Tag Archives: preface

Difficult Subjects.

As further proof if indeed there needed to be any, that we appear to be regressing in intelligence. Below is the preface to a 1906 book on Oscar Wilde’s trials.

“It is wrong for us during the greater part of the time to handle these questions with timidity and false shame, and to surround them with reticence and mystery. Matters relating to sexual life ought to be studied without the introduction of moral prepossessions or of preconceived ideas. False shame is as hateful as frivolity. It is a matter of pressing concern to rid ourself of the old prejudice that we “sully our pens” by touching upon facts of this class. It is necessary at all costs to put aside our moral, esthetic, or religious personality, to regard facts of this nature merely as natural phenomena, with impartiality and a certain elevation of mind.”


Here in Australia, and elsewhere, the list of verboten subjects in art and literature never appears to cease expanding.


“I blame equally as much those who take it upon themselves to praise man, as those who make it their business to blame him, together with others who think that he should be perpetually amused; and only those can I approve who seek for truth with tear-filled eyes.”