A student of mine once advised me, “Never judge a book until you’ve read its cover.”
In her preface Nin says a collector of erotic literature offered Henry Miller $100 a month to write original stories for him.
When he was busy or bored with the work, Miller fobbed the job off on Nin who in turn recruited impecunious poets to produce erotica.
The collector complained. He wanted writers to, “Concentrate on sex. Leave out the poetry.” The result is the Delta of Venus: Erotica.
For the most part, the stories are about as erotic as a physiology textbook.
Even the woman on the dust jacket cover wearing a cloche and showing off her garters is interesting only because she’s so precariously perched on the arm of the chair.
The 15 stories—the longest is 64 pages—are not only short on poetry, they don’t have any characters resembling live people.
The characters are bland as mannequins.
There’s plenty of sex, but it’s about as appealing as the back cover of the dust jacket: plain brown.
Delta of Venus: Erotica by Anaïs Nin
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977. 250 p.
1977 bestseller #9. My grade: D
© 2018 Linda Gorton Aragoni