What is the worst sex scene of all time in Canadian literature?
January 20, 2002 5:12 AM   Subscribe

What is the worst sex scene of all time in Canadian literature? Sandra Martin of the Globe and Mail writes it is Leonard Cohen in Beautiful Losers: "Oh what a greasy tower he there massaged!. . .His right hand beneath the steering wheel, urging, urging, he seemed to be pulling himself into the far black harbour like a reflexive stevedore. . .F's eyes closed suddenly as if they had been squirted with lemon. . ."
posted by tranquileye (20 comments total)
And, yes, there is a Canadian literature.
posted by tranquileye at 5:16 AM on January 20, 2002

I pictured Shanter doing the sex text excerpt from the FFP!
Not the young Shatner, either!

*bashes forehead with tack hammer*

Make it stop! HELP ME!
posted by dong_resin at 6:04 AM on January 20, 2002

dong_resin: I pictured the same thing except Shatner was reading the text in Esperanto.

Pass the hammer over here when you're done with it...
posted by MrBaliHai at 9:45 AM on January 20, 2002

*passes gore-soaked hammer to MrBaliHai*
The hammer does nothing!
posted by dong_resin at 10:02 AM on January 20, 2002

Eeyew--and to think I read that book in high school on the strength of the song "Suzanne,' which I knew only by an artsy Judy Collins rendition. A friend from then recently called me with a question about his Armenian violinist like I was into him and kept up--I told her, "Hey, that was before his first record came out..." Man, did that one suck. That voice and those crappy arrangements with the strings and the glockenspiels and the female back up vocals ala Percy Faith....

'Peanut butter shit'... ::cringe::
posted by y2karl at 10:04 AM on January 20, 2002

Well I guess this means I'll have to hurry up with my long-coming Leonard Cohen FPP as there's no other recording artist in the world I love more.

You philistines! You bastards - you've killed Lenny! How dare you allow our younger members think the man who's written the best love lyrics of our time, who's had more sex, booze, poetry, drugs, books and lives than all the rest of us put together, can't write a sex scene!

I'm almost tempted to make it a "What's your favourite Leonard Cohen song?"; I'm that aggravated. So be warned.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:16 AM on January 20, 2002

My vote goes to the deliciously sardonic "Democracy" which I appreciate even more these past few months.
posted by maggieb at 12:52 PM on January 20, 2002

I agree with Miguel. Cohen's love songs and poems are by and large so nimble and perfectly phrased that if I play his albums to get myself in the mood to write some myself, it ends up discouraging me, because I know I can't say it any better. This passage was pretty kludgy and heavy-handed. If it's a fair representation of his longer works, I don't think I'll take the time.

For the record (pun?), my favorites were always If it Be Your Will, and Night Comes On. Kind of weird love songs, but gorgeous.

And on a different theme, Dress Rehearsal Rag.
posted by Hildago at 1:04 PM on January 20, 2002

i think i've only heard one song by him, but it still touched me. that's no way to say goodbye.
posted by lotsofno at 1:42 PM on January 20, 2002

Worst Canadian sex scene? Don't know, haven't encountered it, hope I never do. But whatever it is, by definition it involves a moose. (P.S. posting from Georgia, I can't resist mentioning that many of you already know about the worst sex scene in Southern lit. -- it involves Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh and there's nothing more dreadful in any regional literature on earth -- not even if it was by Harry Crews and involved opossums.)
posted by jfuller at 2:50 PM on January 20, 2002

There's a big difference between writing good lyrics and writing good prose. Songwriting lends itself to metaphorical exaggeration, fiction does not. I love Leonard Cohen's songwriting, but I have no problems with declaring his literary work DOA.
posted by MrBaliHai at 2:53 PM on January 20, 2002

The Future is terrific. I've never been able to sit all the way through any of his older stuff, though.
posted by rushmc at 3:21 PM on January 20, 2002

Worst Canadian sex scene? Don't know, haven't encountered it, hope I never do. But whatever it is, by definition it involves a moose.

posted by maudlin at 4:45 PM on January 20, 2002

The now-deceased (murdered by his girlfriend) skipper on one of the sailboats I crewed on some years ago in Mexico was apparently a room-mate of Leonard Cohen at some point, although this may be at best apocryphal.

As far as 'worst Canadian sex scene', well, I'd tell you some stories from the wonderchicken archives, but then I'd have to kill you.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:51 PM on January 20, 2002

My favorite Cohen, bar none, is "Famous Blue Raincoat". I got frustrated with Lenny when he decided to dump the guitars and just sing over a Casio Enka beat or whatever the hell that is. I haven't bought Ten New Songs because the previews I heard sounded crappy music-wise again. Too bad, because he was an excellent songwriter.
posted by Kafkaesque at 6:04 PM on January 20, 2002

I love Cohen's music like I love few things on this, or any other planet. That said, Beautiful Losers is utterly embarrassing garbage. On the bright side, you can't go wrong with most of his albums.

Oh, and Kafka...I really like the new album. Musically it's a little weak, but lyrically, the man's still got it.
posted by Optamystic at 9:13 PM on January 20, 2002

Beautiful Losers and Richard Farina's Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me were two books I read in high school: I have little recollection of either--for which I am ever so grateful. Oh, and add Demian to that list, too, gratitude included...
posted by y2karl at 9:25 PM on January 20, 2002

Leonard Cohen rocks! Waiting for the Miracle, Closing Time, Jazz Police...Lyrics, something to read on a dark moonless night.
posted by Mack Twain at 12:37 AM on January 21, 2002

Bob Dylan's another magnificent songwriter who never should have published a book.
posted by argybarg at 8:26 AM on January 21, 2002

Jesus Christ! Is that the whole book? Talk about your Internet piracy... And it does compare favorably with the Cohen quoted, I might add. Now I gotta call MrBaliHai--He Said BaliHai, heh heh heh heh hehe heh...-- about my head explodin'...
posted by y2karl at 9:17 AM on January 21, 2002

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