Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Wednesday Quote: Samuel R. Delany

"But there are social forces aplenty--and often the same forces that would take away the freedom of speech we vouchsafe for the arts--that, as they would deny that freedom to the arts, would redistribute it to religion and reportage--genres whose relation to that troublesome concept 'truth' I, at any rate, am fairly glad to see a bit more heavily scrutinized at the more respectable levels than, certainly, they are on the lowest and least sophisticated planes. It is not only the freedom to suppress what others say that is wanted, but the freedom to lie as well when necessary--because such lies are assumed somehow to be for 'everyone's good.'

"Art seems the best genre-set in which to allow total freedom of expressionn (the full range, as Kenneth Koch put it, of 'wishes, lies, and dreams') because that genre-set is the symbol-making engine for the culture."

--Samuel R. Delany, "Pornography and Censorship," from Shorter Views: Queer Thoughts and the Politics of the Paraliterary (Wesleyan, 1999).

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