CARNAL RELATIONS IN PRINT: TWO VIEWPOINTS

Milan Kundera 3

“… In D.H. Lawrence sexual freedom has the feel of a dramatic or tragic result. A short time later, in Henry Miller’s work, sex is surrounded by lyrical euphoria. Thirty years later, with the work of Philip Roth, sex is simply a given, taken for granted, achieved, commonplace, inevitably codified; neither dramatic, nor tragic, nor lyrical.

But in the days of Tolstoy, it was love that stretched over the vast terrain; from first encounter to the brink of coitus, that was a frontier not to be crossed. There were no musings about just how long it was since Kerenin and Anna had stopped making love; no euphoric lyricism about Anna and Vronsky’s trysts: Was he good at bringing her to climax? Did they make love in the dark, in bed, or was it on the carpet with all the lights on? Did it last three minutes or three hours? Was there romantic whispers in Anna’s delicate earlobes, or course obscenities? Did they scream in carnal passion, or breathed in the silence, occasionally letting a small gasp escape as pleasure overtook them?

We don’t know a thing about it. For Tolstoy this carnal passion was buried within the life and breath of love.”

MILAN KUNDERA, author and essayist… Taken from his essay “Love In Accelerated History”

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Hardcore 2

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