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Erica Jong (1942 - )

Related: erotic fiction - American literature - feminism

There is nothing fiercer than a failed artist. The energy remains, but, having no outlet, it implodes in a great black fart of rage which smokes up all the inner windows of the soul. --Erica Jong in Fear of Flying

Fanny (1980) - Erica Jong [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Erica Jong's 1980 novel Fanny purports to tell the story from Fanny's point of view, with Cleland as a character she complains fictionalized her life.


Erica (Mann) Jong (born March 26, 1942) is an American author and educator. Born in New York City, Jong graduated from Barnard College in 1963. She sometimes resides in Weston, Connecticut.

She is best known for her first novel, Fear of Flying (published in 1973), which created a sensation with its frank treatment of a woman's sexual desires. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erica_Jong [Aug 2005]

Fear of Flying

Fear of Flying is a 1973 novel by Erica Jong, which became famous for its then-controversial attitudes towards feminism and female sexuality. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear_of_Flying_%28novel%29 [Aug 2006]

Note: I had bought Fear of Flying by Erica Jong in a bookstore just across Demian (currently the best second hand bookstore in Antwerp) on account of its first sentence: There were 117 psychoanalysts on the Pan Am flight to Vienna and I'd been treated by at least six of them...". I read the book in three days in Mauriac, while the children were attending "recreational activities". A very, very enjoyable read. [Aug 2006]

In this book, Erica Jong coined the phrase "zipless fuck". The book is at once the history of a young woman who wants to become a professional writer and a history of literature.

It mentions Simone de Beauvoir, Sylvia Plath and Lady Chatterley. [Aug 2006]

A summary of the train scene, the introduction to the "zipless fuck". I wonder which film Erica Jong refers to or if she just imagined the scene.

A grimy European train compartment (Second Class) . . . In the window seat a pretty young widow in a heavy black veil and tight black dress which reveals her voluptuous figure. She is sweating profusely . . . The train screeches to a halt in a town called (perhaps) Corleone. A tall languid-looking soldier, unshaven, but with a beautiful mop of hair, a cleft chin and somewhat devilish, lazy eyes enters the compartment . . . He is sweaty and disheveled but basically a gorgeous hunk of flesh, only slightly rancid from the heat. The train screeches out of the station.

Then we become aware of the bouncing of the train and the rhythmic way the soldier's thighs are rubbing against the thighs of the widow . . . He is watching the large gold cross between the widow's breasts swing back and forth in her deep cleavage. Bump. Pause. Bump. It hits one moist breast and then the other. It seems to hesitate in between as if paralyzed between two repelling magnets. He is hypnotized. She stares out the window, looking at each olive tree as if she had never seen olive trees before . . . He rests his left hand on the seat between his thigh and hers and begins to wind rubber fingers around and under the soft flesh of her thighs. She continues staring at each olive tree as if she were God and had just made them and were wondering what to call them . . .

Then the fingers are sliding between her thighs and they are parting her thighs, and they are moving upward into the fleshy gap between her heavy black stockings and her garters and they are sliding up under her garters into the damp unpantied place between her legs.

The train enters a galleria, or tunnel, and in the semi-darkness the symbolism is consummated. There is the soldier's boot in the air and the dark walls of the tunnel and the hypnotic rocking of the train and the long high whistle as it finally emerges.

Wordlessly, she gets off at a town called, perhaps, Bivona. --Erica Jong, Fear of Flying

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