Comstockery and censorship in early American modernism / Karen E. Mahar
Mahar, Karen E.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of English, 2011
Anthony Comstock was a moral crusader who abhorred all things lewd and obscene, and who was successful in introducing the Comstock Law to help his fight against it. His lifelong battle against vice at the end of the nineteenth-century had an impact on literature and the literary world as it transitioned from Victorian prudery to modernist realism. Comstock’s influence negatively affected publishers, distributers, and writers, in particular, canonical Americans Walt Whitman and Theodore Dreiser. His methods were unconventional, and in the name of morality, Comstock often behaved immorally to achieve his goals of protecting youth from being corrupted by obscenity. The question of the value of censorship was present then, as it still endures today, and centered on the potential harm of viewing or reading obscene materials. Although Comstock presented an impressive record of confiscations and arrests, his crusade did not have a lasting effect beyond the fin de siècle.
vi, 99 leaves ; 29 cm
Comstock, Anthony, 1844-1915 , Literature and morals -- United States -- History -- 19th century , Censorship -- United States -- History -- 19th century , Social reformers -- United States , Dissertations, Academic