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Mike, could you elaborate on censoring of Byzantium et cetera?

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  • Mike, could you elaborate on censoring of Byzantium et cetera?

    Hi Mike-

    I've spent the last week or so trawling the Sporting Club Square archive for info, and have had many questions answered about a great number of things, particularly related to Pyat. But my curiosity was piqued on the last page (of archives) by the mention of censoring of Byzantium Endures in the US. What's the story? or where can I read about it?

    Btw, I read Pyat up to Jerusalem Commands when about 16. I'd say I was appalled, but in a literal sense- blanched in the face. The rape scene and everything connected with it left a vivid and horrible impression- I guess I'm trying to say it violated my more or less innocent mind. I'm reminded a scene in the biopic 'Crumb' about R. Crumb (someone I was also reading a lot of at the time) where he's confronted by a female reader (for proliferating misogynistic grotesques in comic form, apparently she'd read her older brother's comics as a girl) - I don't intend the above as an accusation so much as congratulation, the books are incredibly powerful, but I wonder (given that authors cannot be held responsible for who reads their work) how it sits with you?

    Also, did you ever get into Crumb?

    Apologies for the serial question... I'm amazed that you find the time to participate in this kind of fansite to be honest. It's the best I've come across.
    Last edited by pilgermann; 08-20-2009, 08:32 PM.
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  • #2
    Can I ask about the two versions of The Adventures of Una Perrson and Catherine Cornelius in the 20th Century. I remember reading the cased book in 1980 (?) from the Library, then I got a paperback copy 1985 (?). I could recall that there was a difference, but not sure what they were.

    Reading some of the other post, people have commented on that there might have been some censoring or was it re-writing to the novel?

    I agree with Pilgermann, it was a pretty harrowing part of the series. I know you have done a lot of research, so I am assuming that this sort of thing was happening in Egypt at the time?

    Channel 4 did do a history of pornography, I was staggered to see a Victorian in London, who was selling sets of postcards to individuals in the USA through the post. Not sure if you can be prosecuted for it still? This I suppose raises the question is technology driving the porn industry or vice versa?
    Papa was a Rolling Stone......

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pilgermann View Post
      But my curiosity was piqued on the last page (of archives) by the mention of censoring of Byzantium Endures in the US. What's the story? or where can I read about it?
      I believe it was mostly Pyat's anti-Semitism that was cut, the publishers not having a sense of irony. Various threads here should give you more info.

      Originally posted by pilgermann View Post
      ...but I wonder (given that authors cannot be held responsible for who reads their work) how it sits with you?
      There's a number of threads in the Q&A where Mike's spoken about this sort of thing (mostly in regards to Gloriana and Miss Mavis Ming) but also people calling themselves 'Elric' or 'Jerry Cornelius' and then committing rape and other crimes. Will try and find some links for you in due course.

      ETA: See Criticism of R. E. Howard? and Authors' responsibilities for starters.

      Originally posted by pilgermann View Post
      Apologies for the serial question... I'm amazed that you find the time to participate in this kind of fansite to be honest. It's the best I've come across.
      Ironically, I think Mike is AFK at the moment (visiting family). No doubt he'll be along in a moment to contradict me.

      Originally posted by Pebble View Post
      Can I ask about the two versions of The Adventures of Una Perrson and Catherine Cornelius in the 20th Century. I remember reading the cased book in 1980 (?) from the Library, then I got a paperback copy 1985 (?). I could recall that there was a difference, but not sure what they were.

      Reading some of the other post, people have commented on that there might have been some censoring or was it re-writing to the novel?
      AFAIK, Una & Catherine was only ever censored in the Dial Press omnibus edition where it was packaged with The Black Corridor. However, having acquired a copy and compared it to the UK text if it was censored it wasn't the sex that was cut as far as I could tell.
      Last edited by David Mosley; 08-21-2009, 12:38 PM.
      _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
      _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
      _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
      _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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      • #4
        Thanks, Dave.
        Papa was a Rolling Stone......

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        • #5
          I believe it was mostly Pyat's anti-Semitism that was cut, the publishers not having a sense of iron
          wow, way to defeat the point of the entire exercise...

          thanks for the info
          Last edited by pilgermann; 08-23-2009, 06:39 PM.
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          • #6
            There was a fair bit of censorship in Byzantium. His racism and some of the sex stuff. I was furious. They tried to do a similar 'edit' to the second book but I was more in my right mind that time and wouldn't let it go. They didn't buy the other two! Sex was cut from the Dial edition of Una/Corriudor because they wanted to distribute them through KayMart and thought there would be trouble getting them past the buyers. I hadn't given my ok on that, either. Also there was dumb setting on BC so that the typographical 'hints' didn't come out right. The 90s UK omnibus editions remain the best texts to date.

            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
            The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
            Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
            The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
            Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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