Censorship and the Limits of the Literary A Global View

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-08-27
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
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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?

Author Biography

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).

Table of Contents

Introduction – Nicole Moore

1. Censorship and Self-Censorship: Dissenting women writers, royal lives and the Queen Caroline Affair
Mary Spongberg (University of Technology, Australia)
2. ‘Son of George, we beseech thee’: Blasphemous Rejoice and the trials of William Hone.
Clara Tuite (University of Melbourne, Australia)
3. The Chastity of the Records: The paradox of censorship in nineteenth-century Anglo-American obscenity prosecutions
Karen Crawley (Griffith University, Australia)

4. The Sexual Life of Robinson Crusoe in Australia: Obscenity, empire, modernity
Nicole Moore (University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia)
5. Controlling People and Controlling Ideas: Libel, surveillance, banishment and Indigenous literary expression in the Dutch East Indies, 1900-1942
Paul Tickell (University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia)
6. ‘Adaptées aux milieux canadiens-français et catholiques’: Teaching librarians to be censors at l’École de bibliothécaires de l’Université de Montréal, 1937-1961
Geoffrey Little (Concordia University, Montreal)

7. ‘Follow me, my reader, and only me!’ Censorship, autonomous art and morality in Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita
Ilona McCarter (Deakin University, Australia)
8. Curating the Enemy: British and Australian short stories in the German Democratic Republic
Christina Spittel (University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia)
9. The Critic as Censor: The role of literary critics in South African Apartheid controls
Peter McDonald (St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford, UK)

10. Censorship, Demotic Reading and American Pulp
Paula Rabinowitz (University of Minnesota, USA)
11. ‘With Your Own Face On’: The rise of uncensored confessions
Tyne Daile Sumner (University of Melbourne, Australia)
12. Out of the Shadows: The emergence of overt gay narratives in Australia, 1970-2010
Jeremy Fisher (University of New England, USA)

13. Censorship and the Rise of Iranian Women’s Memoir
Sanaz Fotouhi (University of New South Wales, Australia)
14. Egypt’s ‘Facebook Revolution’: Arab diaspora literature and censorship in the homeland
Jumana Bayeh (University of Edinburgh, UK)
15. Censorship and Value: Novel pathways in internet-age China
Lynda Ng (University of Oxford, UK)


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