Tom Wolfe was an American author and journalist widely known for his association with New Journalism, a style of news writing and journalism developed in the 1960s and 1970s that incorporated literary techniques.
The statement baffled me and I knew right away that I would not be able to find whether this was true or not, the only thing I could hope to discover is who first spread this piece of information.
After some googling I found this information cited in Take Back the Night (1980) by Laura Lederer. Some more googling and I discovered that it can be pinpointed to Pamela Hansford Johnson’s statement “when the Nazis took on the government of Poland, they flooded the Polish bookstalls with pornography” recorded in On Iniquity (1967), an attack on permissive society occasioned by the Moors murders.
I’ve previously mentioned why I like the rhetoric of censors so much but must write more about it, see in praise of censorship. This documentary is up here in its entirety but for how long considering the amount of explicit imagery?
PS 1. There is another explicit video on censorship, which has escaped the YouTube censor, I’ve written on it here and the video is still there.
PS 2. If you know where Pamela Hansford Johnson got her info from, I’d love to hear from you.
Regarding the obfuscation in this book, Robert Harbison says in The Built, the Unbuilt, and the Unbuildable (1993):
“Recently the idea has infiltrated academic consciousness that the eighteenth-century crank Lequeu, one of the world’s fringiest paper architects, is really Marcel Duchamp inserting himself Trojan-horse-like into the musty tomes of the Bibliotheque Nationale, whiling away countless hours creating a large hollow space in which a few hundred pseudo-eighteenth-century beings can roost.”
While researching “Della verga” (yes I finally found the text of the first unexpurgated translation), Leonardo da Vinci’s notes on the unruly member, I found this lovely cover of The Sex Lives of the Animals (Das Liebesleben in der Tierwelt, 1962) by Herbert Wendt.
It is of course the work of Marquis de Sade that interests us here. It so happens that one of the translations of Wainhouse, Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings is freely available online. And the most interesting item in that collection is “Yet Another Effort“, perhaps the first piece of writing anyone who wishes to acquaint himself with de Sade should read.
As you may have heard, I have resumed my work as pornosopher and I am currently writing my master’s thesis which investigates whether porn can be art. In my research I get lost very often (which kind of seems to be the purpose).
However, it is time for me to stop getting lost, because I have another paper to finish on political myth, a paper which I have tentatively titled “Mythe, meute, Europa,” which translates as “Myth, mob, Europe.”
Before I start that work, one of my most satisfying finds of the latest obsessive quest: Annie Besant’s sublime pamphlet: “Is the Bible Indictable?” (illustration).
Besant asks (in 1877, mind you!):
“Does the Bible come within the ruling of the Lord Chief Justice as to obscene literature? Most decidedly it does, and if prosecuted as an obscene book, it must necessarily be condemned, if the law is justly administered.”
Photo: Left: Achetez des Pommes ,(Buy Apples), anonymous nineteenth-century photograph, courtesy of Linda Nochlin. Right: Linda Nochlin, Achetez Bananes (Buy My Bananas). This juxtaposition proved that the implication “erotic” is “erotic-for-men.”