[Milton-L] Erotic vs. Pornographic

Carol Barton cbartonphd1 at verizon.net
Wed Jul 20 17:57:11 EDT 2011


Offhand, I would say that erotic is appealing . . . while pornographic is appalling.

Rhett Butler carrying Scarlett O'Hara up that grand staircase is erotic . . . but not pornographic.

For me, a photograph (as one in an exhibit banned from the National Portrait Gallery) of one person urinating into another's mouth is pornographic but not erotic.

I think there has to be an element of the distasteful in pornography.

And I disagree--vehemently--with the notion that Milton would be pleased by the thought of anyone masturbating while reading _Paradise Lost_ (sorry, Richard). That is--never--what _Paradise Lost_ is about. He believed (see DDD) that the union of man and woman, properly joined, lifted the souls of both nearer heaven, and was the closest approximation to heavenly love we could know on earth.

Masturbation is about self-gratification, not love, and not the elevation of souls.


Best to all,

Carol Barton
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