Anti-Censorship Essays

Anti-Censorship Essays-21
His fundamental conflict with the censor board gradually began to emerge.He had questioned the very existence of such authority and their right to assume control over the freedom of speech in a living society.

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Indeed, Lawrence’s contradictory opinions regarding race and class are an expression of the confusion and ambiguity prevalent in western culture in the early twentieth readers might consider them unpalatable.

It was an ongoing battle between Lawrence and the publishers, who forced him to make repeated changes in the text so that it would become more acceptable to his readers.

It required a writer who possessed a tremendous amount of confidence in himself and conviction of his beliefs to continue writing under such subversive circumstances.

Thus, in “A Propos of Lawrence’s repeated attempts to fight against the imposition of antediluvian notions of sexual morality ended with his novels being constantly censored as obscene.

In 1896, the Bishop of Wakefield had set about arousing public hostility by writing a series of letters to the leading periodicals in order to safeguard his parishioners sense of morality against Hardy’s novel, resulting in its being described as “over frank” and later as “garbage.”For a novel addressed by a man to men and women of full age, which attempts to deal unaffectedly with the fret and fever, derision and disaster, […] to tell without a mincing of words, of a deadly war waged between flesh and spirit[…] I am not aware that there is anything in the handling to which exception may be taken.

Obviously Hardy had underestimated the adult consciousness of his readers or that of the guardians of public morality, even as Lawrence, when he commenced writing, was unaware of the long hand of the censor–morons and their attempt to protect such public morality.

To arrest or circumscribe the vital consciousness is to produce morons, and nothing but a moron would wish to do prosecuted and banned under DORA—the Defence of the Realm Act for its anti-militarism rather than on account of his treatment of explicit sexual relationships.

In the novel, Lawrence was expressing views opposed to the public sentiments aroused at the time by the First World War.

For instance, Heinemann refused to publish though on account of a certain degree of popularity with the reading public, his short stories and poems were still accepted for publication.

Lawrence left England and began his long exile in Europe, Australia and America.

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