Only three months ago, I was reading about the gulags in 'Life and Fate', thinking how awful it would be to do hard labour in sub-zero temperatures. Now, by some cruel twist of fate, I'm doing exactly that. If Solzhenitsyn was still alive, I'd feel that I could look him in the eye.
Admitedly I'm not a political prisoner, there are no armed guards waiting to shoot me if I try to leave and I'm not mining uranium with my bare hands, so the analogy doesn't quite hold up. But it has been very cold.
However, it will have all been worthwhile if I can find some decent books. For the time being, here are some indecent ones that I found today:
"Underneath their uniforms, they were simply girls - warm, soft, yielding creatures who lived fast and loved too recklessly..."
From the 'Five Miles High' club to the '500 Miles High' version:
"She's young, she's lovely - she's an astronaut! And she's been assigned a dangerous mission: to discover the whereabouts of four missing male astronauts who had preceded her to the moon."
If this was the 1970s, I could make a link using the words 'moon' and 'heavenly bodies':
"Laura was the kind of woman that every man wanted to undress - but she never gave them the chance - she did it herself!"
This nonsense all stopped in the early 80s. Was it just AIDS that made promiscuity less appealing or were there other factors too, like the demise of modernism, the growing realisation that sexual liberation had been rather one-sided and the increasing demand for equal opportunities? Also, what part did technology play - first the video recorder, then the internet - in putting an end to 'sauce' and 'titilation'?
Oddly enough, I don't find the images themselves that dated. Look at the video of Pixie Lott's 'What Do You Take Me For?' and it's as if the 1980s never happened. What really dates these books are the hilarious blurbs, with their "warm, soft, yielding creatures..."
It all seems a world away from this: