Pulp fiction, penny dreadfuls, dime novels and their ilk have entertained many a consumer of the day. They were cheap, they were there to entertain, they were not there to represent literacy or provide historical reference, but they did indicate the ‘norms’ of the times and hastily referenced the difference between ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ behaviors as inferenced within this genre.
The fascination of reading these cheap thrillers provides the reader with a certain nuance (by today’s standings) ; and projected innocence by those illustrated in these stories. Therefore, a true appreciation of the past, realised today, indicates the maturation of society; and acceptance to its tastes of greater levels of intimacy in literature.
However, from an artistic level, what I truly admire, is the “essence of “sin” as depicted on the covers which not only entice the reader into finding out more, by immediately purchasing the item, but also by being titillated by its content.
The image above is from “The Private Life of a Strip-Tease Girl” (1959) by Cal Anton, with cover illustration by Carl Mueller. The story line for this reads:
- Kitty promised wild ecstasy and delivered.
- A fascinating glimpse of strippers backstage and their feverish hunt for thrills to satisfy jaded senses.
- A novel which takes you behind the scenes with the Burlesque Queen.
If you put each person’s experience into their own life as to why they might fit into the “Strip-Tease Girl World” and fully understand and empathize with it, we might all be able to globally acknowledge everyone’s contribution.
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“Is It Art?”