Better Left Unsaid: Victorian Novels, Hays Code Films, and the Benefits of Censorship
Better Left Unsaid is in the unseemly position of defending censorship from the central allegations that are traditionally leveled against it. Taking two genres generally presumed to have been stymied by the censor's knife—the Victorian novel and classical Hollywood film—this book reveals the varied ways in which censorship, for all its blustery self-righteousness, can actually be good for sex, politics, feminism, and art. As much as Victorianism is equated with such cultural impulses as repression and prudery, few scholars have explored the Victorian novel as a "censored" commodity—thanks, in large part, to the indirectness and intangibility of England's literary censorship process. This indirection stands in sharp contrast to the explicit, detailed formality of Hollywood's infamous Production Code of 1930. In comparing these two versions of censorship, Nora Gilbert explores the paradoxical effects of prohibitive practices. Rather than being ruined by censorship, Victorian novels and Hays Code films were stirred and stimulated by the very forces meant to restrain them.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
argue artistic audience Becky Becky’s Blanche Blanche’s censorship chapter character Charles Dickens Charlotte Brontė Christmas Carol cinema classical Hollywood Code Administration Code’s considered course critics cultural Dexter Dickens and Capra Dickens’s diegetic director discourse discussion Elia Kazan Emma Emma’s example excessive fact feel female fiction film’s filmmakers forbidden Frank Capra George Cukor George’s Graham Hays Office heroine Hollywood film Ibid Jane Austen Jean Jean’s Joseph Breen Katharine Hepburn Knightley Lady Eve less Letters literary logic of scandal Lucy Lucy’s Mae West male Mansfield Park moral censor moral censorship Motion Picture movie narrative ofits Paul PCA file perverse Philadelphia Story play Preston Sturges Production Code Quoted readers repression role romantic comedy scene screenplay Scrooge sense sexual social sophisticated specifically Stanley story’s Streetcar Named Desire Sturges’s talk tell texts Thackeray and Sturges Thackeray’s tion Tracy University Press Vanity Fair Villette Williams woman Wonderful words writing York