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Conference Paper: Charlot s'amuse, onanism and the question of literature

TitleCharlot s'amuse, onanism and the question of literature
Authors
Issue Date2013
PublisherUniversity of London.
Citation
The 16th Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture & the Humanities (ASLCH 2013), University of London, Birkbeck, UK., 22-23 March 2013. In Conference Programme, 2013, p. 116 How to Cite?
AbstractThis paper examines the obscenity trial sparked by the publication of Paul Bonnetain’s Charlot s’amuse (Charlot plays with himself), a late nineteenth-century French novel about the life of an onanist, or compulsive masturbator. Bonnetain’s lawyer argued that the novel should not be considered as an obscene text because it was a work of scientific merit contributing to the medical discussion of onanism. This paper examines the interpretative assumptions behind this argument, and posits an alternative reading which suggests that the novel in fact interrogates some of the fundamental ideas in the scientific discourse on onanism in the late nineteenth century. It concludes that this interrogation can be said to form the foundation of the novel’s ‘literary’ status, and that Bonnetain’s text emerges from the trial as a site in which the possibility of judging another human being becomes problematised.
DescriptionSession 3: 7.4 Trials: Panelist 1
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/187146

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorWan, Men_US
dc.date.accessioned2013-08-20T12:31:27Z-
dc.date.available2013-08-20T12:31:27Z-
dc.date.issued2013en_US
dc.identifier.citationThe 16th Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture & the Humanities (ASLCH 2013), University of London, Birkbeck, UK., 22-23 March 2013. In Conference Programme, 2013, p. 116en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/187146-
dc.descriptionSession 3: 7.4 Trials: Panelist 1-
dc.description.abstractThis paper examines the obscenity trial sparked by the publication of Paul Bonnetain’s Charlot s’amuse (Charlot plays with himself), a late nineteenth-century French novel about the life of an onanist, or compulsive masturbator. Bonnetain’s lawyer argued that the novel should not be considered as an obscene text because it was a work of scientific merit contributing to the medical discussion of onanism. This paper examines the interpretative assumptions behind this argument, and posits an alternative reading which suggests that the novel in fact interrogates some of the fundamental ideas in the scientific discourse on onanism in the late nineteenth century. It concludes that this interrogation can be said to form the foundation of the novel’s ‘literary’ status, and that Bonnetain’s text emerges from the trial as a site in which the possibility of judging another human being becomes problematised.-
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherUniversity of London.-
dc.relation.ispartofAnnual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture & the Humanities, ASLCH 2013en_US
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.titleCharlot s'amuse, onanism and the question of literatureen_US
dc.typeConference_Paperen_US
dc.identifier.emailWan, M: mwan@hkucc.hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.authorityWan, M=rp01272en_US
dc.description.naturepostprint-
dc.identifier.hkuros217158en_US
dc.identifier.spage116-
dc.identifier.epage116-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdom-

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