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Candy, unfortunately, will probably be banned in Boston and most other U.S. cities. It has already been banned in Paris.
Professional Mothers, Citizens Committees, government officials and other keepers of the Public Morality will surreptitiously sneak off to some dark corner to read the book and emerge officially outraged. They will declare Candy is obscene, lewd and unfit for civilized eyes.
Actually, Candy is funny. It's wicked, of course, but then any book that is in part a parody of pornography would have to get a bit rough now and then. Pornography is only one of the authors' targets, however. Before the tale is told, psychology, academia, mysticism, television, Greenwich Village, and Ugly Americans all feel the hard bite of Candy's satire. Candy is only as dirty as the reader's mind.
The book relates the improbable story of a delightful college sophomore named Candy Christian, a girl "lush at the breast and thigh, lithe and willowy along the waist and limbs." Possessed of a sweet and cheerful disposition, this lass has a consuming passion to help fulfill the needs of those less fortunate than she.
Candy is awakened to the joys of giving by her philosophy professor, a lecherous old phony named Mephisto. "To give of oneself fully," he tells a completely snowed Candy, "is a beautiful and thrilling privilege." Mephisto is not urging Candy to plunge into SNCC work.
After awarding her an A-plus on a paper, he tells her, "I really believe you know of my great need of you." The declaration is quickly followed by a rapid advance on Candy's pert little breast. The flustered and honored girl is too nervous to give of herself fully to the Great Man, a failing which disturbs her greatly. She decides to rectify it all by giving herself to the gardener, whom she feels is unloved.
Serious problems accompany this tryst, however, as the still maiden Candy is disturbed to find that giving is not really a great sacrifice: "when the gardener's hand closed on her pelvis and into the damp, she stiffened slightly: she was quite prepared to undergo pain for him...but pleasure--she was not sure how that could be a part of the general picture." Even more disturbing, Daddy barges into the room just as the "gardener would have entered her...with a terrible thrust to the hilt, so to speak."
Daddy and the gardener fight it out, with the gardener winning and fleeing. Candy is at last able to give fully when her uncle decides he has a great need for her--under Daddy's hospital bed. The adorable girl is thus launched on her career: a true in-nocent abroad in the land of kooks and con-men.
No Fanny Hill
Unlike most feminine pornography heroines, Candy is not a wild girl in search of thrills. Desire is her constant enemy. Where a wench like Fanny Hill luxuriated in a good, and preferably unusual, roll in the hay, Candy accepts pleasure only as "the price of loveliness and the key to the beautiful privilege of giving fully."
She doesn't really seek to give sexually, but somehow it always works out that way. And when the men in her life pant to her that they must have her, Candy feels morally bound not to refuse. She can't bear the thought of being selfish. Because she remains perpetually innocent, she must be seduced every time.
In light-hearted caricature of the literature available under such titles as April North, Wild Weekend, and High School Virgin, the authors describe quite imaginative conquests in highly stylized terms. In practically every case, contact with the breast and their "pert, taught nipples" sparks a current of sexual electricity that eventually generates a great wave of love-heat in Candy.
Not all the men Candy meets are out to get her. One, Dr. Krankeit, the hospital psychiatrist, would actually like to convert her. He has written a daring little psychological masterpiece called Masturbation Nowl In it, he contends that "heterosexual love-making is the root of all neuroses, a shabby illusion which misleads the ego." But Krankeit is the exception. Others, like a hunchback in Green-wich, have one simple desire.
By far the most interesting character Candy confronts is a supposed mystic who parades under the title of the Great Grindle. He hangs out in a Cracker work camp in the Minnesota hills to which Candy has retreated in search of the beautiful life. Thrilled when Great Grindle himself agrees to tutor her on the path that leads to "Infinite Oneness," Candy eagerly submits to the various exercises and lessons proposed. Naturally, the path cannot be followed until all "wordly apparel" is discarded. Candy, maidenly modest, objects, but who is she to argue with Great Grindle?
Grindle then proceeds to position her and carry out one of the funniest scenes ever described. "I'm a doctor of the soul," he assures her, "I am certainly not interested in that silly little body of yours--it is the spirit that concerns us here." Never was the spirit so carnal. Sweet and chaste despite her many adventures, Candy has qualms when Grindle reaches the point where he will cause "the sensation of the so-called 'sexual act,'" so it can be "approximated and surveyed to advantage."
"Oh gosh," said Candy in real disquiet, unable despite her efforts to shake off all the old associations it had for her,...do we really have to?" And, almost in reflex, she drew her marvelous thighs a bit closer together.
Without avail, of course.
When Grindle, who claims to have "willed" all spermatozoa away, suspects his student is pregnant, he ships her off to Tibet. There she encounters a holy man "wearing a simple loincloth" and some unholy tourists. A number of American tourists were following him along, taking pictures of him, offering him money and bits of bread. He seemed quite unaware of their presence, however ... When a cute little girl of six was sent up to him by one of the mothers to get his autograph, he appeared not even to see her. This caused a certain amount of bitter feeling in the crowd of tourists.
"Well, I think that's taking it too far," one woman was heard to say with indignation, "to just ignore that into lit-
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