Published: 19 Sep 2012 10:24 GMT+02:00 | Print version
Updated: 19 Sep 2012 10:24 GMT+02:00
South Korea has issued a ban on an erotic novel by the 18th-century French nobleman and writer, the Marquis de Sade, for "extreme obscenity," a Seoul official and publisher said Wednesday.
The Korea Publication Ethics Commission, a state review board, told the local publisher of "The 120 Days of Sodom" to recall and destroy all copies currently at stores, senior board official Jang Tag-Hwan told AFP.
The translated version of the book, which details the sexual orgies of four wealthy French libertines who rape, torture and finally murder their mostly
teenage victims, hit stores in the South last month.
"A large portion of the book was extremely obscene and cruel, involving acts of sadism, incest, bestiality and necrophilia," Jang said.
The book's extensive portrayal of sexual acts involving minors played a part in designating it a "harmful publication," he said.
It was the first time for the commission to issue such a ban on a book -- excluding cartoon material -- since 2008, Jang added.
The publisher has vowed to appeal against what it labelled as a "death sentence on the book" and to take the case to court if the appeal is rejected.
"This book is not about promoting pornography and violence ... it mocks and criticises the dark side of human nature behind such acts," Lee Yoong, senior editor of Dongsuh Press, told AFP.
He stressed that the book was widely available in many countries, including the United States, Britain, France and Japan.
"There are numerous pornographic books available everywhere. I can't understand why this book, worthy of academic research by psychiatrists or literary experts, should be treated so differently," Lee said.
The book will still be available while the ban is under appeal.
Of all the inaproppriate utensils a teacher could use to demonstrate geometry a swastika has to be near the top of the list, but not for one prof in France, whose use of the Nazi symbol to demonstrate angles has landed her in a spot of bother. READ () »
A contentious proposal that would see more courses at French universities taught in English was given the green light by deputies in the French parliament on Thursday. Critics say the move will lead to France losing its identity. READ () »
France said on Thursday that there were dead among the victims of twin bombings at a uranium processing plant owned by French nuclear giant Areva and a military base in northern Niger. READ () »
A British national, suspected of being the mastermind of €1.6 million bank fraud scam in France was found hanged in his cell in a French prison this week. READ () »
Germany's opposition Social Democrats mark their 150th birthday Thursday, with French President Francois Hollande as the only foreign speaker and conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel in the audience. READ () »
Liberté, egalité, fraternité, the famous motto of the French Republic must be displayed on the facade of all French schools and the Tricolour flag must also be on show outside all establishments, the French Senate ruled on Wednesday. READ () »
French prosecutors investigating corruption are set to decide on Thursday whether to charge IMF chief Christine Lagarde over her handling of a row that resulted in a €400 million payout being paid to disgraced businessman Bernard Tapie. READ () »
The former US President Bill Clinton had a message for the French public on a visit to Paris this week - “don’t be too pessimistic”. READ () »
France is to call for the military arm of Hezbollah to be added to an EU terror blacklist due to its backing of the Syrian regime, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced on Wednesday. READ () »
Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was evacuated for the second time in two days on Wednesday when a topless feminist staged a mock suicide in front of the altar the day after far-right historian Dominique Venner shot himself in the church. READ () »