Abstract

ABSTRACT:

Philip Roth’s third novel, Portnoy’s Complaint (1969), hit the trifecta: it was scandalous, it was critically acclaimed, and it was a bestseller. These qualities made it a potent weapon for challenging the strict system of censorship then in place in Australia—as Penguin Books Australia realized in 1970, when it decided to publish Portnoy’s Complaint, spurring trials that continued for three years. This paper draws on archival sources and interviews to argue that Portnoy’s publication in Australia upended the system of uniform censorship, emboldened publishers and activists to further defiance, drew public attention to censorship, and proved critical to the dismantling of the censorship system that followed in 1972–73.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1940-5278
Print ISSN
1547-3929
Pages
pp. 41-62
Launched on MUSE
2021-04-13
Open Access
No
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