Do you propose we ban Aristophanes, the New Testament, Justin Martyr, Augustine, Spenser, Shakespeare, Dumas, Twain, Pound, Eliot, Burroughs, and Rushdie on parallel grounds of religious prejudice, racism, sexism, and violence?My answer? No. And I don't think we should ban Genesis on parallel grounds, or Aristotle either. The question was whether I would ban Robert Crumb's illustrated Genesis. I thought it was a funny question, but one logically like a question Aristotle himself might ask. Aristotle favored censorship, especially to protect children from the profane, but also to protect citizens of Greek city states from poetry and rhetoric and sophistry and woman talk and parables (aka fables) and hyperbole and other such nonesense that might weaken the power of politics. Aristotle did censor Aspasia, the non-Greek woman, a kept woman perhaps, whom Plato, Socrates, and Pericles admired. Although several Greek teachers of Aristotle loved Aspasia and wrote of her, learning from her, Aristotle himself despised her (and her type explicitly) and hasn't ever mentioned her once in any extant text of his that we have.
(But Theophrastus might have known even feminists call for censorship. Ironically, for example, feminist rhetoric scholar Carol Poster has written an essay, "(Re)positioning Pedagogy: A Feminist Historiography of Aristotle's Rhetorica" for the purpose of banning Aristotle's work on rhetoric from the canon of feminist rhetorics. Her move is very Aristotelean, very separatist, very binary, very phallogocentric.)
In contrast, and Theophrastus might have known this better, feminists like Maya Angelou and Anne Carson and Sara J. Newman and Prudence Allen and F. A. Wright (and me too) not only read Aristotle very very carefully and study him very very carefully but also advocate that anyone who can would read his works very very carefully, as sexist and as misogynistic and as gynophobic as many of his works are.
I don't think Aristotle would have liked Robert Crumb (the profane barbarian) very much. But that's not to say they're not very much alike in some respects. Here's a bit of what others have found the latter to be like:
Art critic Robert Hughes talks about "Crumb's mean, grubby vision of human beings trapped in their meshes of hysterical frustration and lust." Crumb's wife, Aline, says, "Well, he is a sexist, racist, anti-Semitic misogynist." (As for anti-Semitic, Crumb flirts with big-nosed Jewish stereotypes — the demanding female, the wily, voracious male.)
Since the '60s, Crumb has shown a world that fits his vision. There's the prankster-pederast guru, Mr. Natural, revealing the meaning of life (as I recall from long memory): "Don't mean diddy-wah-diddy." Lenore Goldberg and her Girl Commandos are nightmare feminists avenging themselves on men. Angelfood McSpade is a thick-lipped black stereotype, uptight Whiteman can find sexual satisfaction only with a yeti. Little Mr. Snoid climbs up the backs of Crumb's amazons to work out his id-rage and perversities. Chuck the Duck is hip to the sweat of one's brow; he says, "Life is mostly hard work."
Please know that by posting a third post on Crumb I'm interested in your reading and studying his art, as you will. When his own wife, his second Jewish wife, says such things about the artist, then it's fair, I think, not to be afraid to give his work a fair assessment.Crumb himself has written: "I am constantly disgusted by reality, horrified and afraid. I cling desperately to the few things that give me some solace, that make me feel good. For me to be human is, for the most part, to hate what I am. When I suddenly realize I am one of them, I want to scream in horror."