TITLE: THE HISTORY AND SIGNIFICANCE OF PORNOGRAPHY.
Pornography gets people bothered as dependably as it gets them hot. There's something philosophically itchy about text that is so intimately linked to action- ( Weatherfield,M.1998 ). Pornography inspires many diverse and strong debates even today in the 21st century despite this topic's notorious history throughout the ages. Aside of the social and political arguments on pornography, the history of this particular subject- its beginnings and the societies from which it came- is of great worth and interest. The literature coming out of France in the 18th century, the prohibited literature that was censored and burnt by those in authority as well as the writers of pornography themselves, were catalysts in revolutionising societies definitions of sexual practise and social custom. Thus the historical and social repercussions of this literary movement, its establishment of a rich genre of sexual representations and the subsequent views on sexuality within society, are seen to be heavily indebted to 18th century France.
Pornography's definition is as troubling as its political debates. "The written or visual presentation in a realistic form of any genital or sexual behaviour with a deliberate violation of existing and widely accepted moral and social taboos" ( Stewart,P.1997 ). Despite the somewhat vague terms used in this definition it suffices as the closest interpretation of pornography outside of art, personal opinion, erotic literature, and anything which arouses sexual feelings. The word itself first coming into existence in 1869, meaning the "literature or writing of prostitutes" ( Stewart,P.1997 ). However 18th century France's definition of pornography was not the same as modern day man's definition. Books at that time were separated into work of the Enlightenment and pornography. The latter half were illegal, the political satire that they directed at the government the true cause for their prohibition, although aided by the "obscene" depictions, "slanderous" language, and "blasphemous" statements.