2004
Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2588-8277
  • E-ISSN: 2667-162X

Abstract

‘WHY CROSSES INSTEAD OF POLLUTION?’

The diary of the Dutch criminal law theorist, philosopher, and freethinker Leo Polak, which recently has become accessible, contains symbols such as ‘X’ and ‘#’. In this article, I interpret such symbols not as ‘silence’, but as disguising, narrative strategies. These symbols and the way Polak reflects on them, can be connected to the discourse on masturbation as a ‘total illness’, which developed from the beginning of the eightteenth century to the 1930s. The symbols in Polak’s early diaries indicate that diary writing functioned as a medium to register and control his solitary sexual activity. The diaries show the anti-masturbation discourse; the experience of it, the struggle with it and ways to resist it. Later in life, he used these experiences in his work on (1936) in which he rejects the medical and religious views on masturbation and makes a plea for the autonomy of the human mind and body.

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/content/journals/10.5117/DMT2017.2.003.VERM
2017-01-01
2021-12-01
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