Author charged with child porn over one paragraph in fairy tale

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Books are a fairly free medium. They can get away with things that films or shows can’t. In books dark themes can be explored that no one would dare to put on screen. Rape, incest and sexual fantasies can be described in a way that wouldn’t be possible in any other context.

It’s unlikely that George R.R. Martin ever considered showing certain scenes from his books in which naked teenage boys get drowned or underage strippers have sex in front of one of the main protagonists on TV when he wrote the script for Game of Thrones.

While this freedom books enjoy isn’t always used responsibly (rape as a plot device is an incredibly tired trope), these dark themes don’t only appear for entertainment purposes. Writing about them can be a way to process trauma both for the author and the reader.

But for a while now there seems to be an increasing effort to sweep everything uncomfortable under the carpet as if bad things stop happening if we just turn a blind eye and pretend they’re not a part of our reality.

Art dealing with any kind of dark theme is being pushed out of online spaces and it looks like books aren’t safe anymore either as a recent case from Canada indicates.

Last April, Quebec author Yvan Godbout and his publisher Nycolas Doucet were charged with producing and distributing child pornography. The charges against them stem from a single paragraph in one of Godbout’s novels, a dark retelling of Hansel and Gretel, in which a father sexually assaults his daughter.

Godbout and Doucet were arrested in March 2019, after a reader came upon the passage and called the authorities. The work was not marketed to children, contains no explicit visual images, a content warning was printed on the back, and the scene is meant to be horrifying, not erotic.

Read on…

Comments 7

  1. I hope Godbout gets a large compensation sum for this illegitimate trial. Describing a rape in order to denounce rapes is exactly the opposite of what the law should be about, and the opposite of what “production and distribution of juvenile pornography” (what he is charged with) is. If the law makers can’t make the difference between Godbout’s books and, say, Sade’s books, which are apologies of juvenile rape (and more), and are not even illegal, then these law makers should be prosecuted too for the harm they have done.

    In addition, the prosecution went straight to trial, with none of the usual preliminary inquiries, which is extremely rare for most trials, and denotes some hurried witch hunting or more likely, incompetent cover-your-ass decision. It also means Godbout can’t even speak in defense of this matter until the official trial, which is also against what the law and its principle of not-guilty-until-condemned stands for.

  2. This is so absurd as to defy belief! We are heading backward to the Dark Ages at breakneck speed. Dr. John Money commented on this many times.

    “It would be terrible to still believe in sin; on the contrary everything we do, if we need to say this a thousand times, is innocent.”
    -Nietzsche, 1881 – 82

    1. Much as I’m sure you’d like it to, it doesn’t carry much weight in Canada.

  3. This is the result of the strange bedfellows of the women’s movement and the far right wing. Horselips and Andrea Dworkin eloped to Canada and had a baby and this is what it gave us.

  4. Do not understand. If do describe any of the particulars of boy-man / girl-man sexual activity as sex rape or as mere sex as dick in ass hole / dick in vaginal hole, then, what can it be but x rate.
    — oh. Boy and Girls reading about a dick trump of their asses or other parts and any squeezing of their sexual and other parts. et al and etcetera, might be of consider as harmful by many. Some children might be of a know. Others might of of no know. Many in between.
    — Who the f gives a damn ?
    Is the warnings of the TROLL under the hill attacking children a non-sexual act ?
    Is the mothers of some Chinese boys putting on ear things on the boys so they are not to be get by devils looking for boys not a sexual act ? Is Hansel and Gretal not boy and girl sexual ? Is not the wolf following Goldilocks not girly sexual ? Is not dressing a boy as a girl not a Dickie sexual ( for example, Gen. Madagascar ) ? AS if. All is as if.
    — oh. uh oh. NAMBLA control and gay controllers gf official insouciance.
    — f u

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