16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Insights into women's erotic fiction and writing,
This review is from: Delta of Venus (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I'm really surprised by some of the reviews and its really why I'm bothering to write one, there are a couple of good reviews by other reviewers of this book here and I'd encourage anyone browsing to read them all. I dont know how anyone could find it perverse, boring or a waste of time however and they must have missed the point altogether.
This is erotic fiction but its not a blacklace or ace or any of those other publications, Nin was commissioned to write a series of erotic pieces by a subscriber and the preface/introduction explains the scenario, being constantly encouraged to be more and more explicit and being encouraged to go into almost medical textbook detail when writing sex scenes.
Reading the book with this in mind transforms the text, its not simply amusing or entertaining in the way that other great works of erotic fiction are, like for instance Fanny Hill, or, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (Classics) but I believe provides an insight into the feminine psyche. Despite the demands of the subscriber/commissioner there are still tender moments, reflections or recollections handled in a thought provoking way, some nice twists in some of the shorter pieces like guys meeting in a bar to boastfully relating their amourous adventures and discovering they have been unwittingly involved in a greater game.
I was pleased by some of the sensitivity in style and characterisation which I would attribute to Nin as an author and a women of her time, although this could be a consequence of reading her non-erotic writing too which I was encouraged by reading this to look into. The pace I thought was good, although it is different from one tale to the other, perhaps as a consequence of the demands of the writing or genre or subscriber/commissioner like I mentioned already.
On the other hand its fair to say that the tender content suffers a bit from the need to return constantly to sex scenes, it didnt spoil it for me but it could for another reader if that's their focus. Both the writing style and I think the sexual content is in sharp contrast to that of Henry Miller, seriously so, I loved Nin's books, including her other erotic writing Little Birds (Penguin Modern Classics) but loathed Miller's books Tropic of Capricorn (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) and Tropic of Cancer (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) (even if Orwell felt they where ultimately life affirming and vervatious).