Take it easy!
“The dirtiest book in all the world is an expurgated book.”
“(Morally offensive literature) breeds lust, Lust defiles the body, debauches the imagination, corrupts the mind, deadens the will, destroys the memory, sears the conscience, hardens the heart, and damns the soul . . . . This traffic has made rakes and libertines in our society—skeletons in many a household. The family is polluted, homes desecrated and each generation born into the world is more and more cursed by the inherited weakness, the harvest of this seed-sowing of the Evil One.”
Anthony Comstock felt so strongly about the pernicious nature of certain works of literature into English. Such an idea is somewhat anachronistic these days.
However, even today, you can find some sorts of his successors, though they appear more subtle. They basically apply the values and preconceptions of a minority in such a way that the majority is denied free access to thoughts and ideas.
This site shows that their tricks are age-old and that, despite their guise, their efforts will fail in a todays’s Internet-based secular society.
The pages on this site feature brief and unapologetic excerpts of notable ribaldry from dozens of classic authors whose works faced suppression or censorship.
Censors invariably view their work as something other than what it is. Most of the passages in this site were, at one time, altered or suppressed in the name of either “improving” the text in question or “protecting” the morals of the reader who would never get to see it. It is fashionable today to reject such paternalistic nonsense when assessing the mercifully concluded excesses of Communist regimes.
Yet it is quite common to hear arguments that run along similar lines in debates about the National Endowment for the Arts. If we cannot learn from our own mistakes, we might cast an objective eye to the errors of the enemy we have overcome.
To our way of thinking, trying to keep people from reading, writing, or thinking about subjects like sex and sensuality is a fool’s gambit. Such maneuvers are cloaked in high-minded terms appealing to decorum and responsibility but this is typically an effort to mask their inherent absurdity.
Not too many years ago, words like “bed”, “cuckold”, and “hot” were systematically excised from the works of Shakespeare by the estimable Dr. Thomas Bowlder and his legions of imitators. All of them thought themselves to be doing the Bard a great service by pruning his perceived “defects”.
Some of these editions were known, in the unintentionally deft phrasing of the day, as “gelded” or “castrated” editions; others took the self-defeating step of placing spicy passages in italics so as to alert the reader to skip over them when reading aloud.
Each approach—rewriting and highlighting—only serves to subvert the objective of the text and call attention to what has been tampered with. The “corrected” editions simply don’t represent what Shakespeare wrote, and that is reason enough to reject them.
Bowdler’s day eventually passed—Jesse Helms’ will, as well. We must remember that censorship is perhaps as old as literature itself—Ovid ran afoul of the Emperor Augustus before he horrified editors and librarians.
In a world in whicf Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl is kept off the shelves of high school libraries on the grounds of “decency”, it is worth remembering that prudes, opportunists, and self-serving politicians have always been with us. Many, many masterworks faced attacks from the self-appopinted morals guardians of the day. All too often, they still do.
Art has a way of winning, over time, its battles with censors. This site will show you that sensual and erotic writing is a legitimate form of literary expression that is as valid, entertaining, and profound as any other area of humandiscourse—and as old as the Bible and the comedies of ancient Greece.
Like many other Americans, we are uneasy about today’s ever more daring inroads against freedom of expression. It is regrettable that, even in this age, it should still be necessary to argue against literary and artistic censorship. But generations of censors have left a black legacy that won’t disappear, making this site a neccesity.
I’ve found it amuzing and fascinationg to assemble these excerpts, and hope that you will also read these with fun and delight.
This historical erotica of eleven stories discloses the titillating eroctic
renditions of the ancient events and mysteries—from the sensual rituals
of Minoan Parisienne, the love affairs of Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut, the harem
conspiracy during the Akhenaten’s reign, to the romantic lessons that
Hittite Prince Tudhalias learned from Lady Rapshelia.
This historical erotica of ten stories discloses the titillating eroctic
renditions of the ancient events and mysteries—from the sensual encounter
of Theseus and an Amazon warrior, the ravish of Ariadne, the sizzling lovemaking
of Achilles and Penthesileia, the love affairs of Clytemnestra and Aegisthus, the
secret love of Princess Electra, Helen's rapturous life with Paris, to the
romantic lessons that Odysseus learned from Egyptian courtesan.