Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Top 10 literary ménages à trois

Ewan Morrison is the author of three novels which explore modern relationships and sexuality: Ménage, Distance and Swung. Ménage, his most recent novel, is the story of three bohemians in a ménage à trois in 90s London.

"The ménage à trois is a rich and rarified fictional seam which arose in the 19th century and originated from memoirs or fictionalised accounts of real-life events. The number of ménages à trois (as yet barely documented) which occurred in the lives of artists, writers and leaders from the 19th century to the present day – from DH Lawrence and George Bernard Shaw to Pablo Picasso and Jack Kerouac – is intriguing, and begs the question: was the ménage à trois the ideal (if publicly unacceptable) lifestyle of the modern 'radical'?"

1. Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway

The erotic novel that Hemingway suppressed during his own lifetime, and left incomplete on his death, is set in the Cote d'Azur in the 1920s and tells the story of an author, his adventurous wife, and the psycho-sexual games they play while sharing a young woman. It is largely held to be autobiographical.

2. Jules et Jim by Henri Pierre Roche

Adapted for film, starring Jeanne Moreau, by Francois Truffaut in 1961, the original novel was based on Roche's own experiences with a German couple, the Hessels, between the wars. Roche's seven-volume diary of his many loves and love triangles, which include those with noted surrealists and dadaists, remains unpublished to this day.

3. Politics by Adam Thirlwell

An eccentric, contemporary, urbane ménage à trois with a half-Jewish male, a daddy's girl and a bisexual Indian actress. Meditations on the sex life of Adolf Hitler and Chairman Mao are intercut with descriptions of London and extreme sexual acts in this multicultural mélange that screws around with form as much as it does with character and race.

- Ewan Morrison,

Read the rest of the article here.

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