The book … is a headlong dash through every crevice and byproduct, physical and psychological, of its narrator’s body and mind. It is difficult to overstate the raunchiness of the novel, and hard to describe in a family newspaper.The book "opens in a hospital room after an intimate shaving accident." Ouch. I guess the world does contain some dangers I'm immune to.
The article runs through familiar points about the role of women in German society (not so good), feminism and pornography (never quite clear that that's the best word here) and body image, etc. Two notes:
- First, this article almost makes it sound like über-clinical discussion of bodily functions is something new in German culture. In fact, the late folklorist Alan Dundes dedicated an entire book to the German obsession with excretion and such in 1984: Life is Like a Chicken Coop Ladder: A Portrait of German Culture Through Folklore.*
- Second, while wetlands is the utterly correct ecological/geographical translation of Feuchtgebiete, those who don't know a little German miss a point: This is an adjective+noun compound, transparently understandable as 'moist regions'. The linguistic blogging world has had a bit to say about the ickiness of English moist of late (here and here are the key points). The ick factor just went up a notch.
*He reports that that's the beginning of a German saying: Das Leben ist wie eine Hühneleiter: Kurz und beschissen. "Short and shitty". You might say that Dundes documents the rich dungheap of German culture.