解析库 > Kaplan
Literature is frequently a crucible through which the practice of censorship is refined. A controversial text occasions a public forum for a culture to articulate its moral standards and values. When James Joyce's Ulysses was first published in The Little Review in the United States, it provoked outrage from some readers who felt its content was obscene in nature. When the publisher tried to import copies of the novel into the US, they were seized by customs on the grounds that the novel was obscene. The case went to trial, with the U.S. attorney contending that the book was obscene and subject to seizure. The presiding judge felt differently. His justification for the ruling was that after reading the work in its entirety, and not merely the excerpts that had been found objectionable, the work was clearly not written with pornographic intent. He stated that nowhere does it produce "sexually impure and lustful thoughts." Pursuant to this, the book was not, objectively speaking, obscene. When the graphic passages were read, in the context of the novel as a cohesive, artistic whole, the effect did not tend to function as an "aphrodisiac," but it was "emetic" at times. The same could be said for scientific and medical texts dealing with human anatomy and sexuality, as well as classic works of Greco-Roman literature. As a result of this ruling, censors would now have to account for not only community standards of morality, but also the text's effect on the average reader, as well as the work in its entirety.