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.
© 2006, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.