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25, 000 Years of Erotic Freedom Hardcover – 2 Oct 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (2 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081094846X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810948464
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 1.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Sexually progressive cultures gave us literature, philosophy, civilization and the rest, while sexually restrictive cultures gave us the Dark Ages and the Holocaust". (Alan Moore)" --Alan Moore

About the Author

Alan Moore lives in Northampton, England and is most famous for his influential work in comics, including the acclaimed comic books Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell. In 2006 Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie released Lost Girls, an illustrated series of erotic art exploring the possible sexual meanings in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He is presently at work on his new novel, Jerusalem.

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Frogstopper on 11 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
The book is a gorgeous item of the high quality you'd expect from a publisher of art books. The essay it contains is illustrated throughout with a colourfully diverse range of pics. From reproductions of Ancient Greek bowls and statues through renaissance engravings and oil paintings to modern photographic art and film stills.

The essay is a history of tasty art and facetiae (what I wouldn't give to get a look at his library) and its suppression or express-ability in various cultures, as well as being Mr Moore's thesis that free expression of pornographic arts acts as a safety valve which diminishes sex crime in those cultures that allow such. This, of course, is not simply whether or not pornography is merely legal in a society, but whether it is accepted in that society. Porn is legal in the UK & US but it is still frowned on, and is kept in the gutter by the hysterical, anile prudery of the tabloid mainstream media. (That boring circular argument that goes: it's kept in the gutter where it gets filthy - that filth means it is only fit for the gutter.) Mr Moore compares the UK & US with other countries such as Denmark, Spain and Holland, where pornography, as it was in Ancient Greece and Rome, is part of mainstream culture and is an unshocking, quotidian thing. (And in the case of Spain this is despite being a Catholic country. But a Catholic country wherein the people are grown-up enough to expect their priests to take (female, at least) mistresses and sire the odd backstairs sprog here and there.) This is why I echo Mr Moore's call for pornography to be not excluded from mainstream art in this country, but do not share his optimism in seeing this happen. You can lead a horse to water... The Anglo-Saxon horse just won't drink water that it thinks is dirty.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bow-tied Kangaroo on 30 Jun. 2010
Format: Hardcover
The product description above summarizes this work well. Moore's writing is accessible and at times humorous. The hardback cover is a thing of beauty, and the images within are deliciously arousing. I would recommend this to anyone, not just those with a passion for art and/or pornography. Oh, and let's have more reviews of erotica, please? Down with repression! The only shameful sexual activity (and depictions of it) is that which is abusive and non-consensual. Let's make that distinction clear by embracing and celebrating sexuality that is based on mutual consent.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sam Woodward TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This concise & beautifully presented tome contains Northampton's hairiest authors' musings upon pornography/erotic art throughout the ages, from the sculpting of the Venus Of Willendorf between 24,000 & 22,000 years ago to the present. He also addresses why pornography has historically been hailed as art when it is now perceived as something seedy to be concealed under the mattress.

Moore perceives a correlation between sexual liberation & socially enlightened societies, drawing upon examples such as the ancient Greeks, who were constantly surrounded by erotic friezes & statues of "Pan violating many of our current barnyard... and a really slutty nanny goat in the bargain." Conversely, he believes that Constantine's adaptation of Christianity led to the downfall of the Roman Empire & a cultural shift towards repression & sexual guilt which ushered in the Dark Ages. While early Christian churches also contained images of naked flesh to get punters on pews, the context was very different from that of ancient Greece, since "implicitly, it was acceptable to enjoy sexual imagery as long as you accepted also that such acts were sinful and felt suitably ashamed and guilty if you were in any way aroused by their depiction. This established the immediate link between the perusal of pornography and intense self-loathing or embarrassment, which sill exists today throughout most of the Western world."

This isn't an academic piece, so there's no referencing to reinforce Moore's musings, although of one particularly far-fetched Victorian practice, he impishly concedes that "yes, I know it sounds ridiculous, but I was told that by Malcolm McLaren, and if you can't trust Malcolm McLaren then whom can you trust?
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