Thursday, February 24, 2011

Top ten dirty old (literary) men

"Anyone who has taken English 101 knows that literature has its share of dirty old men — the lascivious, the leering, and the lewd, the men who concern themselves with the baser instincts and darker drives, the author equivalent of the creep in the corner, stroking his chin and staring at the rears of the teenagers," writes Nina MacLaughlin. Her top ten list of "some of the dirtiest, most salacious and scandalous men in letters" includes:
James Joyce

Ulysses has its share of gutter talk, but it’s in his letters to his wife Nora that Joyce proves himself scatologically inclined. “I think I would know Nora’s fart anywhere. I think I could pick hers out in a roomful of farting women. It is a rather girlish noise not like the wet windy fart I imagine fat wives have ... I hope Nora will let off no end of her farts in my face so that I may know their smell also.”
Read about another entry on the list. 

Ulysses appears on John Mullan's lists of the ten of the best parodies, ten of the best Hamlets in literature, ten of the best visits to the lavatory, and ten of the best vegetables in literature. Unsurprisingly, it appears on Frank Delaney's top ten list of Irish novels and five best list of books about Ireland.

--Marshal Zeringue