Sacred Eroticism: Georges Bataille And Pierre Klossowski in the Latin America Erotic Novel by Juan Carlos Ubilluz (The Bucknell Studies in Latin American Literature and Theory: Bucknell University Press) rather than a gross exaggeration or a rash generalization, it would be simply an understatement to say that a large part of Latin American erotic literature is deeply rooted in mysticism. One needs no more than a superficial glance at the region's fiction to apprehend that erotic mysticism is a literary tremor that inhabits its different aesthetic trends. This may be perceived either in the metaphysical neobaroque Jose Lezama Lima of Paradiso or the Spencerian primitivist Alejo Carpentier of Los pasos perdidos [The Lost Steps] (1953), in the surrealist-existentialist Julio Cortázar of Rayuela [Hopscotch] (1963) or in the neo-Parnassian Mario Vargas Llosa of Elogio de la madrastra [In Praise of the Stepmother] (1988), in the avant-garde neobaroque Severo Sarduy of Cobra (1972) or in the Musilian classicist Juan Garcia Ponce of La cabana [The Cabin] (1969), in the experimental Carlos Fuentes of Aura (1962) or the cold Kafkaesque detachment of Virgilio Piñera's La came de Rene [Rene's Flesh] (1952), and in the rupturist écriture feminine of Alejandra Pizarnic's La condesa sangrienta [The Bloody Countess] (1971) or in the surrealist Octavio Paz of Piedra del sol [Sunstone] (1957) As the reader proceeds to complete the list on his/her own, he/she will inevitably wonder: How can this be so? How can such different writers equally choose to imbue their erotic writing with mysticism? The answer to these questions may be found in their inversion. How can this not be so? How can the atheist or agnostic writers raised in the strong Catholic tradition of an incompletely modern continent not channel the remnants of their religious spirit toward erotic literature?
Let us elaborate a bit on these rhetorical questions. Building on Cassirer's insights, David Harvey observes that the project of modernity (as conceived in the Enlightenment era) was eminently a "secular movement" that "embraced the idea of progress" while actively seeking "the demystification and desacralization of knowledge and social organization in order to liberate human beings from their chains" (1990, 12). Whether one describes Latin America's modernity as imperfect, defective, incomplete, uneven, peripheral, or merely idiosyncratic, it is clearly the case it has not yet taken its secular aspirations as far as to demystify and desacralize the synchretic Catholicism that has variously shaped the region's social organization. Raised in a strong religious environment, the Latin American writer came to question at some point of his/her life the orthodoxy of his/her religious faith. It would be somewhat naive, however, to believe that the assumption of metaphysical doubt or unbelief could have simply extinguished the religious fervor that came with his/her strong Catholic socialization. In my view, this fervor pervaded his/her mature existence as an elated extra-rationalist manner of looking at the world—in short, as a symptom that clings to modernity's secularized rationalism. It is indeed hard, if not impossible, to detail the different infiltrations of this religious drive into the existence of different writers. To briefly advance a few bold examples, in the personal arena, this drive metamorphosed into a heightened devotion to romantic love and sexuality (or even to the brothel, in the case of male authors), and in the political arena, it evolved into a theological embrace of Marxism or the mystification of Che Guevara and Eva Perón. Coming now to the field of literature, it pushed the limits of literary realism toward the Mayan and Incan weltanschauungen of Miguel Angel Asturias and Jose Maria Arguedas, the marvelous American real ("lo real maravilloso americano") of Alejo Carpentier, and the magical realism ("realismo mágico") of Juan Rulfo and Gabriel Garcia Márquez. And remaining within literature so as to return finally to the object of our concern, this impulse toward the sacred found a discursive outlet in erotic fiction as a mystification of the sexual act and writing itself.
Now, unbeknownst to them, many Latin American authors echo Georges Bataille and Pierre Klossowski in their complex turning away from religious tradition. The former as an adolescent, the latter as an adult, Bataille and Klossowski entered the Catholic seminary only to eventually question their faith. Just like their Latin American counterparts, they did not turn their open defiance of church and God into an embrace of a rational modernity; instead, they transposed their religious spirit onto a vital, intellectual, and literary quest for an absent sacred. During the interwar period, for example, this quest materialized as an attempt to revive the sacred in modernity through the creation of Acéphale (a secret and ritualistic pagan society) and the foundation of the College de Sociologie (a community of knowledge dedicated to the study of past and present manifestations of the sacred). But more importantly for thefocus of this study, their rejection of Catholicism led them to search for the sacred in eroticism and to ultimately become perhaps the most important fiction writers and theorists of eroticism in interwar and postwar Europe.
Since Bataille and Klossowski share with many Latin American authors the double defiance of modernity and religious tradition along with the maintenance of a quasi-religious desire for an intimate relation to the world, it is not surprising that the erotic theories and novels of the former two have had a considerable impact on the erotic writing of so many among the latter. What calls our attention instead is that there is almost nothing written on the subject. Although few in number, there are some articles along with book chapters written on the influence of Bataille or Klossowski on a particular Latin American author. But regarding a comprehensive study of this intercontinental influence, there is only Graciela Gliemmo's insightful twelve-page article "La inscripción de una escritura: Georges Bataille en America Latina" [The inscription of a writing: Georges Bataille in Latin America] (1993). Why, one must ask, have critics in the English- and Spanish-speaking academia neglected this important chapter in the history of Latin American literature?
Perhaps the reason behind this major critical oversight may be found in Jorge Luis Borges's essay "El Pudor de la Historia" ["The Prudishness of History"]: "I have suspected that history, true history, is more prudish than what we may suspect and that its essential dates remain likewise secret for a long time. A Chinese prose writer has observed that the unicorn has gone unnoticed due to its anomalous quality. The eyes see what they are used to seeing" (1976b, 251). Transplanting Borges' s poignant observations from universal to literary history, I believe that there are three kinds of anomalies that have made this particular intercontinental dialogue invisible to critics. First is the anomalous quality of Bataille and Klossowski' s writing. Oscillating between modernity and postmodernity, socialism and anarchism, religion and atheism, the elusive quality of their writing—or to use the famous French term ecriture--unwittingly achieved the relative inaccessibility that Jacques Lacan consciously struggled to achieve in his Ecrits and Seminars through his linguistic puns, shifting terminology, and, at times, erratic exposition. The second is the anomalous inscription of this French writing in Latin America. To be more precise, the disuniform adoption these sacred erotic models by such different types of Latin American writers rendered its analysis problematic, to say the least. Finally, the morally disturbing sexual themes have prevented the shrewd but prudish critic from pointing out their appearance in an emerging Latin American literature more in need of dignified recognition than scandalous associations. In the spirit of Borges's essay, I intend to go beyond the critic's blindness and prudishness to uncover this anomalous and, thereby, hitherto invisible history of literary intercourse.
The purpose of this study is to analyze in detail how the novelists Julio Cortázar, Salvador Elizondo, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Juan Garcia Ponce have adopted and subverted the sacred erotic models of Bataille and Klossowski. Yet, this is only one of the episodes in the history of a larger intercontinental literary intercourse. So as to aid the reader to situate it in literary history, I offer in the introduc- I tion a broad overview of the impact of Bataille and Klossowski on Latin American writers through the different aesthetic and philosophical contexts from the 1930s until the early 1990s (i.e.. surrealism, primitivism, the nouveau roman, and poststructuralism). With regard to Bataille, for example, I show three important points of contact between his work and the Latin American novel. The first of these has remained unnoticed by literary critics until this date: Georges Bataille's ethnographic mentorship of Alejo Carpentier in the surrealist context of Paris around the years 1929-30. The second (which is properly the object of my study) consists in the 1950s and 1960s adoption of Bataille's sacrificial eroticism by Cortázar, Vargas Llosa, Garcia Ponce, and Elizondo. As we shall see, these authors' erotic writing is inextricably entwined with Bataille's identification of man and woman in eroticism with the victimizer and the victim in the Leng T'ch'é (the Chinese torture-execution in which the victim is dismembered in a hundred pieces). The third takes place at the turn of the sixties with Severo Sarduy's launching of his baroque poetics within the lines of Tel quel's poststructuralist reading of Bataille's transgression. With regard to Klossowski, his influence on Latin American literature is of a lesser extent than that of Bataille. Nonetheless, it is much more evident and direct than the latter insofar as Vargas Llosa, Garcia Ponce, and Alan Pauls basically rewrite Klossowski's simulacrum of the laws of hospitality: i.e., the voyeuristic ritual in which a husband sexually grants his wife to a fortuitous guest in order to see/experience the theophanic irruption of Life in her body.
Chapter 1 provides a thorough summary of Bataille and Klossowski's theories on eroticism while comparing them to Jacques Lacan's psychoanalysis. In addition, it outlines Bataille and Klossowski's different aesthetic attempts to express the meaningless radiance of the sacred through the meaningful medium of language.
Although both resort to images of women in transgression to disrupt the logical chain of discourse, their writings differ in that the former employs a rupturist prose that disrupts the linear flow of the narrative while the latter erects a neoclassical prose that parodies its own representation of the Dionysian void. The use of Lacanian psychoanalysis in my work serves a double purpose: it operates as common denominator to Bataille and Klossowski while offering a more actual and hence recognizable point of reference to the contemporary reader. Even though Lacan's terms are the ultimate analytical frame, those of Bataille and Klossowski are kept in the text so as to displace the limits of the psychoanalytic discipline. In other words, these writers' theories operate in this study as the push of negativity that prevents the psychoanalytic "prudence" of Dr. Lacan from normalizing our interpretation of the transgressive themes in the Latin American erotic novel.
Throughout the ensuing chapters, this analytical frame, along with the intertextual references to Bataille and Klossowski's erotic models, will allow us to address some key critical issues that have puzzled critics of Latin American literature for decades. Chapter 2 discusses Cortázar's ambivalent surrealist search for alterity in his poetics and Rayuela. As shall be seen, the Argentine writer engages in an unresolved intertextual dialogue with Bataille' s radically transgressive and Andre Breton's more restrained formulations of man and the sacred. The close reading of Rayuela through this intertextual grid shall be useful in answering questions such as: Who is the silent character Wong and what is his philosophical position in the novel? What is the importance of the photograph of the Leng Tch'é for Oliveira's mystic journey toward a supra-individual experience? Who is la Maga: is she modeled after Breton's Nadja or Bataille's Madame Edwarda? Who is the "real" author on whom is modeled the fictional Morelli—is it possible that the latter is Georges Bataille? And what do the Expendable Chapters ("Capitulos prescindibles") and the Table of Instructions ("Tablero de Instrucciones") reveal about the novel's deconstructionist and mystic architexture?
Chapter 3 focuses on another monumental novelistic experiment in Latin American literature: Salvador Elizondo's Farabeuf (1965). This chapter is of vital importance to the Anglo-American academia since it has virtually neglected the study of what is perhaps the best novel of the avant-garde movement known as the nouveau roman. Here I thoroughly explore three key aspects of Farabeuf. First, its oscillation between Bataille and Sade's respective weltanschauungen. Stated otherwise, the ambivalent conception of eroticism as a ritualistic torture (the Leng Tch'é) in which the victimizer/man identifies with the victim/woman so as to experience the loss of individuality in the sacred, and as an act of modern surgery in which an active man/libertine/surgeon remains in a position of mastery as a passive woman/victim/patient pays alone the price of transgression. Second, I will explore the osmotic relation between Bataille' s theories and the Taoism in the Chinese book of divination known as the I Ching. This intertextual analysis will show that the link between Farabeuf and the I Ching—unlike what certain critics have suggested—is not merely a cosmetic one. Finally, I will discuss the novel's problematic adoption of Alain Robbe-Grillet's nouveau roman. As we shall see, Elizondo adheres to Robbe-Grillet's subversion of reified novelistic forms but not to his desire to transcend a tragic and/or mystic (read Bataillean) conception of man and existence.
Chapter 4 explores Mario Vargas Llosa' s containment of Bataille's writing in Elogio de la madrastra (1988). Built along the axis of the sacred and the profane, this novel seems to replicate the Bataillean model of eroticism as torture (the Leng Tch'é). However, Vargas Llosa does not go as far as Bataille in matters of philosophical or aesthetic transgressions. Rather than a virulently transgressive novel in which man as narrator and protagonist emulates' woman's experiences of loss, Elogio could be described as a docile' neo-Parnassian text akin to Latin American "modernismo." In, short, Vargas Llosa's novel exhibits both an Arcadian eroticism (i.e., sex as a blissful fusion) and a fetishist formalism. Also, commenting on the latent (disavowed) laws of hospitality in the text, this short chapter facilitates the transition from the Bataillean to the Klossowskian Latin American fiction.
Chapter 5 describes almost the entirety of Juan Garcia Ponce's narrative, concentrating in particular on his entrance to the impersonal space of literature through the works of Robert Musil and Pierre Klossowski. As will become evident, his transition from one author to the other is not fortuitous but obeys the tripartite structu
of his phantasm. To be more precise, Garcia Ponce is the intertextual voyeur who rewrites the erotic trios in Musil's "The Perfecting of a Love" and Klossowski's Les lois de l'hospitalité [The Laws o Hospitality] (1965). A large part of the chapter's discussion follows the progressive unfolding of Klossowski's laws of hospitality in Garcia Ponce's short stories and novels of the seventies and eighties and takes a detained look at the simulacrum's apotheosis in De anima [De Anima]. The death of the protagonist-writer in this novel may be understood as a metafictional mise en scene of Garcia Ponce's death as an ex-nihilo Author through his close intertextual relation to Klossowski and Musil.
The last chapter is mainly about how Vargas Llosa's Los cuadernos de don Rigoberto [The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto] (1997) holds an intertextual relation with the poethics of Klossowski and the expressionist painter Egon Schiele. Through an analysis of the narrative ruses that the Peruvian author employs to subdue the troubling Dionysian presence in the novel of Klossowski's laws of hospitality and Schiele' s "grotesque" erotic drawings, I come to answer three important questions: Is Vargas Llosa a postmodernist author who questions the existence of the unified subject and the frontier between art and reality? How does he reconcile his well-known support of the global, colonizing advance of Capital with Klossowski and Bataille's critique of the objectification of man in modern capitalism? Are Elogio and Los cuadernos two erotic amusements amid Vargas Llosa's "serious" political novels or the cornerstone of his neoliberal project?
Given the inevitable thematic plurality in these chapters, the conclusion establishes the general trends of the Latin American authors' adoption/subversion of the Bataillean and Klossowskian philosophical themes and narrative techniques: i.e., eroticism as the Leng Tch'é, man as the weak sex in transgression, woman as the perverse overman, the refractive interplay between the image and writing, and the conception of writing as the gateway to limit-experiences. In addition, the conclusion delineates the phantasm that reifies sexual difference in the Latin American novel. That is to say, it outlines the fantasmatic formation that enables these male New World narrators to contain the subversive irruption of woman's difference in their rather erotic themes as well as their formal expression. Furthermore, it attempts to specify how Latin American novelists remain true to Bataille and Klossowski's atheist mystic cosmovision while adhering at the formal level to secular anti-representative narrative trends such as Robbe-Grillet's new novel [nouveau roman] and Roland Barthes's playful avant-garde poetics. The conclusion, finally, brings to the fore a theme that remained in the background until chapter 6: the different political cosmovisions outlined in these erotic novels. As we shall see, for Cortázar, Elizondo, Garcia Ponce, and Vargas Llosa—as for Sade, Bataille, and Klossowski—the erotic novel is inherently political; political in the larger, Nietzschean sense of the word, that is, in the sense of addressing the question: what ought humankind to become?
The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, Vol. 2 edited by Maxim
(Carroll & Graf) Launched last year with a
provocative volume that sold more than 30,000 copies worldwide in less than six
months, editor Jakubowski's annual series,
The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, continues with its all-new, totally
absorbing and scintillating 2002 edition.
Out of thousands of possibilities, Jakubowski has chosen the year's best 45
erotic stories by new and established talents in the field – among them Poppy Z.
Brite, M. Christian, Neil Gaiman, Susannah Indigo, Emma Kaufman, Marilyn Jaye
Lewis, Kathryn Ptacek, Lawrence Schimel, Hubert Selby, Jr., Simon Shepperd, and
Matt Thorne. Representing erotic writing from six`continents and thus providing
sexy and sexual adventures of a global scope, the stories in the
The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica
share a standard of excellence and elegance in their explorations of desire,
lust, carnality, and passion that are guaranteed to tease and please even the
most knowledgeable readers.
So be enticed by Andrew L. Wilson's "The Afternoon of a Venetian Chambermaid" or
what unfolds in "The Back of the Store" by Nola Summer, or Cara Bruce's pursuit
of "The Perfect O" or the extravagances Ian Philips`imagines for "The Devil and
The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica is a fantastic collection of intriguing
and offbeat tales, with very few holds barred.
Literary adaptations occupy a privileged position in the work of Guido Crepax, an artist who plunders classics of erotic fiction to bring us masterful visual explorations of sexual submission. Justine and the Story of O and Emmanuelle, Bianca and Venus in Furs illustrated by Guido Crepax, introduction by Gunter Krenn ( TASCHEN America) is the definitive collection of Guido Crepax's erotic comics. The Marquis de Sade's celebrated Justine and Pauline Reage's The Story of O are packaged together in one erotically charged book of provocative, graphic narratives. Crepax's elegant black and white drawings bring to life the vivid imagery of two classics of 'forbidden' literature, capturing every nuance of innocence lost and humiliations endured by young girls at the hands of cruel and depraved men. The inventive page layouts and the expressive line work are beautifully reproduced on high quality paper.
Emmanuel a mod adventure is set in Thailand, was one of the first high quality blockbuster erotic films, adapted for the screen in 1973 and starring Syvlie Kristel. Guido Crepax's version is notable for its purely sensual mood and lush, exotic details. Bianca, Crepax's own creation, is a psychedelic tale in four parts, and Venus in Furs is his adaptation of Alexander Sacher‑Masoch's notorious study of sexual pain and discipline. These are a very nice improvement over the paperback editions
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Guido Crepax was born in Milan in 1933. In the mid‑1960s, while engaged as an advertising artist, Crepax turned his drawing talents to a genre that had fascinating him since childhood ‑ the comic strip. In addition to the erotic classics gathered in these two volumes. Guido Crepax has adapted literary masterpieces including Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the Tales of Edgar Allen Poe.
Peepshow: 1950s Pin-Ups in 3-D by Charles Melcher Media, Introduction by Bunny Yeager (St. Martin’s Press) introduces us to 3-D 50s pin up glamour photography. The glasses are part of the book and easily show the images to good effect by magnification. Peepshow is a book like no other, evoking a glorious American passtime when the country was brimming with unforgettable 3-D pin-up photos in brilliant color, and designed to slip neatly into your back pocket, it is a titllating way to sneak an illicit peek. With built into the front cover for easy viewing, Peepshow brings these unforgettable images to 3‑D life, creating the illusion that you are actually standing within reach of each model. Peepshow is fun and nostalgic and all at once, a truly interactive experience that will keep you turning the pages for more.
In 1959, Professional Photographers of America named Bunny Yeager of the Top Ten Women in U.S. Photography" A renowned model in her own right and the author of 24 books, she is perhaps best known for her work as a glamour photographer. Her collaboration with legendary beauty Bettie Page resulted in some of the finest and most memorable pin-up photos ever taken. She lives in Miami, where she continues to produce her highly coveted and collectible images.
Excerpt: Many of the amateur photographers with whom I came into contact during the early days of my career shot 3-D color images. Most of them were members of camera clubs, and they would typically hire a model for a day and take turns photographing her in different poses and locations. While the medium was not a lucrative one (images such as these were sold as sets of slides and advertised in the pages of popular men's magazines of the time), the photos themselves have always fascinated me. I especially appreciate the way in which they reveal a photographer's meticulous attention to detail, color, and composition. And it is always fun to spot the ploys used to hide certain body parts-a tuft of grass here, a straw hat there-since it was illegal to publish images of a woman's pubic hair or genitals at the time.
My favorite photographs in this collection juxtapose foreground and background elements to achieve maximum 3‑D effect, while at the same time capturing the innocence and allure of their subjects. The picture of the two women seated reading magazines immediately jumped out at me (page 93). The placement of the models, their flattering poses, and the magazines and furniture lend a charming period quality that captures perfectly the feeling of that era.While I enjoy photographing models indoors and playing with different props, as the 3-D photographers obviously did, I prefer to take advantage of outdoor backgrounds and natural lighting as much as possible. And so I find the exterior shots in these pages especially appealing. In one we find a young woman with short hair perched on a bluff overlooking the ocean (page 39). The eye travels easily from the model, to the greenery behind her, and off into the distance. In another of my favorite images, a model poses on a rock, basking in the sun with her head tossed back (page 45).A tree in the foreground accentuates the 3-D effect. It's an exquisite photograph of a gorgeous model posed to perfection.
EROTICA UNIVERSALIS I and EROTICA UNIVERSALIS II by art historian Gilles Neret offers a visual survey of centuries of erotic illustration. Each volume is a museum of sexual explicit images as conceived by some of the best known and otherwise unknown illustrators of viewable penetration. The first volume of EROTICA UNIVERSALIS I gathered together a wonderfully in-depth selection of the erotica that has thrived in a parallel art world. It starts with ancient Greek and Roman, but is mostly devoted to painting and drawing of the last few centuries. There are about 750 images. Each illustration is given a full page and many are accompanied by a brief but revealing summary of the original text.
Now the companion volume, EROTICA UNIVERSALIS II, documents the rich history of erotic art created as book illustration. Tucked away in every important national library and countless private libraries are the restricted or banned books to which the public has limited access. Gilles Neret has assembled a remarkable collection of artwork created by artists like Rembrandt, Boucher, Fragonard, Dali, Picasso and Matisse to accompany the writings of such literary giants as Ovid, Voltaire, Verlaine, and de Maupassant. Equally compelling are the astonishing contributions of lesser-known but prodigiously talented artists expressing the arousing variety of human sexual expression.
EROTICA UNIVERSALIS II is 700 pages of boundless sexual invention - a banquet for the imagination and a feast for the eye. A must for erotica aficionados everywhere.
Blaise Pascal called the human being "half-angel, half-beast"... The
mighty creator, by whatever name he is known, played a fine trick on his created
beings when he equipped men and women with a single organ to perform two
functions: making water and making love.
The descendants of Adam and Eve have found it hard to ignore the creator's little joke and some have never managed it, hence the censorship, interdicts and taboos. The authorities have exploited this situation in the past, having found that censorship can be a very simple and effective political weapon. In the Middle Ages and in the 16th century, the censors responsible for granting licenses to print would only reject a text or illustrations if they felt that these might undermine the monarchy or the Church. They were not particularly worried if a story-teller or illustrator focused on Perette's buttocks and "jewel", or showed a passionate widow indulging in a harmless `pastime' to satisfy her needs.
Contrary to common belief, de Sade did not finish his life behind bars because of his new Justine or the story of Juliette, but because his family, keen to prevent him from squandering their fortune, had requested that he should be imprisoned. It was to curry favor with a press avid for respectability, a press which demanded that Oscar Wilde's works and Beardsley's illustrations of them be declared illegal, that Victorian England sent the writer to prison. It was to pacify the clergy, for the most part Legitimist, that the French Second Empire brought masterpieces like Flaubert's Madame Bovary and Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal before the court, as if they were obscene publications. As the voice of their times, creative artists, writers or illustrators have always defied censorship and depicted sex as a natural pursuit. Michelangelo who strewed the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican with penises and naked young men, his lovers, explained that he had done so "because they had been created by the hand of God".
Modern censorship has lost its bite and its relevance and we can only rejoice that the race of inquisitors who used to ram red-hot irons into their prisoners' anuses and genitals has died out. There is little point, in fact, in hounding writers or artists for offending public morals, when the public, on the whole, is not offended by the works offered up by these writers and artists. Penthouse, the best-selling porn magazine in the United States, is celebrating its 30th anniversary by organizing "Miss Piss off America". To promote this nationwide competition, the magazine has reprinted some famous illustrations of women urinating, published in Volume I of EROTICA UNIVERSALIS I, and has adopted a peremptory slogan to back it up: "If Rembrandt and Picasso could do it before us, we can do it too"
"A man, when he's burning up with passion, wants to see things; he wants to see everything, even how they make water,' wrote Henry Miller in his Tropic of Cancer, banned for many years in the USA. We have unlocked the doors to the library departments storing forbidden literary, psychological and philosophical masterpieces, as well as case histories dealing with sociological phenomena such as period fetishism, fashion and myth. As Oscar Wilde wisely pointed out, one man's pornography is another man's erotica. Everyone should be allowed to decide what they like or dislike in their own fashion; in other words, they have the right to read and to look. Success is the only true verdict on a publication. The locked rooms of libraries are actually filled to overflowing with moral works denouncing the hypocrisy and depravity of successive societies. Their only fault is to expose these vices and disobey the sacrosanct rule of propriety: "Nothing is taboo so long as we obey the rules of etiquette and keep up appearances. What is important is that it should remain hidden." We can no longer go on ignoring an important field of literature and art which has continually been silenced by taboos and prejudice.
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