James Joyce is regarded as one of the most important writers of the 1900s and his novel Ulysses is considered the epitome of Modernist literature.
More importantly, he had a goddamn eye patch.
But Behind Closed Doors...
Joyce's devoted fan base was treated to a look inside his mind when a collection of letters he wrote to his wife were published in 1975. But you see, Joyce lived in an era before cell phones, webcams or Internet porn, so when he was away from his wife they'd send each other dirty letters, probably because the erotic telegraph tended to produce confusing messages.
"Harder. Stop. Deeper. Stop. Don't Stop. Stop."
Well, that's pretty tame stuff. It's his wife, after all. Though Joyce liked to start his letters off with a bang, so rather than "To Whom It May Concern," we get opening lines like "My sweet little whorish Nora I did as you told me, you dirty little girl, and pulled myself off twice when I read your letter." This is followed by "I wish you would smack me or flog me even. Not in play, dear, in earnest and on my naked flesh. I wish you were strong, strong, dear, and had a big full proud bosom and big fat thighs. I would love to be whipped by you, Nora love!"
OK, still not that bad...
"At every fuck I gave you your shameless tongue came bursting out through your lips and if I gave you a bigger stronger fuck than usual, fat dirty farts came spluttering out of your backside. You had an arse full of farts that night, darling, and I fucked them out of you, big fat fellows, long windy ones, quick little merry cracks and a lot of tiny little naughty farties ending in a long gush from your hole."
Huh. That's, uh... whose idea was it to release these letters again?
"It is wonderful to fuck a farting woman when every fuck drives one out of her. I think I would know Nora's fart anywhere. I think I could pick hers out in a roomful of farting women. It is a rather girlish noise not like the wet windy fart which I imagine fat wives have. It is sudden and dry and dirty like what a bold girl would let off in fun in a school dormitory at night. I hope Nora will let off no end of her farts in my face so that I may know their smell also. "
Now we know how he lost that eye.
Percy Grainger was one of the greatest symphony composers of the past century, bringing home the modern equivalent of $3 million a year, which is serious money in the composer world. His innovations became common in orchestras in the decades after.
Also, Grainger married his wife on stage at the Hollywood Bowl in front of 20,000 people and a 126 member orchestra that performed a song he had written just for her.
Ah, they don't make romantics like that anymore.
But Behind Closed Doors...
When Grainger died, he nobly left most of his money to the University of Melbourne. He also donated countless photos of himself, 83 whips and a pair of his own blood-soaked shorts, because was reeeeaaaallllyy into S & M.
He covered the walls and ceiling of his bedroom with mirrors so he could watch his wife beat the shit out of him. Afterwards, he would use the mirrors to take pictures of the bloody aftermath from every angle imaginable and document the picture with details like the camera settings, date, location (where the whipping went down) and what whip was used to flay him.
Predictably, he also noted the time signature of each beating so that it could be played back on a synthesizer.