"> Name: Guillaume Apollinaire, French author, Les Onze Mille Verges

Date:  1900 - 1925 , 1926 - 1950 , 1951 - 1975

Location:  Europe

SubjectExplicit Sexuality , Political/Economic/Social Opinion


Artist: Guillaume Apollinaire

Confronting Bodies: French officials

Date of Action: Book censored from its release in 1907 until 1970

Specific Location: France

Description of Artwork: Apollinaire was known for his erotic writing and satire. His most famous book, "Les Onze Mille Verges, (1907)" (The Eleven Thousand Rods) is about a Romanian prince who leaves Bucharest to find the perfect female. The book has elements of sadism, homosexuality, paedophilia, necrophilia, coprophilia and satirical commentary on French government officials, theater administrators, police and journalists.

Description of Incident: Apollinaire tested the bounds of sexual expression in literature, challenging the Third Republic's virtuous facade. However, Apollinaire never claimed authorship of his book because he feared prosecution under France's public obscenity statute, passed in 1898. The law forbid the publishing of many of his works, as well as other writers of erotic literature. In 1924 Apollinaire was accredited for writing "Lez Onze Mille Verges." In 1931, a censored version of his book was published.

Results of Incident: During World War I Apollinaire surreptitiously worked to publish banned books. In 1970, "Les Onze Mille Verges," was publicly published, uncut.

Source: Censorship, A World Encyclopedia, ed. D. Jones

Submitted By: NCAC

FileRoom Search | Table of Contents | Category Homepage | NCAC