Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sexiness and book...iness.

Time for too-much-info confession of the day! I secretly try to vamp up my subtle-but-sexy librarian skills when shelving. Even if I am but a lowly clerk and my skirts brush past my knees, damnit, I am a sexy librarian!

The topic I’m attempting to segue into here is a literary pinup calendar in association with artist Lee Moyer that goes to help Worldbuilders.

There’s a bit of a hubbub surrounding the work (as much of a hub or bub that can be generated in the literary world…) about whether the calendar is great or terrible. Thus far the arguments have been pretty balanced: half of the input says the calendar is cute, sexy, fun, and interesting and half say it is offensive, cheapens literature and no one should enjoy looking at pin up images.

Well, this is my blog, so this is my opinion.

If you are turned off by any part of the pin-up girl concept, then you won’t like the calendar. And trust me, I’ve been in enough male-occupied garages to develop a strong distaste for a lot of stuff that the modern pin-up has evolved into.
I can also tell you that this calendar is nothing like that.

First off, I think these are really tastefully done. Even the Twain one, set to be more provocative is very cute in my opinion. No gratuitous side-boob, and she’s not set in a position where you can see both cleavage and a full view of her derrier somehow simultaneously. (I don’t know how a model ever gets into this pose ever, but it’s pretty popular from images I’ve seen.) The outfits are beautiful in themselves and honestly are not that revealing for being pinned as pin-up (See what I did there.) I saw much more the last Halloween party I went to, and there was no intelligent irony to be found. And the women look fairly normal. I mean, yeah they are mostly thin and done up, but they still look real.

Second of all, these images contain a lot of details. I haven’t seen the full calendar, but some are very subtle and you have to look for clues about the books. Which brings me to point three: this wouldn’t work if you didn’t know about literature. Certainly you don’t have to have read the complete works of the authors presented to get it, but the cleverness emerges with the interpretation of the literature.

So, I mean, really, why can’t literature be sexy? Or intelligence, or love of classics? I’ve always held the position that we live in a sex-visible culture instead of a sex-positive one. And right now I’m pretty sure Fifty Shades of Gray is the most reserved book in our collection. People have gone bat-lunatic because it’s all edgy and erotic and crazy and right now holds the top 4 on the New York bestsellers list.

And, honestly, if we are paying homage to literary works through sex, I would much rather have this calendar on my wall than badly written erotica on my shelf.

Showin' some love for Herman ;)

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