Thursday, November 03, 2005

Scooter's into bears.

During last week's Scootergate/Plamegate buzz, I meant to look up whether Mr. Libby had some sort of dubious lit background. I was convinced that he'd written some scandalous book about lesbians pioneers, but then realized I was confusing Scoot with Mrs. Cheney (I'm sure Dick does that all the time). She wrote about the lesbo pioneers in her chef d'oeuvre Sisters. After that, I was pretty certain that Libby's erotic novel was just the product of my imagination.

Thankfully, Lauren Collins and The New Yorker are there for me, offering me evidence that I am not losing my marbles, and that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's novel, The Apprentice, does exist. Not only does it exist, it sounds excellent.

According to Collins's article, it took Scoot twenty years to write the book, which is apparently about political intrigue in "a remote Japanese province in the winter of 1903." Very Kazuo Ishiguro, right? Well, here's where things go wonky:
Like his predecessors, Libby does not shy from the scatological. The narrative makes generous mention of lice, snot, drunkenness, bad breath, torture, urine, “turds,” armpits, arm hair, neck hair, pubic hair, pus, boils, and blood (regular and menstrual). One passage goes, “At length he walked around to the deer’s head and, reaching into his pants, struggled for a moment and then pulled out his penis. He began to piss in the snow just in front of the deer’s nostrils.”

Homoeroticism and incest also figure as themes. The main female character, Yukiko, draws hair on the “mound” of a little girl. The brothers of a dead samurai have sex with his daughter. Many things glisten (mouths, hair, evergreens), quiver (a “pink underlip,” arm muscles, legs), and are sniffed (floorboards, sheets, fingers). The cast includes a dwarf, and an “assistant headman” who comes to restore order after a crime at the inn. (Might this character be autobiographical? And, if so, would that have made Libby the assistant headman or the assistant headman’s assistant?)

Mmmmm... pus, boils, and blood. (Jesus, this is beginning to sound like a Josh post.) But wait! There's more! This passage (with an actual exceprt from the novel!) makes me giddy:
Other sex scenes are less conventional. Where his Republican predecessors can seem embarrassingly awkward—the written equivalent of trying to cop a feel while pinning on a corsage—Libby is unabashed:

At age ten the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest.

And, finally:

He asked if they should fuck the deer.

The answer, reader, is yes.

Who wants to go in with me? You know it'll be $44 well spent.


At 1:10 AM, Blogger Joshua said...

I didn't want to steal your story, but I thought your readers should know that CNN reports a signed copy of the book going for $2400, and unsigned are up to $700!

Deer fucking has never been a hotter commodity!


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