Thursday, March 13, 2014

Steps : Jerzy Kosinski

Steps
By Jerzy Kosinski

It's interesting to reread my thoughts on Jerzy Kosinski's Blind Date and compare it to what I think about Steps.  Both novels delve into more edgy sexual topics.  However, in Steps, there is a sense that society as a whole has a sickness to it - the main character is not the only one that has odd fetishes.  Furthermore, when abnormal sexual actions are described, it's done so with a casual tone, not so much that these actions are widely and publicly accepted, but that they are not uncommon and if someone does object, they would rather just turn a blind eye.  It's as if the protagonist, albeit with his set of own sexual fascinations, wanders around a society exploring various sexual areas.

A passage to illustrate:
   During one of my visits she asked me to make love to her. I loved the door. After I had undressed she told me to look in the large mirror in the corner of the room. I saw her in the mirror and our eyes met. Then she got up from the bed, took off her robe, and stepped over to the mirror. She stood very close to it, touching my reflection with one hand and pressing her body with the other. I could see her breasts and her flanks. She waited for me while I concentrated more and more on the thought that it was I who stood there within the mirror and that it was my flesh her hands and lips were touching.
   But in a low yet urgent voice, she would stop me whenever I took a step toward her. We would make love again: she standing as before in front of the mirror and I, a pace away, my sight riveted upon her.
In this manner, this novel reminds me of the subversive movies of the 60's and 70's that make your head spin a bit (Cabaret in particular).  In short, this novel is a quick-read, but not a particularly easy one.

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