The Bishop, in the liveliest spirits that day, kissed Céladon virtually without interruption throughout the course of the meal, and as that child was a member of the quartet chosen to hand around the coffee, he left table a little before dessert. When Monseigneur, who had worked himself into a splendid sweat over the boy, saw him entirely naked in the salon, he lost all self-control.
“By Jesus!” he cried, his face purple, “since I cannot tup his ass, I can at least do what Curval did to his bardash yesterday.”
And so saying he seized the good-natured little rascal, laid him on his belly, and slipped his prick between his thighs. The libertine was lost in the clouds, his weapon’s hair rubbed the cute little hole he would fain have perforated: one of his hands fondled this delicious little cupid’s buttocks, with the other he frigged Céladon’s prick.
This is an excerpt from 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade. In truth, I couldn’t make it through the book, I found it a little queasy to read chapter upon chapter regarding about the gleeful abuse of children. It wasn’t my cup of tea. However, my individual reaction to the contents of the story has little bearing on my desire that it should continue to exist so that other readers may discover it and make up their own minds about it.
Censorship eats away and the possibility of free will. When decisions are made for you by your credit card companies, or by perpetually incensed “moral groups,” the quality of your choices is degraded and your opinion is being steered as surely as if you were on the end of a leash. In the case of fiction, a hard and fast rule will never be able to (and should never be able to) govern anyone’s pen. The fantasies that I write and that many other writers produce will always be considered by someone to be perverse and to cross some ethical line in the sand. When we censor those fantasies we give others the power to infringe on our sexual imaginations. This is something that is happening right now and if it’s not affecting the way you read now it probably will in the future. Here are two examples:
– Recently erotica writer Natty Soltesz (whose work is amazing) had a book rejected from Amazon’s e-publishing initiative because of its incest theme.
– Indie e-book publisher Smashwords is going through an ongoing battle with paypal regarding their decision to require the publisher censor legal fiction. It’s worth a read in terms of figuring out just what paypal is demanding and why.
These are only two cases and there are many many more horror stories of fiction being unfairly censored. In fact two of my current projects — Praxis, a fantasy story about two aristocratic brothers who imprison their cousin on treason charges, and 599 a story about two brothers who run a restaurant together — contain themes and acts that would land me squarely within the censorship crosshairs. Should I abandon these projects because marketing and selling them would be significantly more difficult than if I simply chose to write something else? This is the choice that is being forced on many writers at the moment and those kind of constraint will never make for good fiction or great fantasies.
If you have a moment, here’s a petition asking paypal not to censor books http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-censorship-2.
So Paypal has changed their policy to specifically concern e-books/publications that contain text AND images that include/suggest incest, bestiality, or rape. I’m glad that Paypal is revising their stance, but there will always be someone looking to censor writers and we have to be vigilant.