You can lead a whore to culture but you can’t make her sing

Tom Wolfe defends himself after winning the “Bad Sex” award. (See my earlier post here.) Dan Glaister writes in The Guardian:

Wolfe_1 It has often been said that Americans have no sense of irony. Now the American author Tom Wolfe has turned the tables, saying that the British literary judges who awarded him a prize for the year’s worst sex in fiction simply did not understand that his description of a first encounter was meant to be ironic.

“There’s an old saying – ‘You can lead a whore to culture but you can’t make her sing’,” he told Reuters. “In this case, you can lead an English literary wannabe to irony but you can’t make him get it.”

Wolfe, 74, best-known for his novel Bonfire of the Vanities and for his eccentric dress – he normally wears a white suit and carries a cane – was awarded the Bad Sex award by the Literary Review last month for his novel I Am Charlotte Simmons, the story of a naïve, country girl who attends an Ivy League college. To research the novel, Wolfe, a former journalist, spent a lot of time interviewing students and observing campus life.

More here.