Monday, March 30, 2009

Lewdsome Twosome

More Spring Cleaning Artifacts...

Two more "salacious" reads unearthed during my ongoing Spring Cleaning Project.

First up, a Jayne Mansfield bio that boasts the greatest cut-to-the-point title ever:

Here They Are - Jayne Mansfield
by Raymond Strait
SPI Books, 304 pages (1992)

Subtle cover, eh? I actually own two of these (they travel in pairs), purchased for a buck each God knows where.

But I really love the following find, a collection of Russian short stories by such giants of Western literature as Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Gorky and Kuprin - being hawked as lurid and lewd adult reading: Women and Vodka. "The depths of desire - 17 unforgettable Russian stories." Is it that hard to sell Russian lit that the copywriters guys had to hype it like they were writing a Stoli ad? Note that some moronic bookseller scrawled "45" cents across the otherwise lovely cover drawing by Lou Marchetti.

Women and Vodka
Edited by Mark Merrill
Cover by Lou Marchetti
A Pyramid Royal Book, 190 pages (1956)

Here's the back cover:

Note the hype (that I've highlighted in boldface):

"A woman with a debt to a man and only one way to repay it...An innocent young girl driven into those streets from which there is no return...These are only a few of the naked moments in this powerful collection of great Russian stories. They range from the closed boudoirs of society to the tawdry excitement of back-room rendezvous. Bold, shocking, frightening frank - each one is a literary masterpiece."

Well, at least that last statement ("each one is a literary masterpiece") is accurate, though if you just read the cover you'd assume that old Fyodor and Leo were merely Russia's answer to Harold Robbins, titillating the masses with tales of getting juiced and getting down. (Hmmm, perhaps I should have pursued this topic as a thesis when I took my Russian Literature class in college.)

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home