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“Escape”–Recommended Reading

February 2, 2011 1 comment

Referred to me during a lunch break at the university, “Escape from Reason” by Francis Schaeffer.
It is called, “a penetrating analysis of trends in modern thought”.

I am looking to delve into the content to do a little analyzing myself. A few things have caught my attention, let alone the reference within the material to art history, one of my most beloved subjects for it encompasses all walks of life through philosophy, political science, sociology, anthropology, etc. etc.
Now, due to the fact I attend a Christian college, the book is, of course, written with the concept of Christianity being a main focus. It relates to how each of these categories, falling under art history, are intertwined with Christian beliefs.
Chpt. 3 touches on sexuality-
“The twentieth-century pornographic writers all trace their origin to the Marquis de Sade (1740-1814). The twentieth century now treats him as a very important man — he is no longer just a dirty writer. A generation ago, if anyone was found with one of his books in England he was liable to have difficulties with the law. Today he has become a great name in drama, in philosophy, in literature. All the nihilistic black writers, the writers in revolt, look back to de Sade. Why? Not only because he was a dirty writer, or even that he has taught them how to use sexual writing as a vehicle for philosophic ideas, but also basically he was a chemical determinist. He understood the direction that things would have to take when man is included in the machinery.”
But how does one view the material if they are of another religion?
What points of intellectual debate are founded for the Gnostic, the Atheist, the children of Modernism?
These are questions I will ask myself as I begin to read.

Controversial Sexual Theater

Controversial theater has been around since theater had its beginnings with Thespis ( hence we now have “Thespians” ) in 534 BC. The theme of sexuality as a controversy was not lacking in those ancient times. It usually found its way into most plays, even if only by the fact that the storyline might consist of two lovesick fools, where the men played the part of women in those lovers’ roles.
Around a thousand years later or so, the Victorian Age, we get the playwright George Bernard Shaw.
He wrote the play “Mrs. Warren’s Profession”,  about a wealthy prostitute and her prude of a daughter.

The play was banned in Britain from being performed, due to its explicit content.
Around the same time in Germany, another play, “Spring Awakening” was being written by Frank Wedekind. This was banned in Germany, for about a century, due to its portrayal of masturbation, abortion, rape, bondage, child abuse and suicide. Needless to say,  all human life everywhere is interested in sex. It is a natural make up/design of our bodies and fortunately for Hollywood and Broadway, sex sells. Today “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” is taught in classrooms and the adapted for musical, “Spring Awakening”, has been given raving reviews and won several Tony awards.

So, if sex is only a natural desire and basic need within us all, why is it that any form of art or theater that deals with “explicit” content is considered to be “Taboo”?

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