Quotation by Geoffrey Gorer

It is curious to speculate why pornography is considered especially likely to stimulate its readers into performing the activities described. The literature of murder is a vast one, particularly in the English language; enormous ingenuity is expended by writers in devising techniques for killing people, and these techniques are described with the greatest possible realism. The motives which would make murder desirable or profitable are so elaborated that they could easily persuade a reader into whose hands these books would be likely to fall that their case was parallel with that described in the book so that their problems could be solved in the same way. But I have never seen it seriously suggested that the literature of murder—detective stories or crime stories—tended to deprave and corrupt, or would incite weak-minded or immature readers into carrying out in reality the activities described in the fantasies. On the contrary, the literature of murder is considered particularly "healthy" and desirable; and in England representatives of all the most respected professions have stated that detective stories are among their favorite reading. Musing about murder is apparently "healthy"; musing about sexual enjoyment is not.
Geoffrey Gorer (b. 1904), British author, anthropologist. "The Uses of Pornography," The Danger of Equality and Other Essays, Weybright and Talley (1966).
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