The Undergrowth of Literature  

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"In this book I am not attempting to make a psychological or sociological analysis of sexual fantasy. I have merely made a survey of current fantasy literature which overtly or covertly, supplies the stimulus which so many people need, from the romance of Woman's Own to the sado-masochism of Man's Story." --p. 1, The Undergrowth of Literature (1967) by Gillian Freeman


"nothing more than a collection of quotes, précis, paraphrases and photographs from current pornographic publications and glossy magazines ... there is no love like the liberal prig's love for perverts and perversions". --Stephen Vizinczey, 'Pornography and the contemporary prig', review of The Undergrowth of Literature, The Times, 4 November 1967

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The Undergrowth of Literature (1967) is a book by Gillian Freeman, originally published by Thomas Nelson & Sons, a pioneering study of pornography and perversions. Its subject matter is contemporary publications that dealt with sadomasochistic relationships, and with fetishes, such as leather or rubber.

The book was reviewed in The Times Literary Supplement, The London Magazine, and the Financial Times, so it was a mainstream publication available at any bookshop. The introduction was by Dr. David Stafford-Clark, a psychiatrist of repute at the time.

A review by Stephen Vizinczey described it as "nothing more than a collection of quotes, précis, paraphrases and photographs from current pornographic publications and glossy magazines ... there is no love like the liberal prig's love for perverts and perversions". (Stephen Vizinczey, 'Pornography and the contemporary prig', The Times, 4 November 1967.)

Blurb

"The Undergrowth of Literature is a woman's-eye view of what has hitherto been an almost exclusively male domain. With gentleness, wit and candour, the author here makes a serious attempt to analyse the whole range of publications devoted to sexual fantasy in the English-speaking world. Her book will go a long way to allay the fears of those who see pornography as something wholly evil and corrupt, since the absurdity of much of the material she analyses shows that its chief function for those who turn to it may be a playful one. This is, however, primarily a book describing the phenomenon and the reader is left to form his own conclusions. After first examining the women's magazine market and noting the enormous increase in sexual and fetishistic fantasy in modern advertising and fashion photography, she turns to the magazine literature available for straightforward, heterosexually minded men. From there she moves to the mushrooming market in male homosexual magazines and flagellation literature, and then among the more interesting literary underworlds goes on to discuss those for 'minority' interests--publications written for and often by Lesbians, transvestites, rubber fetishists and bondage enthusiasts. Finally, as a comparison, she takes a none too serious look at contemporary heroes in children's comics, but with an insight that may perhaps drive the reader to question where the significance of Batman's and Wonder Woman's gear really lies. Dr David Stafford-Clark, welcoming the book in an absorbing Foreword, discusses the psychogenesis of sexual fantasy and the literature which springs out of it. He gives praise to the intuitive female wisdom which illuminates the author's whole approach. 'Enlightenment, not secrecy,' he writes, 'are the allies of truth and love.'"--Dust jacket.

Table of contents

Foreword by David Stafford-Clark, Phantasma-orgia, Mums and Lovers, Wink, Kink & Co, Mein Camp, Fladge Market (1), Fladge Market (2), TV Times (1), TV Times (2): Trans Everything, Our Fettered Friends, Having a Rubber Ball, Woman's Only, Minor Tendencies


See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Undergrowth of Literature" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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