Loquens anus  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The motif of the anus loquens or the talking anus is an instance of the talking body orifice, in the same category as the vulva loquens (the talking vagina), the mentula loquens (talking penis) and the belly face.

Although sources state that the motif of the anus loquens is widely spread in folklore, specific examples are rare.

One famous instance of the talking anus is found in William Burroughs' novel Naked Lunch:

"Then [the anus] developed sort of teeth-like little raspy incurving hooks and started eating. He thought this was cute at first and built an act around it, but the asshole would eat its way through his pants and start talking on the street, shouting out it wanted equal rights. It would get drunk, too, and have crying jags nobody loved it and it wanted to be kissed same as any other mouth. Finally it talked all the time day and night, you could hear him for blocks screaming at it to shut up, and beating it with his fist, and sticking candles up it, but nothing did any good and the asshole said to him: ‘It's you who will shut up in the end. Not me. Because we don’t need you around here any more. I can talk and eat and shit’".

Secondly there is the fabliau Le Chevalier qui faisoit parler les cons et les culs in which a knight is given a terrific charm. In the future, so he is promised, he will be able to make vaginas speak. But if she fails to answer, the anus will do so in her place.

"Sir knight, to this second gift I add,
as is just and right, that if the cunt
be blocked or stoppered up in front
and cannot answer you straightway,
the arsehole will, without delay,
speak for it, if you give leave,
no matter whom it hurt or grieve."

--Fabliaux: Ribald Tales from the Old French

A third example comes from the sublime The Book of the Prick, an early 16th century Italian ribald book. That most amusing book presents a society of anthropomorphic gentials: (Pricks, Cunts, Balls and Anuses) which represent political fractions in contemporary Italy.

At one point, during the speech of Cazzatello, a well-respected cock, the culi (asses):

"sighed with compassion at the beautiful and affectionate words of Cazzatello, to which they had listened with open-mouthed attention — it seemed that the wind had gone out of them."

Citations:

"Moreover, the loquens anus is a commonplace in popular folklore" [1]
"The motif of a talking anus is comic; see e.g. Aristophanes, Frogs 238"[2]
"The talking anus is a standard comic trope" --The Meaning of Disgust by Colin McGinn

Illustration[3]: detail from detail from Michael Pacher's panel painting The Devil Presenting St Augustine With The Book Of Vices.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Loquens anus" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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