I’m not sure how long they’ve been online, but James Joyce’s lust letters have recently been getting some notice in the blogosphere.
I wrote about them in my book The Disinformation Book of Lists: Subversive Facts and Hidden Information in Rapid-fire Format, specifically in the list “12 Erotic Works by Well-Known Writers”:
Although his works stirred up trouble because of some racy passages, it’s his letters to his common-law wife Nora Barnacle that are downright filthy. So filthy, in fact, that Joyce’s literary estate has sworn that they will never again be published. But they were published around 40 ago in The Selected Letters of James Joyce. If you can get your hands on a copy, you’ll read things like “my dirty little fuckbird!” “pull out my mickey and suck it like a teat,” “I would love to be whipped by you,” “the heavy smell of your behind,” and “a little brown stain on the seat of your white drawers.” Yep, Joyce reveled in the sound and smell of Nora’s farts and turds. “I think I would know Nora’s fart anywhere,” he wrote on December 8, 1909. “I think I could pick hers out in a roomful of farting women.”
On December 2, 1909, he explained to Nora the twin feelings of love that he has for her—the spiritual side and the earthy, physical side:
It allows me to burst into tears of pity and love at some slight word, to tremble with love for you at the sounding of some chord or cadence of music or to lie heads and tales with you feeling your fingers fondling and tickling my ballocks or stuck up in my behind and your hot lips sucking off my cock while my head is wedged in between your fat thighs, my hands clutching the round cushions of your bum and my tongue licking ravenously up your rank red cunt.
These gloriously filthy, unashamed missives are truly some of the best erotic writing I’ve ever read. Joyce’s literary genius, his raging horniness, and his devotion to Nora are a combination that can never be beat. It’s a crying shame that his heirs now deprive the world of such high-caliber smut.