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Unclean LipsObscenity, Jews, and American Culture$
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Josh Lambert

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781479876433

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479876433.001.0001

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Sexual Anti-Semitism and Pornotopia

Sexual Anti-Semitism and Pornotopia

Theodore Dreiser, Ludwig Lewisohn, and The Harrad Experiment

Chapter:
(p.25) 1 Sexual Anti-Semitism and Pornotopia
Source:
Unclean Lips
Author(s):

Josh Lambert

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479876433.003.0001

This chapter examines why, in the decades after World War II, writers began to understand the explicit representation of sexuality and the embrace of sexual pleasure as effective strategies to counter the grievous anti-Semitism and other hatreds emerging in America and Europe. It argues that Theodore Dreiser, Ludwig Lewisohn, Robert Rimmer, and the other cultural producers discussed in the chapter were not, in this sense, correct in the belief that the popularization of sexology would reduce the incidence of anti-Semitism. Their vision of a world liberated from sexual suppression and restriction and consequently freed of racism is a misguidedly utopian one, but that did not stop it from serving as inspiration for a great deal of American cultural production that linked Jews and sexual expression or from providing motivation for individual Jewish and non-Jewish Americans to challenge, both in the courts and in the wider culture, the strictures of the law of obscenity.

Keywords:   America Jews, anti-Semitism, obscenity, Theodore Dreiser, Ludwig Lewisohn, Robert Rimmer, sexuality, sex

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