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Jack Murnighan   The Naughty Bits  
Jack Murnighan    
interview

excerpt

 

Jack Murnighan has become a household name among readers of his popular Web site, Nerve.com. In his weekly column, "Jack's Naughty Bits," the Medieval literature pundit offers up some of the best writing in history and presents key passages about human sexuality in its many manifestations.

Now you don't need to be online to enjoy Murnighan's findings, but be warned--this book sets out to do much more than simply satisfy your most primordial instincts. Despite the fact that The Naughty Bits is subtitled "The Steamiest (and Most Scandalous) Sex Scenes from the World's Great Books," it is about much more than erotic writing. As Murnighan avers in his introduction, "The Naughty Bits is ultimately less a book of sex in literature as much as a book about sex in literature. If you come looking for brief and steamy diversions, you'll find them, but if you are looking for the ecstasy, agony, absurdity, and poignancy of sex, you'll find that too."

The introductions that Murnighan provides to each excerpt in this collection are important as the passages themselves; they offer a historical, literary, and cultural context to the original text, deftly justifying Murnighan's inclusion of each carefully selected chapter. From Dante to Nin, Chaucer to Vonnegut, The Naughty Bits delivers a diverse and fascinating look at the history of human sexuality and of good literature.

In this issue of Bold Type, read an interview with Murnighan and an excerpt from The Naughty Bits.

--Laura Buchwald

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