book cover of Pornography and So on

Pornography and So on

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In 1929, in the Criterion Miscellany, Viscount Brentford and D. H. Lawrence engaged in public debate on the question of censorship. Lord Brentford’s pamphlet appeared under the title of Do We Need a Censor?; D. H. Lawrence’s pamphlet was called Pornography and Obscenity, and he later continued his discussion of current conceptions of what is clean and what is dirty, and the problem of censorship in art and literature, in a further pamphlet called Nettles.

Pornography and Obscenity was written in the autumn of 1929 at Rottach-am-Tegernsee, where Lawrence was the guest of Max Mohr. It was written as protest and rejoinder against the police raid in 1929 which seized 25 pictures on show, 4 books of reproductions, and Grosz, Ecce Homo, and even a volume of pictures by William Blake. Lawrence wrote to the Curtis Brown office in September that he was surprised Faber would risk the obscenity article, but he agreed to a suggestion that the name of Glasworthy and Barrie be omitted from the published version. The reference was to their novels being more pornographic than Boccaccio, who was wholesome. The publishers asked both Lawrence and Lord Brentford, Home Secretary at the time and prime mover in the action against Pansies and Lady Chatterley, to write essays giving their respective viewpoints on the question of censorship. Lawrence was apparently quite elated when his pamphlet sold better than that of his rival.

The present volume consists of these two pamphlets, together with the kindred introduction which Lawrence wrote for the Introduction to his Paintings.

It is the interesting and entertaining work on pornography and obscenity by the author of Lady Chatterly's Lover, a book which was banned and censored into the 1960s. It has been said that, "When Lawrence got going, he almost always went too far, but hitting a nerve of truth on the way." This work discusses the problems of censorship in art and literature by one who knew firsthand, and shows the genius of Lawrence at his best: it begins with his quick start, and his surprise description, "What is pornography to one man is the laughter of genius to another. He also asserts that "Without secrecy there would be no pornography. But if pornography is the result of sneaking secrecy, what is the result of pornography? What is the effect on the individual?" It's quite a ride, though, as Lawrence's work usually is.

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Paperback Editions

December 2001 : USA Paperback

Title: Pornography and So on
Author(s): D H Lawrence
ISBN: 1-58963-623-6 / 978-1-58963-623-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Fredonia Books (NL)
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