Romantic Porn


On Earth I don’t believe there is                                                                                                                                a place surrounded by trees                                                                                                                 adored as much, more ready to please                                                                                                  so famous or as often sung,                                                                                                                more frequented, studied, described                                                                                                      than park of boredom named Versailles

Alfred de Musset was a Romantic poet. He was also a poet of pornography. His pornographic book Gamiani or the Nights of Excesses from the time it was written, 1830’s, till 1930’s has known over forty editions and a good number of translations. There is something of Decameron in its structure, but the number of narrators is limited to three: Two guest of Countess Gamiani, Fanny and Alcid, are also her lovers; all three, while taking long breaks between the excesses, weave a good number of sub-plots into their main sexual adventure and tell us more and more of the good old in-and-out. All the usual excesses are there: there is a scene with some thirty monks ravishing Gamiani, there is a nun scene, there is a donkey scene: The orgy of redundancy! Yet the end is tragic, Gamiani, unable to reach any further gratification, poisons both Fanny and herself. Alcid remains alone to tell us all. Rumor has it that Alfred de Musset had a bet to write the book in three days! Another apocryphal story? Or a hoax, after all, he could have had an early start. Now we are coming to the main point, my readers are probably getting impatient to know what is so Versailles about all this. The Versailles part is the following, and see if you can match it up — hundred and sixty pages of pornographic descriptions and not a single dirty word! The illustration below is by Ingres.

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