British readers once shielded from the word “cunt,” but never from Updike’s tedious prose

These days John Updike bores readers worldwide with tedious descriptions of women’s genitalia (in his latest novel, Villages, “the narrator Owen Mackenzie compares his lover’s equipment with that of his wife” and finds it’s “‘smoother, somehow simpler, its wetness less thick, less of a sauce, more of a glaze'”), but D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, which celebrates the word “cunt,” was banned in Britain until this day in 1960.


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