The Pearl and other books of... questionable quality

Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
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ChuckW
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Post by ChuckW » June 16th, 2012, 6:23 pm

Earlier this month, someone mentioned in passing the possibility of starting up an audiobook of The Pearl, a journal of Victorian erotica that was recently anthologized.

http://www.saxon-web.co.uk/lit/htm/pearl/pearl.htm

In the spirit of following up the notorious Fanny Hill, I thought I'd second that motion and follow it up with a couple of other Victorian smut recommendations: The Romance of Lust and The Autobiography of a Flea. Both of these would be... ahem... engrossing projects? If anything, they're lewd, crude, and daffily insane--and, of course, they're also compulsively readable. I dunno. I worry that I'm about to open up a veritable Pandora's box here (or rather an unpleasant debate about what we can and can't record), so I'd better keep this relatively brief.

The Romance of Lust (Wiki) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Romance_of_Lust
The Book - http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/30254

The Autobiography of Flea (Wiki) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Autobiography_of_a_Flea
The Book - http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Autobiography_of_a_Flea
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annise
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Post by annise » June 16th, 2012, 7:37 pm

I don't think the problem is the questionable quality , we have many recordings of books which few would call high quality. :D . We d have some books which may offend some readers or be something they would be uncomfortable to be involved with but we do not censor them.
We do ask that erotica is labelled so that people who don't want to visit needn't but apart from that if you want to read them , go for it.

Anne

J_N
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Post by J_N » June 25th, 2012, 11:59 pm

sounds fun :mrgreen:
I'd help read (could also BC if needed) Image

PS: Are there any laws against written child pornography? I think in "The Romance of Lust" there are characters not even close to the age of consent... oh and if this is done, there should probably also be a warning for incest (and maybe homosexuality?).
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Carolin
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Post by Carolin » June 26th, 2012, 12:38 am

if the book would contain things that need to be classified as child abuse material, i dont think it would have made it to be a classic. the regulators and censors are very strict there. the problem would be to find readers -- many of our readers use their real names for the catalog and might not want to be associated with such material. for them and for the listeners benefit i would recommend to state openly in the summary what is going on in the book, though a warning is probably not necessary, except if the content is really offensive.
(i personally dont think that anything published in 1873 can possibly be offensive to the modern reader/listener, since one is so far removed from the times of the novel, but that is just my opinion and others might be more sensitive than me.)
Carolin

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annise
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Post by annise » June 26th, 2012, 12:57 am

Most isn't by today's custom but you would have to check if there was a line you would draw - there were some different views about the age of consent and children for example which I think would cross my "line". There was a time when some places laws considered a girl of nine able to consent for example.

Anne

Availle
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Post by Availle » June 26th, 2012, 1:01 am

annise wrote: There was a time when some places laws considered a girl of nine able to consent for example.
The use of the past tense in this sentence, unfortunately, is inappropriate. It's still happening nowadays...
Cheers,
Ava.

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J_N
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Post by J_N » June 26th, 2012, 4:13 am

I am neither prudish nor easily offended, but abuse of any kind is definitely where I draw my line... however, while both books have underaged characters everything [as far as i can tell from skimming] is depicted as being consensual (artistic freedom :roll:) and therefore while not perfect it is ok for me...
Just thought it would be fun to read something ehm... different ;)

I'll just wait and see if it gets picked up 8-)
Julia - Introverts, unite! Seperately... in your own homes.

Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you're supposed to. ― Susan Cain

Author death +70 yrs? Legamus!

ChuckW
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Post by ChuckW » June 26th, 2012, 7:01 am

J_N wrote:I am neither prudish nor easily offended, but abuse of any kind is definitely where I draw my line... however, while both books have underaged characters everything [as far as i can tell from skimming] is depicted as being consensual (artistic freedom :roll:) and therefore while not perfect it is ok for me...
Just thought it would be fun to read something ehm... different ;)

I'll just wait and see if it gets picked up 8-)
I'm no expert (that's what they all say, right?), but I think The Romance of Lust might be the most consensual-friendly of the three, even as it dabbles in plenty of taboo sexual behaviors (well, for the 19th century, anyway). It's also the craziest darn thing I've ever read! I had to read excerpts from an undergraduate History of Sexuality course many, many years ago, and you should have seen the smoke pour out of the ears of those poor, unsuspecting college students. It is... peculiar... to say the least. ;)

And yes, this would be a... different sort of project for LibriVox. They're pretty lewd and untamed, sure, but are historically important enough to warrant discussion and possible inclusion in the LibriVox catalogue.

EDIT: I don't have time to BC this right now, but I wouldn't mind setting up the MW for anyone thinking about doing this as a group project (since RoL has no chapter stops, it might be a somewhat arduous task putting it all together).
Current Projects:
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SOLO: Ornaments in Jade (Arthur Machen)
GROUP: Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist (Alexander Berkman)

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