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03/07/2013 07:30 am ET

Too Embarrassed To Be Sexy?

Contemporary novelists feel a “commercial” obligation to write “detailed” passages about sex, the British writer Julian Barnes recently said on the BBC’s Radio 3. That, I thought, explains a lot — not the proliferation of sex scenes in contemporary literary fiction, but fiction’s pitiful commercial impactContemporary novelists feel a “commercial” obligation to write “detailed” passages about sex, the British writer Julian Barnes recently said on the BBC’s Radio 3. That, I thought, explains a lot — not the proliferation of sex scenes in contemporary literary fiction, but fiction’s pitiful commercial impact.

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