Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Chester Himes's Pinktoes


As I've mentioned couple times before, I'm doing a book on classics of erotic literature for a big publisher. I've quite recently started reading the books and writing the entries, after being rehabilitated from doing the book on forgotten writers. I started with Chester Himes's Pinktoes (Rusovarpaat in Finnish) - a bad choice, even though I've largely enjoyed Himes's street-wise, violent and funny crime novels starring Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson. Pinktoes (1963) is purported to be a funny sex novel, but it seems badly dated, especially in the Finnish translation which tries very hard to be hip and cool - which it of course isn't, at least anymore. It may have been in the late sixties when it was first translated.


Okay, off to other books: Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's Venus in Furs from 1869. It's dated of course, but in this case the datedness seems quite fascinating. Rude scenes of vigorous flogging intercourse with discussions on philosophy and ethics. Recommended, if you're into this sort of thing.

7 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

Great cover and title though. That could take me a long way.

Juri said...

I sincerely hope it's better in English. The title loses its meaning and punch in Finnish.

pattinase (abbott) said...
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Juri said...

It says somewhere that "pinktoes" is a term that the blacks use when they talk about the whites.

Thanks for the address, will get back to you!

Peter said...
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Peter said...

Interesting that you found a definition of "pinktoes," though I see the post that asserted it had no meaning in English has been removed. I had never heard the term, but it was not hard to guess at its meaning, especially with the help of the book's cover.

Himes was not one to shy away from taboo areas of relations between blacks and whites, including sexual ones.
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Juri said...

I took away Patti's post since it contained her e-mail address (long story). Yes, I think that the explanation is given away in the book itself. The book is indeed pretty bold in its depiction of interracial relationships and there are several scenes in which a white woman adores a black man's penis, but even with that I got bored with the book. Maybe it is the trasnslation.