Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hooking-Up Through the London Review of Books

by Stephen J. Gertz

Volume 33 No. 2. 20 January 2011.

It's been awhile since we last visited the London Review of Books to further our cross-cultural anthropological studies on the mating behavior of book lovers.

While the weather has been hell this month it's comforting to know that the climate for the literary love-lorn has remained comically and pleasantly tropical with delightfully bent isobars manifesting themselves on the map.

As usual, we have removed all identifying and/or contact info to protect both guilty and innocent.

From January's issue:

Not an esoteric advert, just a sincere request. New York Jewish writer/lecturer (61) living in NW London, with beauty, style, wit and wisdom, a great smile, an exuberant spirit and an understanding heart – plus lots of faults too numerous to mention – seeks an honest kind London-based man for laughter, intimacy, adventure and mutual shelter from the storm. Enjoying the storm also works. The package you come in is less important than the soul shining through and the laughter in your eyes. Whaddya say?

[We like the smooth, clich├ęd personal-ad prose followed by the throw-away vernacular New Yorkism at its close. It's as if Eliza Doolittle tossed-off an 'Ow's that, G'vnr! after demonstrating perfect locution in the Queen's English to Professor Higgins].

My therapist has given me such a good rate I can afford to indulge my bouts of infidelity and still deal elegantly with my guilt. Attached but unfaithful London male 60 seeks female counterpart. I promise an intensity of sexual joy unexpected in the LRB.

Female, 34. All own limbs. Seeks man with low priorities.

So ouroboros has finally caught up with these ads. Not so me, M, 37, whom you’ll still find chewing through vegetarian nacho combos and nothing else at retail park restaurants across the North West long after this column has devoured its own head. I’ll be the one beneath the ‘Le Chat Noir’ poster refusing to pronounce ‘sangiovese’ correctly and challenging the waiter to fisticuffs.

Sexually I’m not like Switzerland at all, even although I live there. Monolingual M (53), Lausanne based, seeks F for the usual shenanigans.

Alas, my “Why Mahler?” advert lacked clarity: responses from women, lovely women, but women nevertheless. And I am a woman seeking a 60ish man, as described in the advert. Male responses welcomed.

American, M, early 70s though most don't believe it. Credit goes to the Canadian Air Force drills that have started my days for 35 years. A creature of habit, and so hope to continue to take my women in olive tones.

Fantasy made real? Strictly sexual woman will push your boundaries.

[Considering the publication it's not clear whether she means evolving the reading habits of a date from the Bible to the works of the Marquis de Sade, or same sans the reading].

And so ends another episode of Love is a Many-Splendored Thing. Roll theme music:


We've mined this mother lode before. Why? Because the vein of gold in them thar hills runs deep:

"Have Books Destroyed Your Life, Too?"
London Review Of Books Personal Ads, Redux.
Miss Lonelybooks, Revisited.
Love In Bloomsbury.
Bibliophiliac Bleeds Books, Seeks Same For Mutual Bloodletting.
Are Americans Ruining the London Review of Books Personal Ads?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The LRB personals are soon to end! What a horribly dry paper it's becoming.


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