Smut: An Anatomy of Dirt
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Größerer Versuch über den Schmutz (1968, Eng: Smut: An Anatomy of Dirt) is a book-length essay by Christian Enzensberger. It was translated by Sandra Morris and published by Calder & Boyars in 1972 as Smut: An Anatomy of Dirt.
In 1970 Enzensberger became the only author ever to refuse the Literaturpreis der Stadt Bremen, offered in the wake of the publication of Größerer Versuch über den Schmutz. The book generated a furore when it was first published in Germany, not least due to its linking of personal cleanliness with totalitarianism. Smut is an experimental work in which dirt is described scientifically, personally and perversely by a panopoly of narrative voices, including fragments from the anthropologist Mary Douglas alongside writers from Samuel Beckett through William S. Burroughs to Jean Genet. It has since then fallen into neglect and remains out of print in both English and German.