Sex Literature and Censorship: Essays

Sex Literature and Censorship: Essays

Sex Literature and Censorship: Essays

Sex Literature and Censorship: Essays

Excerpt

Our civilization cannot afford to let the censor-moron loose. The censor-moron does not really hate anything but the living and growing Iconsciousness. It is our developing and extending consciousness that he threatens -- and our consciousness in its newest, most sensitive activity, its vital growth. To arrest or circumscribe the vital consciousness is to produce morons, and nothing but a moron would do it.

D. H. LAWRENCE WROTE THIS TO MORRIS ERNST IN AN ACKNOWLEDGment of Ernst book, to The Pure. That was in 1928, the year in which Lawrence began to bombard English-speaking countries with the Florentine edition of his Lady Chatterley's Lover. Within five years, Horace Gregory could say, in his Pilgrim of the Apocalypse, that Lady Chatterley's Lover had won "the half. century fight for sexual liberation in English writing," and Norman Douglas could remark, in his autobiographical Looking Back, that Lawrence's "beneficent, taboo-shattering bomb" had "opened a little window for the bourgeoisie." Yet, a quarter of a century after Lady Chatterley, no one can buy the complete text of this novel in Anglo-Saxon countries except through the black market. Meanwhile, it is ironic that Ulysses, which Lawrence considered an unclean book, has flourished these twenty years with legal blessing. Molly Bloom, turning drowsily in bed, can publicly rake her unpunctuative consciousness for the longest, most . . .

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