When an erotic novel became a masterpiece of modern Dutch literature: “Turkish Delight” by Jan Wolkers

If you’re an aspiring erotica writer, you may have heard of the controversial novel “Turkish Delight” by Dutch author Jan Wolkers. The graphic descriptions of graphic sex scenes and the extreme emotional turmoil of the characters made it a controversial but compelling read. In this blog post, we look at the content, story, and impact of “Turkish Delight” by Jan Wolkers.

“Turkish Delight” tells the story of a sculptor not named in the novel and his turbulent relationship with a young woman named Olga. The novel is told from the sculptor’s point of view, allowing the reader to delve deep into his psyche. He begins his relationship with Olga scandalously with a passionate and intense sexual encounter. Their love affair is obsessive, profound and destructive, with scenes of lustful encounters that escalate through violent arguments.

Impulsive emotions and physical passions mark the relationship between the sculptor and Olga, but they also suffer from their unconventional lifestyles and personality differences. The love between the two is severely tested when Olga falls seriously ill. Despite all the challenges, Erik struggles to keep the relationship alive. Wolker’s vivid descriptions of the sex scenes are raw and blunt, making “Turkish Fruit” one of the most sexually explicit novels of its time.

Three women modeled Olga’s character in this autobiographically influenced novel: Wolkers’ second wife, Annemarie Nauta, Wolkers’ third wife, Karina Gnirrep, and the photographer and poet Ida Sipora Schaake, who died of a brain tumor.

The publication of “Turkish Delight” caused a scandal in the conservative Dutch society of the time, leading to many campaigns to ban the book. However, the controversy contributed to Wolkers’ reputation as a renowned writer and solidified his status as an essential literary figure in Dutch literature.

“Turkish Delight” was translated into many languages and became an international success, mainly because of its portrayal of intense and taboo subjects. In many ways, this novel heralded a new era of literary freedom and paved the way for subsequent erotic novels.

The novel was published in 1969 and was made into a film by Paul Verhoeven in 1973. This film adaptation received an Oscar nomination and was named Best Dutch Film of the Century in 1999. However, the film was also reviled as pornographic, sexist and vulgar. The novel itself was considered a masterpiece of modern Dutch literature, but also an expression of Wolkers’ frustration and obsession.

“Turkish Delight” by Jan Wolkers has cemented its place in history not only as an erotic masterpiece but also as a work of sophisticated art. Despite the novel’s controversy, it remains an essential work of fiction that has been analyzed, praised, and used as a model for a new generation of erotic writers. It reminds us that despite the consequences, our duty as creatives is to push boundaries, challenge norms, and ultimately create timeless art.

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