The Sexual Revolution in Modern American Literature

  • Charles I. Glicksberg

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Sex, Religion, Science, and Literature

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Charles I. Glicksberg
      Pages 3-10
    3. Charles I. Glicksberg
      Pages 11-22
  3. The Naturalistic Eros in America

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 23-23
    2. Charles I. Glicksberg
      Pages 25-32
    3. Charles I. Glicksberg
      Pages 33-46
    4. Charles I. Glicksberg
      Pages 47-57
    5. Charles I. Glicksberg
      Pages 58-67
    6. Charles I. Glicksberg
      Pages 68-81
    7. Charles I. Glicksberg
      Pages 82-95
    8. Charles I. Glicksberg
      Pages 96-120
  4. The Mystique of Sex in Contemporary American Literature

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 121-121
    2. Sex as Salvation

      1. Charles I. Glicksberg
        Pages 123-142
      2. Charles I. Glicksberg
        Pages 143-170
      3. Charles I. Glicksberg
        Pages 171-181
    3. The Dialectic of the Sex Mystique

      1. Charles I. Glicksberg
        Pages 185-213
      2. Charles I. Glicksberg
        Pages 214-222
  5. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 223-223
    2. Charles I. Glicksberg
      Pages 225-243
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 244-257

About this book


1. The Dialectic of the Sex-Motif in Literature Sex is a function of culture; in literature today it plays only a small though aggressively righteous part. Nature, long held in bondage, periodically breaks out in revolt, but its victory is never complete. In every society, prim­ itive as well as modem, the sexual instinct is for good or evil always subject to some measure of regulation and restraint. In literature, where the battle between love and sex, spirit and flesh, is fought out in terms of symbolic action, the writers support their cause, for or against sexual freedom, with varying degrees of evangelical ardor and outspokenness. On this issue there is no unanimity for the simple reason that American culture is not unified in its beliefs concerning the nature of man. The central conflict between instinctual needs and the claims of the ideal, between physical desire and the inner check, between Dionysus and Christ, goes on all the time. Sublimation is the cultural process whereby sexual energy is deflected from its biological source and diverted into spiritually "higher" and socially more useful channels. But sublimation is for most men hard to achieve. As civilization grows more complex, the individual is exposed to a series of increasingly severe moral strains. Pitted against Nature while subject to its laws, he must hence­ forth be governed in his behavior by inner as well as outer controls.


English literature Jazz apocalyptic culture dialectic evolution freedom individual issue liberty love psychoanalysis reason subject time

Authors and affiliations

  • Charles I. Glicksberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Brooklyn College of the City University of New YorkUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1971
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-247-5036-8
  • Online ISBN 978-94-010-3236-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site