then slowly frees itself.
She finds a brush and her long fair hair
flies back and forth like an African fly-whisk,
making me feel dizzy.
Suddenly, without warning,
she packs it all away in a rubber band
because I have forgotten to look out
the window for a moment.
A coffee is granted permission
to pass between her lips
and does so eagerly, without fuss.
A tunnel finds us looking out the window
into one another’s eyes. She leaves her seat,
but I know that she likes me
because the light saying ‘TOILET’
has come on, a sign that she is lifting
her skirt, taking down her pants
and peeing all over my face.
Hugo Williams was born in 1942 in Windsor and grew up in Sussex. He was educated at Eton College and worked on the London Magazine from 1961 to 1970. His Collected Poems was published in 2002. His most recent poetry collection is Dear Room (2006), shortlisted for the 2006 Costa Poetry Award.
If you’ve got a suggestion for Monday’s dirty poem, don’t hesitate to get in touch…
Courtesy of the wonderful Bookride blog, written by the fine folks at Charing Cross Road’s Any Amount of Books, a brow-smoting, breast-beating, rabble-rousing rant from John Cowper Powys, in praise of the second-hand bookshop:
“What a history of human excesses a second-hand book-shop is! As you ‘browse’ there—personally I can’t abide that word, for to my mind book-lovers are more like hawks and vultures than sheep, but of course if its use encourages poor devils to glance through books that they have no hope of buying, long may the word remain!—you seem to grow aware what a miracle it was when second-hand book-shops were first invented. Women prefer libraries, free or otherwise, but it too often happens that the books an ordinary man wants are on the ‘forbidden shelves’. But there is no censorship in a second-hand book-shop. Every good bookseller is a multiple-personality, containing all the extremes of human feeling. He is an ascetic hermit, he is an erotic immoralist, he is a Papist, he is a Quaker, he is a communist, he is an anarchist, he is a savage iconoclast, he is a passionate worshipper of idols. Though books, as Milton says, may be the embalming of mighty spirits, they are also the resurrection of rebellious, reactionary, fantastical and wicked spirits! In books dwell all the demons and all the angels of the human mind.
“It is for this reason that a bookshop—especially a second-hand bookshop—is an arsenal of explosives, an armoury of revolutions, an opium den of reactions. And just because books are the repository of all the redemptions and damnations, all the sanities and insanities, of the divine anarchy of the soul, they are still, as they have always been, an object of suspicion to every kind of ruling authority.
“In a second-hand bookshop are the horns of the altar where all the outlawed thoughts of humanity can take refuge! Here, like desperate bandits, hide all the reckless progeny of our wild, dark, self-lacerating hearts. A bookshop is a powder-magazine, a dynamite-shed, a drug store of poisons, a bar of intoxicants, a den of opiates, an island of sirens.
“Of all the “houses of ill fame” which a tyrant, a bureaucrat, a propagandist, a moralist, a champion of law and order, an advocate of keeping people ignorant for their own good, hurries past with averted eyes or threatens with his minions, a bookshop is the most flagrant.”
And we’re back with Dirty Poems for a Monday morning. It’s cold out there so here’s some Carol Anne Duffy to warm your cockles…
I first came across Duffy at school and was immediately drawn to her subversive and often transgressive verse, an appreciation that only grew when she missed out on the nomination for the position of British Poet Laureate owing to institutional homophobia and stupidity, and she told the newspapers that she’d never have taken it anyway: “I will not write a poem for Edward and Sophie. No self-respecting poet should have to.”
Not long ago so far, a lover and I
in a room of steam –
a sly, thirsty silvery word – lay down,
opposite ends, and vanished.
Quite recently, if one of us sat up,
or stood, or stretched, naked,
a nude pose in soft pencil
behind tissue paper
appeared, rubbed itself out, slow,
with a smokey cloth.
Say a matter of months. This hand reaching
through the steam
to touch the real thing, shockingly there,
not a ghost at all.
Carol Ann Duffy (born 23 December 1955) is a British poet, playwright and freelance writer born in Glasgow, Scotland.
If you’ve got a suggestion for Monday’s dirty poem, don’t hesitate to get in touch…
Older Posts »
One of Bookkake’s favourite Christmas presents, which I can’t recommend highly enough, was the wonderful Decadent Cookbook by Medlar Lucian and Durian Gray. If the author’s names alone don’t tip you off (the medlar is a small, brown fruit, eaten when decayed; the durian fruit tastes goods but smells like sewage), then chapter titles such as Corruption and Decay; Blood, the Vital Ingredient; The Gastronomic Mausoleum; and I Can Recommend the Poodle should be enough to show that this is a long way from Delia. As we’d expect from Dedalus, one of Bookkake’s favourite publishers.
I’ve been itching to try some of the recipes that nestle between suitably decadent culinary extracts from the likes of Flaubert, Huysmans and Homer, but poodles, dormice, pigs’ bladders, bulls’ testes and pints of fresh blood are not to be found in your usual cornershop. However, I realised I could attempt one for a suitably outré breakfast—with a suitably Bookkake-ish twist.
Lucian and Gray’s recipe for “The Monster Egg (or Boiled Egg Gargantua)” is taken from Kettner’s Book of the Table, an 1877 treatise by Eneas Sweetland Dallas, itself based on Brillat-Savarin‘s classic Physiologie du goût (The Physiology of Taste) of 1825. It does include a request for pigs’ bladders, which I decided to supplant with – and delicate readers may wish to go elsewhere at this point – condoms.
Yes, the humble johnny, freshly opened and very well washed, can indeed be made into an excellent cooking utensil, and so we proceed…
The recipe calls for 12-24 eggs, but on this occasion we settled for six – a greater number will have to wait for company (the cookbook places great value on surprise and illusion in cuisine, and the dish is designed to be presented at a banquest, a French jest in imitation of the great Madagascar eggs of the Epiornis Maximus, which “would contain about twelve dozen hens’ eggs”). First the yolks and the whites are separated, then the yolks are boiled in the sheath until nearly hard, before being floated in the whites, and boiled again…
The result, I’ll think you’ll agree, is quite spectacular (presented with a normal egg, for scale), and makes for a quite wonderfully decadent breakfast:
→ Head over to Flickr for the full document of the work in progress…