03/05/1984 at 01:00 AM EST
In Norman Mailer's Ancient Evenings (1983), an Egyptian man describes his exploits in the 13th century B.C.: "I entered this temple that was like a palace, and descended step by step in the pulsing of my muscles, and felt the brush of her hair against mine as we went down into a splendor of many lights, rose and violet and lemon-green were their hue, and then a great serpent of the sea washed over me and I was gasping in the rush of my seven souls and spirits for they leaped out of my body and into her, even as her seven parts were coming to me. Some battle took place while each of us made great swings of a sword that cut no heads, and we were in a garden again, her garden, and it was very sweet. Her loins kept pulling on me. It had not been bliss—not as I was to know it later—indeed, in the middle, my loins knotted, but I also knew for the first time what it was to make love and be given the full value of a woman's heart, her greed, her beauty, her rage, and all equal to my own. May I say it was my first great f—k."