Read e-book online Bad Books: Rétif de la Bretonne, Sexuality, and Pornography PDF

By Amy S. Wyngaard

Bad Books reconstructs how the eighteenth-century French writer Nicolas-Edme Rétif de l. a. Bretonne and his writings have been on the vanguard of the advance of contemporary conceptions of sexuality and pornography. even if convinced info are popular (for instance, that Rétif’s 1769 treatise on prostitution, Le Pornographe, is the paintings from which the time period pornography is derived, or that he was once an avid foot and shoe fetishist), a lot of this tale has been obscured or even forgotten together with how the writer actively labored to outline the class of obscenity and the fashionable pornographic style, and the way he coined the psycho-sexual time period “fetish” and performed a imperative position within the formation of theories of sexual fetishism within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries. hence this ebook can also be approximately literary historical past and the way it truly is written: it explores how Rétif, perceived as a foul writer in either senses of the time period, and his contributions have been glossed over or condemned, such that the originality of his texts has nonetheless no longer been totally established.

Placing Rétif’s novels and brief tales in discussion along with his autobiographical writings in addition to with modern and smooth serious commentaries, some of the chapters of the ebook study the author’s repeated trying out of the bounds of censorship to outline and redefine the limits of obscenity; his development of the trendy shape and definition of pornography via a spotlight on intimacy and (female) excitement; his special narrative explorations of foot and shoe fetishisms that have been later appropriated by means of the sexologists; and his improvement of theories of eugenics and replica in his utopian technology fiction.

The historical past of Rétif’s texts and their reception unearths an evolution within the standards of what's thought of to be “good” or “worthy” literature—a type as soon as outlined simply on ethical grounds that's more and more visible in cultural phrases. Bad Books corroborates the hot resurgence of curiosity within the writer via exhibiting the import of his texts, which not just designate a couple of firsts within the histories of sexuality and pornography, yet which additionally light up a few of the defining moments within the heritage of French literary reviews.

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Bad Books: Rétif de la Bretonne, Sexuality, and Pornography by Amy S. Wyngaard


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