25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom is a new hardcover prose book published by Abrams. This book is "only" 90 pages in length, but Alan Moore, being the wordsmith he is, manages to compress the evolution of eroticism / pornography to its present forms in such a way as it doesn't feel rushed in any respect. In 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom, Alan Moore brilliantly writes about how written works and images of eroticism / pornography throughout history and how cultures / societies dealt with the expression of eroticism / pornography, is a big part of how those cultures / societies developed (or didn't).
Moore's thesis in 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom is that eroticism / pornography have always been a part of the landscape of our world and it's not going to go away and if more countries were to handle pornography as countries such as Denmark, Holland, and Spain have (by not hiding them in dark corners), then the problems that some perceive pornography to be the cause of (sex crimes) would not be as prevalent as they are.
I don't know why the title of this book was chosen, other than it does describe what 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom is about, but the beginning of the book starts with the title, Some Thoughts Concerning Pornography, which of course would have also worked as the title of this book. Moore looks at pornography from some of the early artifacts found by palaeo-anthropologists, through the ancient Greeks, the Dark Ages, the Victorian age, on through to the 20th century examining periods such as the 1960's with the counter-culture embracing / creating the sexual revolution and feminism. Along the way Moore discusses the import such figures as William Blake, Oscar Wilde, Robert Crumb, Russ Meyers, and even the "raunchy" Tijuana Bibles (short self published early early mini-comics that had cartoon characters engaging in sexual activities) had on people allowing them to embrace and or think about their sexual inclinations. Alan Moore even discusses how our internet age has more people engaging in pornography, commenting about its access "In cyberspace, no one can hear you climax." Classical paintings of eroticism are liberally shown in their full glorious splendor throughout 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom, as well as photographic nude images. I'd like to see 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom as essential reading for everyone as it handles its subject matter in an intelligent, thoughtful fashion, while also being immensely entertaining.
I'd like to quote a section of prose from 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom to illustrate the power of Moore's prose and what a huge thinker he is:
"If we could redefine erotica, restore it to the venerated place in art that it was once accustomed to, this might defuse a number of our personal and social tensions with regard to sex in much the same way it seems to have done at the dawn of western civilization. Realized properly, pornography could offer us a safe arena in which to discuss or to air ideas that otherwise would go outspoken and could only fester in our individual dark. Our sexual imagination is and always has been central to our lives, as individuals or as a species, and our culture might be much enriched, or at least more relaxed, if it acknowledged this."
Alan Moore's epic length novel (said to be over 1,500 pages long!), Jerusalem, can't come soon enough for me (I believe it's still at least a year away though).
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