So Great a Sweetness Flows Into the Breast, So Why Bitch About It?

Elizabeth Merrick pooh-poohs Susan Seligson’s Stacked: A 32DDD Reports from the Front. Without citing anything specific from Seligson’s book (Has she even read it? She doesn’t mention that the book received a starred PW review.), Merrick dismisses that anything chronicling one of the most beautiful anatomical parts is mere “tit lit.”

By this logic, I guess we’ll have to dismiss Robert Herrick as a hack. His poem, “Upon the Nipples of Julia’s Breast,” dealt with this subject as follows:

Have ye beheld (with much delight)
A red rose peeping through a white?
Or else a cherry, double grac’d
Within a lily centre plac’d?
Or ever mark’d the pretty beam
A strawberry shows half-drown’d in cream?
Or seen rich rubies blushing through
A pure smooth pearl and orient too?
So like to this, nay all the rest,
Is each neat niplet of her breast.

We can also dismiss Sappho’s invocation (“Beat your breasts, young maidens. And tear your garments in grief!”), Philip Roth’s The Breast, Nora Ephron’s famous essay, “A Few Words About Breasts”, and Mo Yan’s Big Breasts and Wide Hips. All to be thrown into the dustheap! For clearly there can be no literary value in breasts. They cannot possibly be written about with beauty, scrutiny, love, hatred, or any other value on the emotional spectrum.

I suspect Merrick might have an ally in John Ashcroft.


  1. No, Lauren, she sounds like AbFab, not chick lit (there is a huge difference, but maybe you can’t see that) and she obviously can write circles around you in her sleep. Time to give it up and stop constantly, endlessly obsessing over Merrick so much and just go get an MFA or something.

    Merrick sounds like she appreciates breasts but–duh–is making fun of stupid jacket copy on that book–breastasuri? You’re just jealous that she’s funny and also smarter than you. Also, Ed, the girl is stacked so I’m sure she’s aware of the benefits of the bosom.

  2. Plenty of people find Herrick to be the source of much snickering – where were you in English lit class? Having actually read her stuff, I don’t think Merrick would argue that breasts are beautiful. But bad writing about breasts does a disservice to the writer AND the breasts in question. And Merrick is more about good writing than anything else.

    Plus this is the stupidest argument I’ve ever seen.

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