CARNAL NATION: BRAVE NEW SEX FICTIONS, edited by Carellin Brooks and Brett Josef Grubisic (Arsenal Pulp), 304 pages, $21.95 paper. Rating: NN
Ironically, according to editors Carellin Brooks and Brett Josef Grubisic, Carnal Nation sprang out of their frustration that the words Canadian and Sex Fiction couldn't be breathed at the same time.I say ironically because, despite their own desires for this collection and despite the Carnal Nation reading invitation that asks how long you can sustain an orgasm and dubs the event a tantric book launch, the whole thing feels a little tepid.
Much of the more explicit material is of the ho-hum "he fucked me lying down and then flipped me over and did it again" variety. Elsewhere, hip writers with pop-cult cachet and some celebrity, like Hal Niedzviecki and Sky Gilbert, appear to be going through the motions.
There is some amazing stuff in here, though. Check out Camilla Gibb's On All Fours In Brooklyn as well as Sundrunk, a vivid sex-drenched poetic piece by local writer Marnie Woodrow. Martine Delveaux's Taxidermy, which blurs the experiences of pleasure and terror, is also amazing.
The launch, slated for tonight (Thursday, October 5), features "raw" footage from the library of Michael (The Pornographer's Poem) Turner, with Gibb, Woodrow, R.M Vaughan and others slated to give "climax readings."
The talent's definitely there, but I don't know about the heat.