A STRANGE CASE OF CENSORSHIP: LYSISTRATA by Aristophanes
In 1956 a postmaster read a copy of the Greek Lysistrata while it was en route via postal mail. Shocked by the words he viewed, the story was seized and sent to court as obscenity. This would lead to the end of Comstock Act of 1873 which allowed for books and magazines to be seized as they were sent through domestic mail. Edward De Grazio, the famous censorship attorney, brought to the attention of the court that, though the postmaster may have found the work which he secretly read to be unfit and obscene, 24 centuries of Western Civility has found the tale to be rather comic and genius. The postmaster had seen mention of nipples and cracks, and thought it was pornographic smut; taken out of context many pieces of literature may have some disagreeable points.
Dating back to 411 B.C.E. Lysistrata is an Athenian woman opposed to violent conflict who persuades other women to come together and strike against the men of Greece. Only when the war between Athens and Sparta has come to end, may the men be allowed again to rejoice and celebrate with their women; In other words: no sex until an end comes to all this needless death; and a struggle between the sexes dominated the battlefields!
It would be a shame for work like this to be banned solely because of a postman’s eye gazing down upon an unusual word or two. It is both comic and tragic to perfection. It is genius which carries on through the test of time. Says Lysistrata: “May gentle Love and the sweet Cyprian Queen shower seductive charms on our bosoms and all of our person. If only we may stir so amorous a feeling among the men that they stand firm as sticks, we shall indeed deserve the name of peace-makers among the Greeks.”
Says Lysistrata: “May gentle Love and the sweet Cyprian Queen shower seductive charms on our bosoms and all of our person. If only we may stir so amorous a feeling among the men that they stand firm as sticks, we shall indeed deserve the name of peace-makers among the Greeks.”
Pornography? Subjective, though life does become obscene when war wages on too long.