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The "conventional one," fueled by "Puritanism," advocated an ignorance and repression that resulted in "ill births, inefficient maturity, snickering pruriency," and "human pathologic evil and morbidity." The second, "by far the largest," found expression in "erotic stories" that dwelt on "sensual voluptuousness." Whitman called for "a new departure" that viewed "the sexual passion in itself, while normal and unperverted," as "inherently legitimate, creditable, not necessarily an improper theme for a poet." He aspired to redeem the subject from the "pens of blackguards" and show that "motherhood, fatherhood, sexuality," and all that "belongs to them," can be "openly and joyously" addressed from the "highest artistic" perspective.
Thus Mexander Japp in 1867 denounced the use of dramatic monologue in Swinburne's Poems and Ballads as a "cunning trick," since the "confusing of the lyrical and the dramatic has a decided tendency to pruriency [sic] and vice." (16) What Japp sees as "confusion" can't be distinguished from the creative potential of dramatic monologue, a form that suspends authorial voice in favor of a dramatized speaker whom readers may identify with and/or condemn.
Some of these exhibitions are objectionable from a moral and religious point of view, and strongly suggestive of pruriency, and complaints on the matter have been made to us.