Erik Graff's Reviews > An Unhurried View of Erotica

An Unhurried View of Erotica by Ralph Ginzburg
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's review
Mar 13, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: literature
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Recommended for: erotica fans

I found this book yesterday at the Amarynth Bookstore in Evanston while up there looking for gifts for an upcoming wedding of friends. I'd heard of it while organizing the Goodreads database on Ginzburg, the author, and had heard of him owing to a subscription Dad had to his fancy Avant Garde magazine.

The book was somewhat of a disappointment, but then it didn't take long to read--maybe an hour--as the font is large, the text easy. It's really just a long, idiosyncratic essay displaying no real research or scientific merit. I imagine that Ginzburg, a life-long pornographer, both high-brow and low, wrote it off the top of his head but for the long quotations he gives to such authors as Ovid and Benjamin Franklin. It wasn't erotic, not at all, but it was occasionally funny, especially the section on the English vice.

Though a meagre work, it is still of some historical importance, having been written in the late fifties and published in 1958, just before sexual censorship really became passe in the U.S.A. Now, of course, it seems quaint.
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