Summary: In this now-classic study, Linda Williams moves beyond the impasse of the anti-porn/anti-censorship debate to analyze what hard-core film pornography is and does--as a genre with a history, as a specific cinematic form, and as part of contemporary discourse on sexuality. For the 1999 edition, Williams has written a new preface and a new epilogue, "On/scenities," illustrated with 25 photographs. She has also added a supplementary bibliography.
...show more "Brilliant . . . sidesteps the old, exhausted quarrels and offers a piercing analysis of the power politics of the medium. . . . Drawing on cultural, feminist, Marxist, and psychoanalytic theories, Williams gives a scintillating account of what porn does, including what it does for women."
--Anne McClintock, Voice Literary Supplement
"Some much-needed thinking about the social function of so-called offensive imagery has recently begun to come forth, thinking that leaves polemics behind and gets back to basics. Hard Core is one of the best examples of this development. . . . It is to Ms. Williams's credit that, while drawing on a wide range of theoretical work from her academic discipline, she never forgets that the quest for scientia sexualis takes place in an unfilmed, gendered world where men call most of the shots."
--Kate Ellis, New York Times Book Review
"Hard Core is a brilliant demolition of the position that pornography represents one thing only. Arguing against the feminist case for censorship, Williams urges that we take pornography seriously, which does not mean that we like it, or that we believe it is art."
--Alan Wolfe, The New Republic ...show less
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