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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Reader's Diary #30- Joseph Boyden: Three Day Road (Up to Kimociwinikewin/ Raid)



To avoid tagwords which might attract a certain reader, I'll intentionally censor a few words in today's post. I'd like a few more hits to my site, but I don't want to disappoint anyone!
Today I'm talking about the sex in Three-Day Road. Specifically between aunt Niska and a white hunter. Boyden handles the description of their episode quite adeptly. In my Oxford Canadian Dictionary the words sex and f_ _ _ are synonymous. Surprisingly "make love" is omitted. However, all these terms don't really hold the same connotations to me. I find it a little frustrating when people say "make love" when they're talking about one night stands. Anyway, it's nice that as a language, we English have so many different words to describe the same events- even if their varying connotations aren't percepted by a dictionary. The English language is funny though in our words for genitalia. In a tender scene, it's near impossible for an author to use vocabulary that describes what's going on adequately. If s/he uses words like "penis" or "vagina" it seems too medical and stuffy, yet words like c_ _ _ and c_ _ _, while maybe okay for descriptions of a quick romp in the hay, seem a little too crass for the moment. Fortunately, Boyden doesn't have to worry in Three Day Road. The encounter between the Niska and the hunter can hardly be described as "making love" and so his vocab choice was an easy one and suited the situation.

2 comments:

Ravenswift said...

Ahhhh, the sex scene. Vaguely erotic, but short and almost unecessary- in my opinion. I like reading sex scenes as much as the next person, but it felt a bit forced, and I don't think it was crucial to the story at all.

My favourite sex scene in a book was the erotic letter at the end of Silk, by Alessandro Baricco. Words like "cleft" and "organ" were used (LOL), but I think this was because it was translated from Italian. Regardless- it was beautiful... the whole book was phenomenal- I highly recommend it!

John Mutford said...

"Cleft" and "organ" are at least a step up from Jean M. Auel's "node" and "manhood."