Lesson 1 (from To the Libertines, First Dialogue, Second Dialogue Synopsis)
The Bedroom Philosophers is a pornographic text from the nineteenth century. Though its intention was to titillate and excite at the time of its publication and banning, it is now an objective historical text of the period.
The objective of this lesson is to examine the cultural value of pornographic texts.
1. For class discussion: As a class, make a list of attributes that separate pornography from simply erotic literature and art. What aims does pornographic material have that are not central to simple erotica? How do audiences respond to either in different ways? Does pornography have any sort of artistic value?
2. Divide the class into several groups and assign each a work that was not created for artistic reasons but has become an item of artistic curiosity in future years: The Diary of Anne Frank, Triumph of the Will, The Bible, Behind the Green Door...
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