Wetlands by Charlotte Roche
For a couple of weeks I've reading all over the british press about Wetlands, a novel that will be taking the country by storm this month, and I can't bloody wait to get my hands on a copy. It has already done the whole brouhaha in Germany, where the author Charlotte Roche - born in England but raised in Cologne - has originally published this little controversial volume. Apparently, the novel is about an 18-year-old girl who has been hospitalised after a shaving episode gone wrong - which is kind hilarious - and goes on about her sex escapades while still in hospital - which made me raise an eyebrow - to her weird hygiene habits which include rubbing her genital parts in public toilets - NOW, that's got my attention.
In terms of books and films revolving about sex, I've always had this feeling that it would take a LOT of creativity to make me interested (full-on porn, animal and scatological fetish need not apply - they belong in the "yuck" category, which means I will look at out of curiosity before scrunching my face in distaste. Pedophilia is absolutely out of question). The last films I remember being attracted by were Bitter Moon and Last Tango in Paris, maybe Eyes Wide Shut and The Dreamers. Books... I can't remember much other then Susana Moore's In The Cut, Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer and maybe some of Anaïs Nin's work. I was never interested in that french bestseller written by a certain Catherine M, nor the real-life sex adventures of ladettes and middle-class girls turned strippers.
I think my taboos have been broken quite early in life.
But THIS book is something else.
The author says she started with an idea to comment on society's obsession with female cleanliness and it evolved into an altogether study of all things supposedly stomach-churning for the average individual: hemorrhoids, "smegma", "slime", and other detailed description of bodily fluids and Helen's (the protagonist) straightforward relationship with sex and her own body.
I suppose doctors won't find any of this too out of the ordinary, but I'm quite interested in what kind of impact this book is going to cause now that so much visual information is available and so many moral values don't stand their worth.
I'm ordering my copy right now.