[Milton-L] "erotic" versus

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Thu Jul 21 16:59:17 EDT 2011

I believe you when you say that at least you haven't meant to change
your position, Richard.

You're missing an important qualification of my definition of
pornography -- it is intended "primarily" if not "only" to provide
"sexual stimulation."

Do you really think Milton consciously intended his audience to be
sexually aroused by parts of PL?  I'm not saying that no one can be
aroused by parts of PL.  The question here is about Milton's intent.
I think we need to clearly think about what we mean when we're making
claims about intentionality, however.  These are claims about the
author, not about possible audience responses.

Have you ever seen the film The Last Word?  Ray Romano's character has
some funny dialog about the things that arouse him at times and why.
No one would attribute his spontaneous, uncontrolled state of arousal
in the produce aisle to the nature of the objects themselves.  He
didn't, anyway.

Jim R

On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 4:45 PM, richard strier <rastrier at uchicago.edu> wrote:
> 1) I do not think I've changed my position at all.  Certainly have not meant to.
> If pornography is defined as "representations that intend to cause erotic
> arousal" (in some part of their audience), I am happy to reiterate the claim that
> PL and many other great works of art are (at least in parts) pornographic.

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