Alaa Al Aswany on Writing About Sex

Alaa Al Aswany examines the human body.
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TRANSCRIPT

al Aswany:    I think that was a vision of literature, for sex, all the time.  I don't think I’m a very exceptional case because simply, in our daily life, we approach sex either as a pleasure or as a taboo.  For literature, sex, I would say even, I don’t like very much the term sex.  I would say the physical relation, right?  And the physical relation between two partners in literature means much more because you need sex not only for pleasure.  Sometimes you need to perform a physical relation with your partner because you are scared or because you are desperate or because you are looking for intimacy, or because you want to be protected by a mother, for example, or you would like to discover your partner or to take control, many things.  And this is a very rich human domain.  Accordingly, it’s a very rich literary field.  I mean, you cannot ignore sex or physical relation in literature.  It’s many things more than just a pleasure, you see?  Or you achieve the pleasure through many, many roads, you see?  It is an art.  It is a way to express yourself.  It is even a way to discover the world.  It is a way to discover your partner.  I don't think that you know really your partner without having sex with him or with her, you see, because this is one, it’s the moment of truth, you see?  And you could discover your feelings after having the physical relation, much better than before, you see.  What is left, you see.  In the few seconds after the pleasure, the physical pleasure, then you discover exactly how much you feel for this person, you see?  It’s very, very mysterious and rich moment, and accordingly it’s a big challenge for a fiction writer.