Bitching Brew

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Lewis Libby's book. (Contains pure, unadulterated filth.)

Well, dear readers, you may vaguely be aware of the latest scandal engulfing the White House. To summarise: Vice President Dick Cheney's chief-of-staff, Lewis Libby, was forced to resign last week after being indicted by a special prosecutor. The charges relate to an alleged cover-up, and Libby will face a grand jury in due course.

But look what the cat dragged in. Bet you didn't know Lewis Libby wrote a novel, The Apprentice, before he joined Team Bush. Who cares, say you? You will, I say. Wait until you hear what kind of book this was.

The book is set in early 1900s Japan. It "tells the tale of Setsuo, a courageous virgin innkeeper who finds himself on the brink of love and war". Unfortunately, I can't find a copy anywhere in Ireland, so I'll have to rely on foreign readers for my impressions. Here's the New Yorker's review of Libby's masterpiece. Some excerpts, friends? Sure why not!

Libby does not shy from the scatological. The narrative makes generous mention of lice, snot, drunkenness, bad breath, torture, urine, “turds,” armpits, arm hair, neck hair, pubic hair, pus, boils, and blood (regular and menstrual). One passage goes, “At length he walked around to the deer’s head and, reaching into his pants, struggled for a moment and then pulled out his penis. He began to piss in the snow just in front of the deer’s nostrils.”

Homoeroticism and incest also figure as themes. The main female character, Yukiko, draws hair on the “mound” of a little girl. The brothers of a dead samurai have sex with his daughter. Many things glisten (mouths, hair, evergreens), quiver (a “pink underlip,” arm muscles, legs), and are sniffed (floorboards, sheets, fingers). The cast includes a dwarf, and an “assistant headman” who comes to restore order after a crime at the inn.

Other sex scenes are less conventional:

"At age ten the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest."

You know, I really couldn't care less. Diversity in government isn't a bad thing. Kudos to the man for managing to churn out a novel. Most of us never do. And fair play to him for having the cojones to luridly describe unusual sex practices in his book. But the juxtaposition is a delight! A key figure in the great conservative revolution is not only nicknamed 'Scooter', but is a... bad porn writer? Who'da thunk it, wha'? (Sarcasm.)

Didn't 'scatological' crop up very recently in relation to the Bush administration? [Thinks for a second] Ah yes, here's the reference.

Anyway, I think we have a leader in the race for the Great Conservative Sex Novel. But what would the Moral Majority say?

(Tip-off from Boing Boing.)

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