Dalrymple: Pornography and Nothing Else

“Yet literal-mindedness is not honesty or fidelity to truth – far from it. For it is the whole experience of mankind that sexual life is always, and must always be, hidden by varying degrees of opacity, if it is to be humanized into something beyond mere animal function. What is inherently secretive, that is to say self-conscious and human, cannot be spoken of directly: the attempt leads only to crudity, not to truth. Bawdy is the tribute that our instinct pays to secrecy. If you go beyond bawdy and tear all the veils away, you get pornography and nothing else. In essence, therefore [D.H. Lawrence] was a pornographer, though a dull one even in that dull genre.”

– Theodore Dalrymple, Our Culture, What’s Left of It

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