French Critics Lambast “50 Shades of Grey”

I never thought I’d find myself defending “Fifty Shades of Grey.” But the criticisms being hurled at the books — dubbed “mommy porn” — by reviewers in France are a bit ironic to be sure. Critics there call the novels repetitive, comparing them unfavorably with the porn penned by the Marquis de Sade. Let me tell you something: as a college student I engaged in literary masochism by reading several of the Marquis’s books. And I have never encountered such repetitive drivel in all my life. For the French, he is redeemed by his “intellectual construction” and his “philosophy,” and EL James is assailed for lacking those qualities. But as Patty Duke’s character says in “Valley of the Dolls,” as she looks at the poster for an erotic flick, from France as it happens, supposedly redeemed by its artiness: “Nudies!” At least “50 Shades of Grey” doesn’t pretend to be great literature, unlike de Sade’s dreck.

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