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Going to any length: The manuscript of Marquis de Sade’s ‘The 120 Days of Sodom’ January 7, 2015 – Posted in: Banned / Censored / Destroyed, Content, Exhibits

  Part of the festivities celebrating the bicentenary of the death of Marquis de Sade is an exhibit at the L’ Institut des Lettres et Manuscrits in Paris featuring the original manuscript of The 120 Days of Sodom.  Regarded by Sade as his magnum opus, The 120 Days of Sodom also known as The School of Libertinism, was written by Sade in the space of thirty-seven days in 1785 while imprisoned. The production, construction and preservation of the…

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17th c. Scandal: 14 Yr Old Girl Falls for Baron, Writes Rare Tell-All April 1, 2010

The modern world’s embarrassing, cringe-worthy, candid memoir-as-novel that dumps upon an ex-lover/spouse is nothing new. In 1931, Jack Kahane, a writer of novels that nobody read, launched Obelisk Press. In a few years the imprint  would gain international notoriety for publishing Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. In the interim, it stayed afloat with  racy fluff such as Daffodil by Cecil Barr (Kahane’s pseudonym), one of the imprint’s best-selling titles. But before Kahane got Obelisk Press…

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Bambi’s Dark Secret March 9, 2010

Note that the book is featured in the movie’s poster,typical during Hollywood’s Golden Age. Walt Disney may turn in his grave or thaw and drop deader if and when he learns that Bambi, the book he adapted to create the animation classic, was written by a man who is solidly credited as being the anonymous author of a celebrated and notorious work of German erotica. In 1906, an erotic memoir was privately published. Purportedly written…

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The Sex Lives of Civil War Soldiers January 18, 2010

Johnny Reb and Billy Yank had a secret life, one that they and their families tried to hide from posterity and Ken Burns. They largely succeeded. Most men left no record of their sexual activities, or if they did, their survivors expurgated or expunged the record through destruction; the reality was a bit too seamy for pure sensibilities, legacies needed to be protected. Reports of wild times and venereal disease were not likely to be…

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Jonathan Littell Wins 2009 Bad Sex in Fiction Award December 1, 2009

U.S. writer Jonathan Littell has now added Literary Review‘s Bad Sex in Fiction award to the honors bestowed upon his 900-page novel, The Kindly Ones, an international best-seller and recent winner of the Goncourt prize, France’s highest honor to the author of “the best and most imaginative prose work of the year.” The winner was announced last night in London. The awards were established by the editors to “gently dissuade authors and publishers from including…

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