Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Sexy Writers

No, it isn't an oxymoron. Just bear with me, and I'll explain.

A few different things started me thinking this direction: Nicholas, over at Return to Sender, worries a bit about whether he's too obsessive and frank in discussing his penis, wet dreams and so on (hey, he's like 20, it's normal.) Then there was the whole thing about bitchy women, and why they're so hot. Also thinking about smart people in general, and how much I like them.

So then I started thinking about writers I like to read, and why. It isn't about the people, either--it's about the words and how they're strung together.

I arrived at the conclusion that some writers are just, well, sexy--at least in the way they handle language. Those are the writers I read again and again. The novels for which I wait anxiously, for months. The blogs I've bookmarked not just at home, but on the laptop, too.

This can't be that weird, right?

Just for clarification--I don't care what these people look like, what they smell like, whether or not they're complete pills, in real life. That doesn't matter. I don't know these people, and I never will. I don't even want to, to tell you the truth.

Ah--but I know their various and yummy ways with words.

It isn't about subject matter, either. I'm not talking about writers of erotica--although that's certainly just fine, as well. A sexy writer can make anything seem interesting and tasty. It's style and vocabulary, combined with sumptuous patterns of thought and articulation.

I can't be the only voracious reader who feels this way, right?

These aren't the only writers I read and enjoy, either. Something about their prose, though, goes straight to the pleasure centers in my brain. I know it sounds odd to sexualize that, but it's the closest I can come to expressing precisely what reading can be like, for me.

Some writers just leave me with my toes curled, squirmy and warm, and breathing a bit quickly--God bless 'em. Some prose just does it for me.

Who writes like that, for you?


Anonymous said...

I bookmarked *your* blog. Does that make me strange, too?

Anonymous said...

I get what you're saying even if I can't claim to feel the same way. For me it's that I get totally lost in the book. It becomes my existence while I'm reading. Stephen King's best works do that as well as my favorite SF & Fantasy writers. Although I struggled with Stephenson's Cryptonomicron and the Baroque Trilogy, once I got comfortable in the writing I was 'there'. Rutherford's Princes of Ireland is another example.

Another great post, thanks for writing it.

Mac said...

aw--I think y'all are just being shy about it.

But thank you for the kind words.

Lisa Spangenberg said...

John Donne, prose or poetry, English or Latin.

Mac said...

Ah! Yes, Donne--who else could make a flea into a metaphor of passion?

I have a serious thing for Eudora Welty's essays--but her short stories, too.

And Woolf. Always Woolf.

Kira said...

Robert Frost, John Irving, Willa Cather and Stephen King all immerse me totally in the way you're talking about. And Sylvia Plath. And Anne Rice. And Bradbury. I'll stop now.

And Dawno is right about The Princes of Ireland. There were some sentences in that book I went completely gaga over.

Jill said...

Ok - I'm a total pedestrian, but I remember feeling that way a lot in high school, when I used to read John Jakes or Rich Man, Poor Man-type books.

Nowadays, hmm - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Graham Greene, Anne Sexton.