When the editors of Pornorama asked Larry Flynt for his definition of pornography, he replied that "pornography is the purest form of art." At a time when pornography is ubiquitous in American culture, Flynt's definition should be read as analytic rather than provocative. Like this collection, which provides a critical panorama of American pornographies, it asks about the status and function of pornography in American culture. What does Flynt mean? Is pornography the ars amandi of the 21st century? Is pornography art after the death of sublimation? What about ruin-porn, food-porn, war-porn, and, last but not least, what about the agendas of porn studies? Hanjo Berressem teaches American literature and culture at the University of Cologne.
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