Morphology of Pornography: Magical and Fairy-Tale Roots of Modern Porn Discourse


In this article, the author analyzes visual discourses of physicality in modern porn discourse through the prism of structuralist theory proposed by Russian researcher Vladimir Propp. The article is one of the first attempts in modern historiography to transplant the methods and principles proposed by Vladimir Propp to analyze the current state of porn in popular culture. The purpose of the article is to analyze the relationships and interdependencies between modern porn culture, presented in visual forms, and its historical predecessors. It is assumed that the origins of pornographic discourse, which operates in visual forms, can be localized in folk traditional culture. Forms and dimensions of physicality and actions of the heroes of modern pornographic discourse are perceived as structural elements of mass culture. The results of the study can be summarized in the following way: 1) the visual structure of modern porn has lost its uniqueness and originality in the consumer society; 2) the plots and sequence of actions of the heroes of modern pornographic discourse can be compared with similar plots and behavioral strategies of folk discourse; 3) porn in modern society plays roles that are similar to ones played by fairy tales in the traditional culture of pre-modern societies. The author believes that modern porn discourse imitates reality, although initially the behavior of the characters and the plots are fantastic and unrealistic in their nature. It is shown that the development of porn became a reaction to the demand of consumer society for visualized narrative constructions based on the archetypes of traditional folk culture.
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