Illustration by Bilyana Ilievska
Before the rise of tabloids and fame-obsessed publications devoted to documenting the semen-soaked exploits of cretinous reality TV “stars,” celebrated authors were the undisputed sexual deviants of their day. Many were literary geniuses who helped shape culture in positive and challenging ways, and unlike Jesse James or Kim Kardashian or whoever, these writers could and did get away scot-free with dipping their wicks into every and any kind of hole. Of course, little has changed (for instance, did you know Michael Chabon gave his wife HPV?). In the interest of reminding and encouraging contemporary readers and authors that one can fuck anyone, anywhere, at any time, as long as it inspires a work of fiction, I have taken the liberty of rounding up the dirtiest exploits of some of the most revered (and perverted) authors in the Western canon.
When Ulysses was published, it was banned for obscenity, but Jimmy was saving the true sleaze for letters to his wife, Nora. In missives that read like flowery prose versions of horny teens sexting, he told her how he loved the “odour of [her] cunt,” and also expounded on how much he was into farting: “It is wonderful to fuck a farting woman when every fuck drives one out of her.” I concur.
A few years back, Kafka scholar James Hawes drew attention to one of the founders of modernism’s porn preferences and weirded everyone out. Not surprisingly, the author of “In the Penal Colony” and “The Metamorphosis” was storing some nonstandard stuff in his wank bank. For instance, he subscribed to Der Amethyst, an underground publication that featured images of hedgehog-like creatures blowing dudes, golems ripping women’s boobs off with their claws and then eating them, and babies being birthed from sliced-open legs.
The author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was a childless Anglican clergyman. He also really liked young girls and spent a lot of time persuading parents in his congregation to allow him to photograph their tween daughters in the nude. It’s also rumored that Carroll proposed marriage to Alice—the girl who inspired the name of his most famous novel—when she was 11.
The famous poet literally spent his life traveling the world with a menagerie of exotic animals and fucking every damp living hole he could find. Among his conquests were his half sister Augusta Leigh, his cousin Margaret Parker, and his protégé John Edleston. He even reportedly anally raped Augusta two days after she gave birth. Obviously, the libido needed to produce classic verse knows no bounds.