Friday, May 13, 2011

Paperback 412: The Physiology of Sex / Kenneth Walker (Penguin 507)

Paperback 412: Penguin 507 (3rd ptg, 1943)

Title: The Physiology of Sex
Author: Kenneth Walker
Cover artist: none

Yours for: $8


Best things about this cover:
  • This was printed during that short period when Puritans ran Penguin and demanded that all images besides the logo be expunged from the covers.
  • This gives me sex just the way I like it: sound and unflinching. And with penguins nearby.
  • Pre-Kinsey guide to being normal... oh dear lord, I opened to a random page (106, to be exact) and found this gem: "So far the emphasis has been placed on the man's responsibility in coitus, since it falls to him to waken his wife's latent sexuality." Honestly, how did anyone survive the '40s? (I'm guessing by fucking instead of reading about fucking)


Best things about this back cover:
  • Just Bernard? Not George Bernard? Why not just go all the way and call him "Bernie?"
  • Penguins say num num num to the number "520"

Page 123~

If the stock be good and the family free from all such inheritable troubles as mental defectiveness, predisposition to tuberculosis, and insanity, there is no reason why the children of cousins should not be as healthy as the children of other people.

Well I did not see that coming.


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DemetriosX said...

I suppose in those days just having "SEX" on the cover in big letters meant it was going to sell. Or maybe it was a wartime thing. "Cyan and magenta inks are crucial to the war effort. Buying a book with a color picture on the front helps the Hun!"

Bernard Shaw was often used the way we might say Shakespeare or Steinbeck. I think it was supposed to make him sound more posh or something. Why a Fabian socialist should sound posh, I don't know. But what really gets me is that the copywriter here is an ignorant moron. No, Shaw's Pygmalion doesn't have anything to do with the Cinderella "myth". (Seriously? Myth?) It has to do with the myth of Pygmalion, which, you know, is why it's called that.

David Thoreau said...

So, I'm not in the same pantheon as Bernard Shaw, Shakespeare or Steinbeck? WTF?!

Brian Busby said...

Shaw eschewed his first name, both privately and professionally. Most books published during his lifetime list the author as simply "Bernard Shaw". I've seen also "G. Bernard Shaw".