Written by: Alex Green
News came today that the folks at the Literary Review who run the Bad Sex In Fiction Award are positively drooling to get Morrissey’s debut novel List Of The Lost up to be this year’s champion.
In a missive written to the NME, the Literary Review referred to the former Smiths frontman’s book as an “obvious frontrunner” for the prize.
The only problem?
Way, way wrong.
Moz’s novel is about a relay team cursed by a demon–think Faust meets Belle and Sebastian–and of the several sex scenes that populate the book, one in particular that was cited by the NME this morning seems to stick out as an egregious example of carnal folly: “Eliza and Ezra rolled together into the one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation, screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and pulled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation with Eliza’s breasts barrel-rolled across Ezra’s howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement as it smacked its way into every muscle of Eliza’s body except for the otherwise central zone.”
The Literary Review added in their statement to the magazine: “Morrissey’s sex scene is an astonishing bid by a first time novelist for this year’s Literary Review Bad Bad Sex In Fiction Award. It’s convoluted, overwrought and profoundly unsexy. The List Of The Lost could have done with less of lust.”
All well and good, but here’s why they’re wrong:
Morrissey’s sex scenes are meant to be horrendous. In fact, he’s making fun of the exact kind of writing that ends up winning the Bad Sex In Fiction Award in the first place.
Nobody in their right mind would ever suggest barrel-rolling breasts as being anything remotely sexy, nor would they even hint that a violent rotation, a howling mouth and a bulbous phallic salutation could be anything but a giggle offstage from someone who clearly is making fun of how winceworthy 99% of all sex scenes in literature are.
The award is, according to the Literary Review, meant to, “draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it.”
That’s exactly what Morrissey is doing.
How the Literary Review is taking List Of The Lost’s fornication passages so literally is, quite frankly, careless and shocking.
I’d like to suggest that they didn’t read the book…