The Pornography of Death  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"The Pornography of Death" is an essay by Geoffrey Gorer. It was first published in Encounter, October 1955, pp.49-52.

"The British sociologist Geoffrey Gorer makes some interesting observations on the difference between cultural attitudes toward death in the Victorian era and our own. In his 1955 article, "The Pornography of Death," Gorer points out that death is treated in twentieth century society much like sex was treated in the nineteenth century. The subject is avoided, especially with children, or spoken of in euphemisms if it cannot be avoided. Death now, like sex then, is hidden, an event which takes place behind closed doors. The opposite is also true: in the nineteenth century, death was discussed as freely and openly as sex is today. If, as Freud has postulated, society is founded upon--and defined by--its repressions, our society has undergone a psychological about-face since the nineteenth century."[1]




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Pornography of Death" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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