Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the "Frenzy of the Visible"” as Want to Read:
Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the "Frenzy of the Visible"
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the "Frenzy of the Visible"

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  181 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
In this now-classic study, Linda Williams moves beyond the impasse of the anti-porn/anti-censorship debate to analyze what hard-core film pornography is and does—as a genre with a history, as a specific cinematic form, and as part of contemporary discourse on sexuality. For the 1999 edition, Williams has written a new preface and a new epilogue, "On/scenities," illustrated ...more
Paperback, Expanded Edition, 398 pages
Published April 27th 1999 by University of California Press (first published 1989)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hard Core, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Hard Core

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Kirk
Dec 11, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: dirty-minded intellectuals
I remember reading this book back in grad school when it was the go-to giggle for bookworms who found it provocative to speak of Foucault and Lovelace in the same sentence. It's actually a worthwhile read for those looking for a "grammar" of pornography. Since the early 90s, "adult entertainment" has become an accepted medium of study, with some schools even offering courses in its analysis---most of them heaily indebted to this study. If anything, the cultural pleasures that "hardcore" supposed ...more
Amber
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: porn
I think it's pretty ridiculous to read some of the reviews regarding this book. "It's dry" or "It's dated" Did it not occur to those readers that they are reading an academic film theory book? Or that at the time of publishing it was a pioneering study? Williams captivated me with her comparisons of porn to musicals and S&M to the final girl in horror films. I laughed out loud when she described what it must have been like for the Greek gods, Zeus and Hera, to watch porn together. Although I ...more
Jason Coffman
Oct 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Fascinating history and study of hardcore pornographic film, its functions and development. Williams traces the development of hardcore from early photography and stags to the VHS era. My only real complaint is that the book is now seriously out of date-- as relevant as its observations are to the state of pornography in the 1980s, it's left to the reader to extrapolate how things have changed in the last 20 years or more. But that's probably an entire book itself!
Brian
Sep 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is one of the first serious scholarly examinations of pornography. Williams use a formalistic process to examine and explain how porn films function within the larger cultural and political discourse. She also examines how viewing porn and the gaze may be understood as something that does not have to be gender specific.
Whitney
Jun 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Heather
Shelves: film-studies
Linda Williams is one of the best academic writers I have come across. She is clear and concise, funny, and entertaining. I loved this book. It's very explicit, so it's obviously not for everyone, but any feminist (both pro- and anti-pornography) should check this one out.
Libby
Sep 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who are not easily offended
Recommended to Libby by: Jesse!
I grew up during a time when debate on pornography consisted of dire accusations that mainstream pornography was harmful to everybody- a view that was commonly espoused, despite a near complete lack of evidence supporting it. Linda Williams's book is a refreshingly frank and reasoned analysis of cinematic hard-core pornography- its history, censorship, how it was meant to be viewed, and how women viewing/making it has changed it.
But it's not all feminism and games- there's also some Freud-baiti
...more
Marek Pawlowski
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ta książka wręcz zachwyca erudycją jeśli chodzi o historię oraz znaczenie pornografii (głównie heteroseksualnej). Jest ona także wzorcowym przykładem krytyki dość głupkowatego stwierdzenia, że ”Pornografia jest teorią, gwałt praktyką” wyznawanego przez niektóre antypornograficzne nurty feminizmu (Dworkin, MacKinnon), które także są tutaj omawiane. Momentami trochę za dużo Freudowskiej symboliki czy też wchodzenia w dość pokrętne, żeby nie powiedzieć, dziwaczne rozumowania. Całość jednakże jest p ...more
6655321
some of this has become REALLY dated, and some of this is REALLY psychoanalytic which just makes me want to throw the book at a wall (mostly the psychoanalysis) but i think it's a really important thing ~*~historically~*~ to look at how definitions/meanings/the production of pornography has evolved and how attempts to make "visible" pleasure is one of the challenges to this? this book may be best served excerpted in a film studies course although there is definately some reward to reading the wh ...more
Malcolm
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An impressive weaving together of feminist, Marxist and psychoanalytic theory to explore both the development and meaning of pornography-on-film that despite being written before the seeming normalisation of pornography via the internet and contemporary commercialisations of the objectification of women retains intense analytical power. Williams manages to make sense of the complexities of pornography without falling into the twin traps of sensationalist opposition or cynical resignation to its ...more
Conor
Jan 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-non_fiction
Super good, but a bit dry at times. Minus one star for being outdated as well - that's always a hit to media studies texts.

Beyond that, it's still a quick read and Williams has occasional moments of brilliance with the language - a very good sign of readability in non-fiction.

robert
May 21, 2010 rated it liked it
smart and stimulating though at times a bit dry. if you like this read laura kipnis' essay on "making fat visible." (i hope i didn't massacre the title!)
Lisa
Nov 19, 2009 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the "Frenzy of the Visible" by Linda Williams (1991)
David Michael
Aug 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who like to look
The Bible of non-reactionary/conservative Feminist Studies of Pornography. An in-depth reading of visual pleasure and how it works.
Nora
Aug 25, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this on Google Books at work - hubba hubba!
Melissa
Jul 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
I didn't read the whole book, just a few chapters for a class last year.
Frances Wilde
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I love Linda Williams. This was kind of outdated, but at the same time, much needed still, to distinguish between anti-graphics and anti-censorship. She writes so concisely and produces a balanced argument. Love Chapter 7.
Joshua Burns
rated it really liked it
May 09, 2012
John Ernst
rated it it was amazing
Mar 26, 2017
Amy Skjerseth
rated it it was amazing
Oct 29, 2014
Anna-Maria
rated it really liked it
Mar 29, 2018
Luis Flores
rated it really liked it
Feb 03, 2014
Nick
rated it liked it
May 17, 2018
Bren
rated it it was amazing
Nov 07, 2016
Robert
rated it really liked it
Nov 11, 2007
Anton
rated it really liked it
Jul 21, 2015
Anna
rated it it was amazing
Jan 11, 2018
Gosia Herba
rated it it was amazing
Sep 23, 2013
Kiri
rated it really liked it
Sep 17, 2015
Mehmet Cagliaydin
rated it really liked it
Dec 23, 2014
Erika Lust
rated it it was amazing
Jun 30, 2010
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Bound and Gagged: Pornography and the Politics of Fantasy in America
  • The Queer Child, or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century
  • Deviations: A Gayle Rubin Reader
  • Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film
  • Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories
  • White: Essays on Race and Culture
  • Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America
  • The Invention of Heterosexuality
  • Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex
  • Space, Place, and Gender
  • Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History
  • America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust and Liberty
  • Imperial Leather: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest
  • PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality
  • Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation
  • Irresistible Revolution
  • The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960
  • Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal
26 followers
Librarian Note:
There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name
This profile may contain books from multiple authors of this name

Linda Williams teaches courses on popular moving-image genres (pornography, melodrama, and “body genres” of all sorts). She has recently taught courses on Oscar Micheaux and Spike Lee, Luis Bunuel, David Lynch and Pedro Almodovar, melodrama, film the
...more
More about Linda Williams

Nonfiction Deals

  • Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
    $9.99 $2.99
  • How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Hidden Figures
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Pocket Prayers: 40 Simple Prayers that Bring Peace and Rest
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Manifest Your Destiny: Nine Spiritual Principles for Getting Ev
    $11.74 $1.99
  • A Three Dog Life
    $9.99 $2.99
  • How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill
    $7.99 $2.99
  • My Glory Was I Had Such Friends: A Memoir
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life
    $6.99 $0.99
  • Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Other Four-Letter Words
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas
    $19.99 $2.99
  • The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos
    $14.99 $2.99
  • I'd Rather Be Reading: A Library of Art for Book Lovers
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Girl With No Name: The Incredible True Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific
    $10.99 $1.99
  • America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines
    $14.99 $1.99
  • The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa
    $11.99 $3.99
  • Dear Bob and Sue
    $6.99 $2.99
  • Hello Mornings: How to Build a Grace-Filled, Life-Giving Morning Routine
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service
    $10.24 $1.99
  • Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success: Discovering Your Gift and the Way to Life's Riches
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Sea Around Us
    $17.99 $1.99
  • This Is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century
    $11.99 $3.99
  • The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency
    $12.99 $2.99
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Confidence Code for Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, and Becoming Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Jackie, Janet & Lee: The Secret Lives of Janet Auchincloss and Her Daughters, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Just the Funny Parts: My 30 Years on the Hollywood Jungle Gym
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life
    $8.99 $2.49
  • The Millionaire Fastlane
    $7.99 $2.49
  • Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Unlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and be More Productive (Mental Mastery Book 1)
    $9.99 $3.49
  • Forty Autumns: A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall
    $11.99 $1.99