Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Paperback 135: Aphrodite / Pierre Louys (Avon 113)

Paperback 135: Avon 113 (1st ptg, 1946)

Title: Aphrodite: A Great Pagan Love Story
Author: Pierre Louys
Cover artist: uncredited

Yours for: $9



Best things about this cover:

  • Aphrodite is seen here doing an ancient version of the Men Without Hats classic "Safety Dance," only instead of forming an "S" with her arms, she is forming a psi ("Psafety Dance!")



  • If you put your thumb over this lady's head (which is to say, her ridiculous headdress), she is almost look-at-able.
  • Nice clip art in the background there, Picasso!
  • I kinda like how the border of this cover echoes the borders of her robe and negligee. That is about all I kinda like about this cover.
  • Pierre Louys was what passed for a soft porn writer in the 40s. Him and Zola.

Best things about this back cover:

  • A great example of an early paperback, from an age when publishers were still anxious about the social status of this fledgling product (mass market paperbacks having come into being only 7 years earlier). "GOOD" "GREAT" "SHAKESPEARE-HEAD" ... nothing at all about the content of the book itself; just a lot of weirdly over-reaching sales copy ("can easily be washed clean"???)
  • "Rough usage" - HA ha: "We know how you semi-literate peons love to rassle with your reading material"

Page 123~

Her long, thin build was disconcerting in a family where all the women were plump. She ripened like a badly grafted crossed fruit of foreign, obscure origin.

~RP

5 comments:

Maughta said...

I see London,
I see France,
I see she's wearing no underpants!

Rex Parker said...

My god, how can you tell? Her whole crotch area is a disturbingly ambiguous zone. Careful shaving plus careful fabric drapery = odd visual effect of a doric column (or is it ionic?).

rp

JamiSings said...

You sure she's Safety Dancing rather then Voguing?

Michael5000 said...

It seems like the "Great Pagan Love Story" concept beat the "Christian Romance" concept to press by a couple of years.

JamiSings said...

The Pagan ones are more interesting. The Christian ones are good if you have insomnia. And I'm waiting for Jewish Romances. (Seriously, I tried searching them up, only got that one Striesand movie and a book called The Saturday Wife, which was most certainly not a romance.)