Yes it’s a publishing phenomenon, yes it’s made lots of money for its author, yes it’s got everyone talking about the genre of Erotica, but should we care about Fifty Shades of Grey?
Now, an admission here, I haven’t read all of even the first book, but I read the start, and was made nervous by the first line..
I scowled with frustration at myself in the mirror.
I skipped through it reading various bits, ok including the ‘naughty’ bits, and have read many reviews. What I read I found quite disturbing really. Not because of the sex scenes or the acts performed, those were pretty run of the mill really, following the well worn path of male fantasy, but because of the main character’s willingness to go along with what were clearly Mr Grey’s fantasies and obsessions, not her own. Reality was suspended in so many ways, not just for the sake of a good story.
I find it kind of sad and very irritating that this book is the one that has got people reading this genre, or thinking that this is an example of good erotic writing, as well it being the book that has made it ‘ok’ to read erotic fiction.
From a feminist perspective, I was disheartened that a woman writer would have a female character so desperate for the male protagonist’s affections that she would not insist she get even a little of what she likes to do in there occasionally and submit to things she wasn’t always into. I’m not saying there are aren’t women who enjoy shall we say, rough play, but I often didn’t get the sense it was consensual and it was pretty much always on his terms.
It started me thinking of all the really good erotica out there on the library shelves, written by some of the greats in literature, and I’d like to encourage people to give them a go. There is also plenty of interesting work online, work sold only as E Books.
Here’s a small list of great books available at Christchurch City Libraries to give you a starting point:
1. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H Lawrence
2. Henry and June by Anais Nin
3.Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
4.Delta of Venus by Anais Nin
5. Ulysses by James Joyce
6. The River Midnight by Lilian Nattel
7. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Oh, and if you read Fifty Shades of Grey and loved it or hated it, please tell me why!