The Taser's Edge


Worst sex scene ever, quiz to follow.

I really couldn’t tell you what I’m looking for in a sex scene, but plenty of writers have written sex scenes with abstract imagery and pretty much succeeded (Hemingway, Gore Vidal).  Herman Wouk just can’t manage it, bless his awkward old heart:

…Wine, lilies, and roses; the dark sea rolling beyond the windows under a round moon; young lovers separated for half a year, joined on a knife edge of geography between war and peace, suddenly married, far from home; isolated, making love on a broad hospitable bed, performing secret rites as old as time, but forever fresh and sweet between young lovers, the best moments human existence offers–such was their wedding night.  The human predicament sometimes seems a gloomy tapestry with an indistinct, baffling design that swirls around and inward to brilliant naked lovers.  The Bible starts with this centerpiece.  Most of the old stories end with the lovers married, retiring to their sacred nakedness.  But for Byron and Natalie, their story was just beginning.

The lavish pulses and streams of love died into the warm deep sleep of exhausted lovers: Mr. and Mrs. Byron Henry, Americans, slumbering in wedlock in the Palace Hotel outside Lisbon, on a January night of 1941, one of the more than two thousand nights of the Second World War, when so much of mankind slept so badly.

Wouk does, however, leave us with a very important question which we all must answer.  True or false?: “The human predicament sometimes seems a gloomy tapestry with an indistinct, baffling design that swirls around and inward to brilliant naked lovers.”

Leave your answer in the comments, and remember to show your work.

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