Tag Archives: literary classics

LOLITA

While you may think you know the story of Lolita, if you have not read Nabokov’s literary masterpiece, you are missing out on one of the most brilliant, touching, perverse, and entertaining books of the last hundred years.

A meditation on youth, loss, trauma, and sexual manipulation, Nabokov employs wry humor and presents his characters without judgment.  This subject matter could have easily drowned in the obvious cultural taboo of pedophilia, but Nabokov accesses an emotional purity that artfully bypasses such cliches.  Woven into the story are little winks and nods which keep it from suffering under the weight of itself.

Nabokov wrote the screenplay for Kubrick’s 1962 film adaptation, and there is also a 1997 version with Dominique Swain, Jeremy Irons, and a memorable Melanie Griffith.  In this case, the book is better than the movies.  Lolita is well worth your time and deserves a space on your bookshelf.

LYSISTRATA

Originating 411 years BC, Lysistrata by Aristophanes remains relevant as one of the great comedic meditations on gender relations, sex, and war.  The play also represents a rare example in literature of women banding together to wield collective power as a catalyst of change. Lysistrata talks all the women into holding out on the men until they get their shit together and end the Peloponnesian War.  Hijinks ensue as the men can’t see past their rock-hard, deprived wangs.

At only eighty pages, you can afford to add Lysistrata to your intellectual canon.  Since Lysistrata-inspired sex strikes continue to take place everywhere from Colombia to Kenya, consider this play requisite reading for the modern literate.

HIGHBROW SMUT

Need a little tickle?  Please try the award winning Story of O, a 1954 bondage, submission, and domination literary classic written by Anne Desclos under the pseudonym Pauline Réage.

Desclos was inspired by her lover’s challenge that women couldn’t write like the Marquis de Sade.  Well she sure shut him the fuck up.  It’s irrelevant whether BDSM is your thing or not, Story of O is easily one of the most influential and cannibalized books of the last hundred years — an absolute must read.