Though literature and censorship have been conceived as long-time adversaries, this collection seeks to understand the degree to which they have been dialectical terms, each producing the other, coeval and mutually constitutive.
On the one hand, literary censorship has been posited as not only inescapable but definitive, even foundational to speech itself. One the other, especially after the opening of the USSR's spekstrahn, those enormous collections of literature forbidden under the Soviets, the push to redefine censorship expansively has encountered cogent criticism. Scholars describing the centralised control of East German print publication, for example, have wanted to insist on the difference of pre-publication state censorship from more mundane forms of speech regulation in democracies. Work on South African apartheid censorship and book banning in colonial countries also demonstrates censorship's formative role in the institutional structures of literature beyond the metropole. Censorship and the Limits of the Literary examines these and other developments across twelve countries, from the Enlightenment to the present day, offering case studies from the French revolution to Internet China. Is literature ever without censorship? Does censorship need the literary? In a globalizing era for culture, does censorship represent the final, failed version of national control?
Nicole Moore (Associate Professor University of New South Wales Canberra Australia)
Bloomsbury Academic USA
Country of Publication:
23 February 2017
List of Illustrations Introduction I 1. French Censorship on the Eve of the Revolution Simon Burrows, University of Western Sydney, Australia 2. Not Guilty: Negative Capability and the Trials of William Hone Clara Tuite, University of Melbourne, Australia 3. The Gender of Censorship: John Wilson Croker, Mary Hays and the Aftermath of the Queen Caroline Affair Mary Spongberg, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia 4. `The Chastity of our Records': Reading and Judging Obscenity in Nineteenth-Century Courts Karen Crawley, Griffith University, Australia II 5. Controlling Ideas and Controlling People: Libel, Surveillance, Banishment and Indigenous Literary Expression in the Dutch East Indies Paul Tickell, University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia 6. Teaching Librarians to be Censors: Library Education for Francophones in Quebec, 1937-1961 Geoffrey Little, Concordia University, Canada 7. Surrealism to Pulp: The Limits of the Literary and Australian Customs Nicole Moore, University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia 8. `That Monstrous Thing': The Critic as Censor in Apartheid South Africa Peter D. McDonald, St Hugh's College, University of Oxford, UK III 9. Diabolical Evasion of the Censor in Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita Ilona Urquhart, Deakin University, Australia 10. Reading the Enemy: East German Censorship across the Wall Christina Spittel, University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia 11. Wild Spiders Crying Together: Confessional Poetry, Censorship and the Cold War Tyne Daile Sumner, University of Melbourne, Australia 12. Freedom to Read: Barney Rosset, Henry Miller, and the End of Obscenity Loren Glass, University of Iowa, USA IV 13. Out of the Shadows: The Emergence of Overt Gay Narratives in Australia Jeremy Fisher, University of New England, USA 14. Silenced Lives: Censorship and the Rise of Diasporic Iranian Women's Memoirs in English Sanaz Fotouhi, University of New South Wales, Australia 15. Egypt's Facebook Revolution: Arab Diaspora Literature and Censorship in the Homeland Jumana Bayeh, University of Edinburgh, UK 16. China's Elusive Truths: Censorship, Value and Literature in the Internet age Lynda Ng, University of Oxford, UK List of Contributors Index
Nicole Moore is Associate Professor in English at the University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia. She is the author of The Censor's Library: Uncovering the Lost History of Australia's Banned Books, which was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Australian History Prize 2013, and co-editor of The Literature of Australia (2009).
Reviews for Censorship and the Limits of the Literary: A Global View
[A] remarkable collection ... The strength of this book lies in its range of research, with twelve nation states across four centuries being explored ... An important contribution to the scholarship, providing a wealth of original and engaging research. Times Literary Supplement Nicole Moore, an expert on censorship, has put together a remarkable collection of erudite and thoroughly researched case studies that bust open prevailing ideas about the history of censorship since the Enlightenment. Tracking the course of subversive writing-from pamphleteering to jumping the Great Firewall-these essays survey four centuries of state efforts to squelch literary expression in Europe, America, Asia and Australia. From the ancien regime to the Arab Spring, collectively the authors survey twelve national stages to argue that the dance of literature and censorship presents a complex performance that at once sequesters and encourages suspicious relations between the state and its discontents. Whether overt or soft and self-imposed, censorship imbricates the law and art, casting itself as crucial to the invention of literature as a concept. Censorship exceeds the usual suspects: prigs, prudes, priests, police. It's very elusiveness a sign of its debt to literary thinking. Paula Rabinowitz, Professor of English, University of Minnesota, USA, and author of American Pulp: How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street (2014) This stimulating collection explores the ways literature and censorship can be mutually constitutive, rather than straightforwardly opposing forces. Contributors examine the dialectic of literature and censorship in contexts ranging from ancient regime France to apartheid South Africa, from the Dutch East Indies to East Germany, from Regency England to contemporary Egypt. Nicole Moore's excellent introduction synthesizes the insights of recent work in the field and marks out future possibilities. Christopher Hilliard, Professor of History, The University of Sydney, Australia