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Department of Sex Ed

Scenes Not Included in Henry James’s The Ambassadors (NSFW)

May 16, 2013 | by

Victorianalarge

Part First

In the evening of his first day in Europe, Lambert Strether anxiously imagines sucking his friend Waymarsh’s cock. He hasn’t ever sucked anyone’s cock, and doesn’t want to. It’s just something he imagines when he is anxious. Waymarsh, meanwhile, is thinking about the young receptionist at the hotel. He’d like to fuck her standing up. From behind. Since his wife went mad, he only ever imagines fucking women from behind. Downstairs in her room at the same hotel, Maria Gostrey wonders if Lambert Strether is a homosexual. When they met, he couldn’t stop glancing at her breasts, but later, when they went for a walk in the public garden, he seemed positively afraid of her. Now Strether is alone with Waymarsh, that brute. Could they be fucking? How sad, she thinks, that two Americans should travel so far just to fuck. Don’t they fuck in America? she wonders.

Part Second

Waymarsh thinks, the Gostrey woman has nice tits. Strether too admires Maria Gostrey’s breasts—stupidly, he thinks of them as boobies. Maria Gostrey realizes that she wants to fuck Strether. This is unusual: she hasn’t fucked anyone for six years, not since the headwaiter in Mentone. Nor is Strether irresistibly virile; Waymarsh, she is sure, has a bigger cock. But there it is. She wants to grab Strether’s head and shove it between her thighs, to feel his sad Don Quixote moustache tickle her cunt. She wants to empty him of his sadness and let him go, like a balloon. Strether, meanwhile, writes a letter to his fiancée, the wealthy Mrs. Newsome, in Massachusetts. When it comes time to mention Maria Gostrey, he sucks anxiously on the end of his pen. 

Part Third

In Paris, Strether dines with John Little Bilham, an art student. “Is Little really your middle name?” Strether asks. “Not exactly,” Little Bilham says, “however, I’ve quite earned it.” “On account of your being tall?” Strether asks, thinking of Little John in Robin Hood. Little Bilham only smiles. When Strether tells Waymarsh about this encounter, Waymarsh imagines Little Bilham fucking Strether. From behind, as always. Because Waymarsh hasn’t met Little Bilham yet, he imagines him as a dwarf or a child. To get his cock into Strether’s ass, he has to stand on a dictionary. Its spine quivers. Then Strether and Waymarsh have breakfast with Little Bilham and Miss Barrace, an expatriate American. Miss Barrace’s ankle brushes Waymarsh’s calf and Waymarsh forgets about Little Bilham entirely. Why must I have a mad wife? he thinks. Why must I have a wife at all?

Part Fourth

Back in America, Mrs. Newsome imagines shoving an umbrella up Strether’s ass. But only just for a second—then she goes back to reading his letter. Strether is supposed to be rescuing her son Chad from some vile French woman, and what is he doing? Fucking Maria Gostrey, doubtless. But Strether is actually trying to rescue Chad, who replies amiably to everything Strether says, while his mind constantly revisits the sore on his penis. It’s just a little sore, but the stuff that seeps out of it keeps forming a crust. He thinks about the Italian girl he fucked in Cannes. Well, he thinks, nothing ventured, nothing gained! Chad smiles warmly at Strether, who looks, he thinks, like he wants to suck my cock. Maria Gostrey has an interview with Little Bilham. “Are you sure Strether isn’t queer?” Maria asks. And Waymarsh masturbates while pigeons coo on the windowsill of his hotel room.

Part Fifth

In preparation for his garden party, the sculptor Gloriani fucks one of his models. Chad Newsome fucks the vile French woman, Marie de Vionnet, in the bathtub. Jeanne de Vionnet, her daughter, fucks herself with an onyx figurine her great-great uncle brought back from Egypt. Later, in Gloriani’s garden, Little Bilham touches Lambert Strether’s knee. God, that faggot is up to it again, thinks Miss Barrace. Then Jeanne de Vionnet arrives, and Strether stares at her little boobies. Then Marie de Vionnet shows up and her boobies are even more beautiful than her daughter’s. This, Strether thinks, is the garden of beautiful boobies! But then Maria Gostrey tells him that Marie de Vionnet is married (she knows Marie de Vionnet from boarding school in Geneva, where they were briefly lovers). Not only that, Maria says, but her husband likes to urinate in her mouth. This, Strether thinks, is the garden of things I don’t know anything about. Miss Barrace leaves the party with Waymarsh. “Where can I drop you?” Waymarsh asks, to which Miss Barrace replies, “Do you mean to drop me?” Chad Newsome grins in the dark garden. He can hear Gloriani in the studio, fucking the Polish woman with the crooked back and the long sad face.

Part Sixth

Marie de Vionnet thinks, if all the men in America are as stupid as Strether, what can the women be like? She can only picture a kind of human cattle: plump naked women squatting in the mud, letting themselves be fucked by any idiot who passes by. Strether becomes aware that Jeanne de Vionnet is staring at him. What is she looking at me like that for? he wonders. Strether recalls fucking a young girl when he was here before, when he, Lambert Strether, was also young. He visited a maison de passe and chose the least ruined of the girls there, the one who looked least ruined. Was she sixteen? Eighteen? Strether doesn’t know it, but she was thirty-four. As soon as Strether leaves the room, Gloriani approaches Jeanne de Vionnet. “Mademoiselle,” he says, “I am contemplating a bust of Psyche...” Waymarsh walks past them, oblivious. He’s thinking of what it felt like when Miss Barrace put her finger up his ass. “Well, Monsieur, if it is only a bust,” Jeanne de Vionnet says.

Part Seventh

Maria Gostrey leaves Paris for Mentone, where she fucks the headwaiter again. He has put on weight, and his asthma has gotten worse. But she has to fuck someone. Meanwhile in Paris, Marie de Vionnet asks Chad Newsome if she should fuck Lambert Strether. “Strether!” Chad gasps with laughter. “Why do you laugh?” asks Marie. “It’s just that I don’t think he’s fucked anyone in his life,” Chad says. “But he’s engaged to your mother,” says Marie. “My mother,” Chad says, “has never fucked anyone in her life.” Somewhere in the darkness, Waymarsh is shouting, “Deeper!” Finally Maria Gostrey returns to Paris. Poor Lambert, she thinks, you could have fucked me too, if only you knew how to ask!

Part Eighth

On the ship from Boston to Calais, Sarah Pocock, Mrs. Newsome’s daughter, rebuffs her husband, Jim. “I’m queasy,” she says, although the real problem is that she’s constipated. Jim goes up to the deck and dreams of fucking some little Paris girl. But when they get to Paris, all the women he sees are withered and shawled, or else they have sores around their mouths. Strether shows Jim to his hotel, and thinks anxiously about sucking his cock. Why, he wonders, why do I have to think these things? Is it because I’m a failure? Or am I a failure because I think these things? Mamie Pocock (Jim’s younger sister) stands on the balcony of the hotel, watching a man masturbate under his coat. Gloriani fucks Jeanne de Vionnet in his studio. Naked, she’s just as beautiful as he thought, if somewhat looser in the lower lips. I am the sun! Gloriani thinks. Sarah Pocock takes an enormous shit.

Part Ninth

Waymarsh takes Sarah Pocock to dinner. “How is your digestion, dear Waymarsh?” Sarah asks. “Never better,” Waymarsh says. “How is your husband?” “Just the same,” Sarah Pocock says. In fact, at that very moment Jim Pocock is fucking Marie de Vionnet. He can’t believe it: why would a woman like that want him? He had hoped at best for a whore or some vague flower girl. And here he is, shoving his cock into a Countess! Pocock doesn’t know it, but Marie de Vionnet is thinking, my God, this man could be in the circus! She imagines him in a wagon with bars for walls, crouched naked on a pile of straw, his enormous cock dangling. SEE THE POCOCK, reads a painted sign that hangs from the wagon’s roof. Mamie Pocock presses her hips against the railing of the balcony and dreams furiously about fucking Little Bilham.

Part Tenth

The thought of fucking Mamie Pocock makes Little Bilham sick. The thought of marrying her makes him dizzy. To comfort himself, he gets drunk and drives to a private house in Passy, where he fucks a fourteen-year-old boy. Jeanne de Vionnet is pregnant, but she doesn’t tell anyone. Waymarsh visits a shop on the rue St Denis, and shows Miss Barrace what he has purchased. Miss Barrace agrees to give it a try. Later, she visits Marie de Vionnet, who seems to be having trouble walking. “Did you hurt your foot?” Miss Barrace asks, impishly. Marie gives her a deadly look. Sarah Pocock’s stomach rumbles. Waymarsh won’t get up from the divan.

Part Eleventh

Lambert Strether visits the French countryside. Enfin, he understands why people fuck animals: it comes from an abundant overflowing feeling of love for the world. He could fuck the grass, the trees, the sky! But as always he fucks nothing. Not far away, Chad Newsome wants to fuck Marie de Vionnet in their little rowboat, but Marie puts him off: she’s still sore from Jim Pocock. Back in Paris, Jeanne de Vionnet takes rat poison, but not enough rat poison. Her teeth fall out.

Part Twelfth

Gloriani has only just begun his Psyche when he dies of a heart attack. Sarah Pocock wipes her ass and finds blood on the paper. Marie de Vionnet watches herself in the mirror. I have an old woman’s breasts, she thinks, and covers herself with a summer shawl. Waymarsh writes a letter to his mad wife: “Darling...” Chad Newsome fucks an English girl he met on the train. Change is life, he thinks. Better to be in the stream than on the bank! Little Bilham receives a letter, asking him for more money than he can possibly pay. Mamie Pocock masturbates desperately in her hotel room. Jim Pocock has trouble pissing. In their final interview, Maria Gostrey wonders who or what made Lambert Strether the way he is. When she was at school in Geneva, she knew a boy who was fucked by a priest every Sunday morning. The sad set of his shoulders reminds her of Strether’s stoop. She imagines a world where it would be possible to un-fuck: not just to pull the cocks out of the cunts and the anuses and the mouths, not just to remove the tongues from the cocks and the anuses and the cunts, but to restore a person, by an act of love, to what he was like before he was ever fucked. To undo fucking with a gesture, with a word—with a silence. Like restoring antiques, it would be a kind of fraud, but as with antiques people might not mind the deception. If only we could believe that such a thing was possible! she thinks to herself, on the verge now of tears. Strether bows to her and she thinks, Fuck me, unfuck me, fuck me, fuck me! And Strether, for his part, is already dreaming of America, and of Mrs. Newsome, whose body looms before him like a continent, waiting to crush and starve and mangle him with its immense bounty.

Paul La Farge is the author of four books, most recently Luminous Airplanes, which was the Huffington Post’s Most Criminally Overlooked Novel of 2011. He will be a 2013-14 Fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers in the New York Public Library.

 

16 COMMENTS

16 Comments

  1. sven birkerts | May 16, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    This is THE PARIS REVIEW? Seriously?

  2. George Plimpton | May 17, 2013 at 12:36 am

    Yes

  3. filippo | May 17, 2013 at 2:09 am

    this really is unnecessary.

  4. fra | May 17, 2013 at 8:02 am

    take this down, please, quickly

  5. Matthew Glover | May 17, 2013 at 10:18 am

    to people objecting to this, every aspect of life is worth examining. I think this is brilliant

  6. tom may | May 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Calm down, folks. The editors of THE PARIS REVIEW and Paul LaFarge have served you, by way of contrast, an ingenious paean to the sophisticated prose of Henry James.

  7. L | May 17, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Ruth Prawer Jhabvala?

  8. Lotte2 | May 17, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    I LOVE this. Haven’t laughed so hard in a long time – and never while reading Henry James. Thank you Paul LaFarge and Paris Review.

  9. Joe | May 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    NSFW = No Shortage of Fellatio Within

  10. Brian A. Oard | May 18, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Guy Maddin should film this.

  11. Patrick | May 18, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    If this were written in the style of Henry James, it would be more fitting. Of course, it cannot be. As such, it is just a crude piece of work which relies on shock value which is not shocking and a use of gratuitous profanity which comes cheaper than a dime a dozen from any urban teenager’s mouth.

  12. papageno | May 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    How boring these clever people are

  13. Langley Trenton | May 25, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Embarrassed for everyone involved.

  14. Erika | May 27, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Disgusting!

  15. bob | May 29, 2013 at 8:57 am

    I really don’t understand this, it leaves one asking, as it doesn’t suit the style of the novel, doesn’t really seem representative of the characters in the novel, takes the most banal look at the complex relationships between the characters, what is the point?

    I found it boring and repetitious by the end of “Part Fourth”.

    I was going to make the second sentence as long as the first but with more commas, but this article wasn’t worth even that pathetic attempt at satirising HJ.

  16. Adam | June 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Best piece I’ve read in a while. What, the PR is not allowed to have a sense of humor?

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