Hanif Kureishi on…

Sex & Desire

 

I used to like talking about sex.  All of life, I imagined – from politics to aesthetics – merged in passionate human conjunction.  A caress, not to speak of a kiss, could transport you from longing to Russia, on to Velazquez and ahead to anarchism.’  (‘Blue, Blue Pictures of You’)

***

I never lost my fearful fascination with women’s bodies.  The women seemed to understand this: that the force of our desire made us crazy and terrified.  You could kill a woman for wanting her too much.’  (‘The Body’)

***

He was fumbling in his inside pocket when he found something strange.

He pulled it out.

What’s that?” his wife said.  She came closer.  “It’s a penis,” she said.  “You’ve come home with a man’s penis — complete with balls and pubic hair — in your pocket.  Where did you get it?” (‘The Penis’)

***

The following weeks she seems to sense something.  In the space where they lie beneath the level of the street, almost underground — a mouse’s view of the world — she invites him to lie in different positions; she bids him touch different parts of her body.  She shows him they can pore over one another.’  (‘Nightlight’)

***

But in love each moment is magnified, and every gesture, word and syllable is examined like a speech by the President.  Solid expectation, unfurled hope, immeasurable disappointment — all are hurled together like a cocktail of random drugs that, quaffed within the hour, make both lovers reel.  If she dressed up and went to a party with a male friend, he spent the night catatonic with paranoia; if he saw an old girlfriend, she assumed they would never speak again.’  (‘Blue, Blue Pictures of You’)

***

When it comes to love, we are all stalkers.’   (‘Goodbye, Mother’)

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All citations are taken from Collected Stories, Hanif Kureishi (Faber and Faber, 2010).

 

 

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