Can Erotica Be Great Literature

Literature is written prose that has stood the test of time. Thus the great books of all time like Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace and the eternal classics of Charles Dickens, Alexander Dumas,Walter Scott among others qualify as great literature.

But there is a class of books that have erotic content as well. One can wonder whether these books also qualify as great literature.These books describe the the female form in explicit detail as well as describe the union between a man and a woman in flowery language. Thus we realise that Romain Roland's 'The Bodys's Rapture' which describes a

womans breasts in a number of pages cannot be dismissed as trash.
In a similar category is DH Lawrance's ' Lady Chatterlys Lover'.This book was first circulated privately by the author in the thirties of the last century, as it could not be published. But later when it was published, Lawrance recieved accolades for his book. in a similar vein are the books of Henry Miller.
Thus we can bear in mind that erotic literature is not per se obscene.What makes these descripotions obscene is the language.Hence it is important that a writer describes the most intimate sequences of a man and a womans relationship in language that should not offend to a discerning reader. Writing erotica by itself cannot be considered depravity

or obscene.
Thus some of the great classics like 'The Perfumed Garden' of Sheikh Nefzawi and the 'Kama Sutra' of Vatsyayana are not books that will offend the senses. They are worth reading again and again and one can savor the taste of a well written erotic book. Erotic literature is a shade different from Pornography. Pornography has its primary aim of tickling the readers base thoughts. But in any case the dividing line is more in the mind than anything else.
Writing erotica is in fact more difficult than writing an ordinary love story. In writing erotica the writer has to marshal his entire vocabulary and write in a manner that will please the reader, as well as give repeat value. For it cannot be forgotton that the essense of writing a good book is to please and hold the readers attention. thus some of the more famous books like 'Fanny Hill' and 'Venus in India ' certainly qualify as eternal classics with an erotic content.The reader must remove the cobwebs from his mind while reading erotica. He will not regret it.


Article Written By Madan G Singh

An early retired Gp Capt from Air Force who is an Executive Director in the Corporate world. Loves to write fiction and articles. Published over 60 short stories and his novel" Romance of the Frontier" is published from Notion Books.His second novel is on way for publication. The author also has close to 10,000 articles on the b net with millions of views

Last updated on 22-07-2016 73 1

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  • abhi_bangal  04-11-2017
    Honestly speaking, spicy material is one thing a lot of people read and watch, but might not admit openly. Yes, there is a lot of such material easily available both online and offline. Even in print. But maybe, we don't talk much about it.
    reply 1
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