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The Secret Museum: Pornography in Modern Culture [Paperback]

Walter Kendrick

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Price: 20.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

20 Feb 1997
Walter Kendrick traces the relatively recent concept of pornography--the word was not coined until the late 18th century--which became a public issue once the printing press gave ordinary people access to the erotica of the Greeks and Romans, the art and literature of the French enlightenment, and the poems of the Earl of Rochester and John Cleland's Fanny Hill. From the secret museums to the pornography trials of Madame Bovary and Lady Chatterly's Lover, to Mapplethorpe, cable TV, and the Internet, Kendrick explores how conceptions of pornography relate to issues of freedom of expression and censorship.

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"An engaging, readable, and deeply perceptive analysis that details the evolution of the "idea of pornography and its attendant and ever-changing sensibilities over the last two centuries. [It] patiently attempts to supply a cultural context for not only pornography but also the role that sexuality and imagination themselves play in our lives."--Michael Bronski, "Boston Phoenix

About the Author

Walter Kendrick is Professor of English at Fordham University and author of The Thrill of Fear: 250 Years of Scary Entertainment (1991) among other titles.

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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Porn has a history. 23 Aug 2011
By Jeffery Mingo - Published on Amazon.com
I read this more than 15 years ago for an undergraduate class at Brown University. (I actually dropped the class 'cuz I was too lazy to write the final paper and I thought the prof rhymed with witch.) In the same way that "Epistemology of the Closet" starts with an interesting anecdote or premise, this author asks, "What do we do when we uncover household objects from Pompeii that show beastiality or backdoor sex and other things that would shock us?" There's a great documentary on DVD about porn that defines the medium as "work of a sexual nature that a segment of the population are not allowed to see." That sure beats Meese's definition. This book asks who gets to see these old artefacts and what does the "censoring" of the material say about our culture. Okay, I'm a bit foggy on the details, but I remember this being a solid text. I recall just enough that I can faithfully say that folk should feel free to read it.
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