VF: Do you think your generation of writers is conflicted about sex? Or feels awkward writing about it? The Unnamed contains two pretty notable sex scenes and theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢reÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ relatively tame… I mean, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not Roth-ianÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
JF: But theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re also not deciding to masturbate in two corners [laughs]. If I had gone on, it wouldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve taken the wrong tone. I think if a book is going to take on sex, it should take on sex, and do so boldly.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure that thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a categorical mistake thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s being made somewhere by saying that this generation of writers is too tame compared to the earlier generation, or that somehow this generation doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t take it as seriously, or is even less preoccupied by it. A lot of those Roth and Updike books almost have sex as the only object.
I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know where a writer can be faultedÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ Michael Chabon, letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s say. Michael Chabon canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be faulted for having a far more ambiguous ending spot or approach towards sex simply because he might be the heir to Bellow or Roth.
I think you could talk similarly about a departure of prose style, and wonder, well, why isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t Jonathan Safran Foer writing as effervescently as Bellow? It seems slightly misguided.
At the same time, we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really have anybody writing boldly about sex. So maybe there is something in the water, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure. But I suspect that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not over. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think the sex game is over.
Information from Vanity Fair.