Monday, May 18, 2009

Catherine Millet

I've just finished The Sexual Life of Catherine M. and I have to say - I think the critics got this book all wrong. With the exception of its concluding chapter ('Details'), The Sexual Life is erotica - plain and simple. Sure, it's written by a European intellectual, but still: this is no Cancer, no Capricorn. To suggest - as some critics have - that the memoir owes its power to "Proustian" overtones is ridiculous. Had Millet's name been removed from the title page, critics, I'm sure, would have thought twice before praising (what one eager prophet labeled) its "miraculous grace." I'd take the work of Miller or Nin over The Sexual Life of Catherine M. any day of the week - and that's not because I disliked the book: it's more that shock value can only get a writer so far, and by the end of Sexual Life, all the sex seemed to blur into nothing.


  1. I read this book about 4 years ago. I still don't know what i think about it. But i think it is more than erotica-but what more? No, it ain't Proust? Anais Nin? No, not that either.

  2. I found it unreadable myself, Jesse, so I admire your perseverance.