The Sensitivity of Eroticism: A Personal View.
As I said, this is a sensitive and multifaceted issue to deal with.
In the first place, I don’t disapprove of erotic works. What I disapprove of is the unconscious poor diction by budding writers, resulting in utter overtness of words, leading to obscenity and indecency. Or, the conscious use of salacious words and obscene images by some morally deficient writers, who are better not writers. This is what we see in Korean movies and literature. (But their own culture is an influencing factor to that).
Although, eroticism cannot be separated from literature. Why? Literature is a reflection and presentation of the interactions and experiences of human in their societies, among other things. And, we cannot deny the fact that sexual relationships are part of human engagements.
It is necessary to note that the universal or classical writers such as Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Wole Soyinka, etc., after whose modern writers fashion their works, deploy diction in a euphemistic way while writing erotic pieces, such that harshness and offensiveness of sexual-oriented words are avoided. That’s the work of euphemism in the literary context. For example, instead of being too overt with the word penis, you come in a euphemistic manner, saying manhood, male organ, private part etc. What we find with many ‘inexperienced’ writers of eroticism is quite disheartening these days. Many of them choose words without consideration to the harshness or offensive nature of them, all in the name of 18+. The classical and universal writer of 18+ are even euphemistic with words capable of causing offences. But then, we know there is no monitoring body to ensure that these tagged 18+ materials are actually always in the consumption of the targeted age group. We all know the curious tendencies of our teenagers towards the tagged ‘forbidden’. They have this penchant for unveiling the content of is particularly tagged forbidden for them.
On a different note, one of the functions of literature is to criticise and correct social ills and anomalies. This is the satirical function. In the light of that, writers are meant to be ones who abhor and correct social irregularities and moral decadence in the society. Pornography is not something to celebrate in the society, and when the images created in a work is of no clear-cut distinction from that of a porn, then a writer has failed in his responsibility. Instead of being a critic to social ills, he becomes a promoter or proponent of it.
So, get my points clear:
Eroticism is not bad in literature.
What is bad is immoral erotic works, having overt (open, raw unpolished) use of words, causing obscenity,
The classical or universal writer use euphemism in their erotic works, to reduce harshness of words,
Inexperienced writers use overt words, and get led to immoral eroticism.
Writers are societal repairers, and should contribute to its decay.
Note: This write up above, is in no way related to the views and stand of Winsala Muses Ltd. But are heartfelt insights and personal views of the author, Oyesanmi Oluwatobi Emmanuel. Who is also an Editor, here at Winsala Muses Ltd.
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