The short story ”The Penis” is written by Hanif Kureishi. The short story is about a penis, which has been separated from its owner Doug, who we hear from later on.
At first though we hear about a guy called Alfie who was “a cutter – a hairdresser – and had to get to work”. He is having breakfast with his wife, when she asks him what he did last night, and if he had a good time last night? Alfie can not remember what he did last night, he then looks in his wallet to examine how much money he had spent or if he has any cocaine left or anything else, which could give him a clue of what he has been doing. He finds something strange inside his pocket. In his pocket he finds a penis, with balls, and pubic hair.
This appears very incongruous to me, because I had not expected that he would find a penis in his pocket, maybe cocaine, which Hanif Kureishi had prepared the ground to. Alfie considered how he should get rid of the penis. His instinct is to drop it in a litterbin, but then he remembers how his wife wants him to be more “business minded”, and more than anything wanted him to appear on television. After this little thought he then considers selling the penis to an art dealer, but he ends up throwing the penis over the side of a bridge.
Alfies story is told by a limited omniscient point of view, and when we hear about Doug, which I will tell a bit about next, Hanif Kureishi turns the point of view and tells the rest of the story in an omniscient third-person narrators point of view.
Doug is presented as an actor, and he is in his early forties, but his look is still superb. He is about to start on the biggest film of his career. All in all this sounds very amazing, until we discover that he is a porn actor. In this situation I think that Hanif Kureishi tries to draw a picture of today’s young generation. Today everything has to sound so extravagant…...