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Pornographic Materials in the National Library

Illustration from Marquis de Sade, Juliette ou les prospérités du vice, courtesy of Gallica
Via the Literary Saloon, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France has put some of the historic pornographic materials from its collection on exhibit (including the outrageous blasphemies of Sade). The exhibit, the first such public showing since the materials were last catalogued in 1830, is called L'Enfer de la Bibliothèque, Eros au secret.

Careful reading of the press materials (.PDF file) uncovered the following nugget of information. Between December 17 and January 15, Paris Métro trains on the 10 Line will move slowly through a closed-down and largely forgotten station formerly called Croix Rouge (between Sèvres-Babylone and Mabillon). It will be illuminated and posters of the Enfer exhibit will be on display as the train passes by. Also on Line 10 trains, the little signs that normally have quotes from poetry for riders' edification will have instead mildly erotic quotations from André Delvaux's 1864 Dictionnaire érotique moderne. That this is all happening with tax dollars -- imagine a parallel exhibit at the Library of Congress -- is one of the things that is so admirable about the French.


Adriel said...

That would have been a pungent but effective distraction during the recent transit strike.

Charles T. Downey said...

Heh, good point.