Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Review of "Love & Death: A Study in Censorship," by G. Legman

 Review of

Love & Death: A Study in Censorship, by G. Legman

Four out of five stars

 While correct, the repetition becomes tedious

 Written in 1963, the comments regarding the absurd nature of censorship at the time are accurate. While it was perfectly acceptable to depict murders, torture and other severe damage to human bodies, anything resembling the bare human form was unacceptable in all but the most restrictive of publications. There could be no reference of any kind to sexual activity, even the mildest of sexual innuendo was forbidden.

 The absurd nature of this system is stated and ridiculed over and over in this book. Any mention of the act of creating new human life is disallowed while all manner of ways in which a human can be damaged or killed is the means to a bestseller. The problem is that this statement is repeatedly made to the point that the reader becomes bored with it. Even the best of positions can be overdone.

 This book is one of many mentions in the literature of how absurd the censorship rules were before the walls came down with an incredible swiftness in the late sixties and early seventies. With the arrival of explicit sex came even more bloody depictions of violence against humans, some of them depict both. It was a good book for its time, now it is of value only for the historical context it provides.

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