Emir Never's Reviews > Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure

Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland
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May 09, 11

Read from April 28 to May 08, 2011

Written in the 1748, John Cleland's Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure is considered as one of the most controversial books of all time. The epistolary novel details (this verb has never been more to the point than in this particular designation) the sexual exploits of a very young woman, Fanny Hill, after she was orphaned at the age of 15. Fanny moves from her village to London and gets caught up in the maze of debauchery involving multiple partners. Fanny relates her experiences, using imagery almost to the hilt, with effusive mixture of candor, longing and lust. But as the book revolves mainly around sexual acts, the narrative shows wear and tear as even a repetitive, drawn-out coital exhibition would. Despite the monotony however, Memoirs has as much weight as any other "serious" literary stuff; the fact that it bares for public consumption acts of private nature counts more to its virtue than vice, and the infamy that its critics attach to it is undoubtedly undeserved. By focusing an unabashed gaze into a primal human activity, Cleland effectively illuminates an important view: An existence stripped to its erotic essence, revealing a tragic, comical void.
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Comments (showing 1-23)




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message 23: by Regine (new) - added it

Regine I really really want to read this!


Emir Never Regine, I am highly interested as to how you'll find this book. :)


message 21: by Manny (new)

Manny As Tom Lehrer sang:
I thrill!
To any book like Fanny Hill
And I suppose I always will
If it is swill
And really fil-
thy
Isn't that a great rhyme in the penultimate line?


Emir Never Manny wrote: "As Tom Lehrer sang:I thrill!
To any book like Fanny Hill
And I suppose I always will
If it is swill
And really fil-
thy

Isn't that a great rhyme in the penultimate line?"


Perfect! Such citation, whipped up with such efficiency, reveals a connoisseur.


message 19: by Manny (new)

Manny If you don't know Smut, check it out. It's a masterpiece.


Emir Never Manny wrote: "If you don't know Smut, check it out. It's a masterpiece."

I did a quick search and the yield is quite confusing. If you would be so kind as to fully corrupt my reading list, please provide the details.


Emir Never Manny wrote: "If you don't know Smut, check it out. It's a masterpiece."

How many times I can agree with you on this. And how many curious readers of this thread would click that youtube link? I just hope they have a steely resolve for virtue like us.


message 15: by Manny (new)

Manny I just hope they have a steely resolve for virtue like us.

If ya got it, ya got it. If ya don't got it, ya don't got it.


message 14: by Aldrin (new)

Aldrin Another contender for my favorite review of yours.


message 13: by K.D. (new) - rated it 3 stars

K.D. Absolutely I loved this book because I was shocked to know that there was this old old book that is pornographic yet considered as classic in literature!

Well that was a year before I read Da Sade's "120 days of Sodom" ha ha.

I am not defending the book though. Not sure how I would feel say if I read it again.


Emir Never Aldrin wrote: "Another contender for my favorite review of yours."

Aldrin, thank you. As Joselito would say: You flatten me. :)

K.D. if I encountered this when I was in high school, I suspect life would be very much different for me, haha. Seriously, imagine how the Catholic Church would react if we start printing more copies of this. I see a bestseller.


message 11: by jzhunagev (new)

jzhunagev Emir wrote: "Fanny relates her experiences, using imagery almost to the hilt..."

For whatever subtle context that description has (deliberate or not on your part), it's a major contributing factor why I liked the review above. :)


Emir Never Jzhun, of course that's intentional. I thought you'd love the void, too. :)


message 9: by jzhunagev (last edited May 09, 2011 08:36PM) (new)

jzhunagev Emir wrote: "Jzhun, of course that's intentional. I thought you'd love the void, too. :)"

Oh, I just noticed, here's another one: the narrative shows wear and tear as even a repetitive, drawn-out coital exhibition would.

Another acute observation that the void is prone to such "wear and tear" with "repetitive...coital exhibition."

Man, there's more than that meets the eye in this stunningly sexually-innuendo-ed packed/fucked review! :D


Emir Never Now there's a great description:

"stunningly fucked review!"

You, my friend, are a real wordsmith! ;D


message 7: by jzhunagev (new)

jzhunagev Emir wrote: "Now there's a great description:

"stunningly fucked review!"

You, my friend, are a real wordsmith! ;D"


In the true word of the mentor of us all, you, my friend, flatten me.


message 6: by Aldrin (new)

Aldrin I reckon we better stop flattening one another—unless any of us wishes to be an uncooked taco shell.


Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly I'm reading a book of poems by a former monk who left his Order not because of the "void" but because of the gash. And he actually wrote a poem about it entitled, well, THE GASH. And this is the most spiritually-anguished poem I've read in my entire life--


THE GASH
--by William Everson

To covet and resist for years, and then
To succumb, is a fearsome thing. All you craved and denied
At last possesses you. You give yourself
Wholly to its power; and its presence,
Invading your soul, stupefies
With its solace and its terror.

There is nothing so humbling as acceptance.

I sense the mushrooms in the night,
Tearing their way up through loose soil,
Brutal as all birth.

And I bend my head,
And cup my mouth on the gash of everything I craved,
And am ravaged with joy.


Emir Never Joselito wrote: "I'm reading a book of poems by a former monk who left his Order not because of the "void" but because of the gash. And he actually wrote a poem about it entitled, well, THE GASH. And this is the mo..."

Wow.


message 3: by Regine (new) - added it

Regine At least it was The Gash instead of The Little Brown Star.


Emir Never The Gash is, how do I say it, so deep.


message 1: by Aldrin (new)

Aldrin Emir wrote: "The Gash is, how do I say it, so deep."

I saw what you did tharr.


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