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Dirty Jokes and Bawdy SongsThe Uncensored Life of Gershon Legman$
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Susan G. Davis

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042614

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042614.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Under Mt. Cheiron

Under Mt. Cheiron

(p.223) 10 Under Mt. Cheiron
Dirty Jokes and Bawdy Songs

Susan G. Davis

University of Illinois Press

From the late 1970s until his final illness, Legman worked to bring his big projects to press and to write his memoirs. Turning back to his work on erotic folk song, Legman aimed to complete his long-delayed “Ballad” manuscript but decided that it was more important to bring out Vance Randolph’s unpublished manuscripts on erotic folklore of the Ozarks. These became two volumes edited and introduced by Legman, Roll Me in Your Arms and Blow the Candle Out (1992). Legman also began his memoir, Peregrine Penis: An Autobiography of Innocence, detailing his growing up, his self-education in sex research, and his erotic and publishing adventures. This chapter shows Legman reconstructing and evaluating past incidents with his correspondents, especially Jay Landesman. In 1986 he made his last visit to the United States for a lecture tour. In France he continued to receive writers who interviewed him about his life’s work and views on sex and censorship. After a long period of ill health, Legman died of the results of a stroke in February 1999. A conclusion to this chapter emphasizes Legman’s bibliographic contributions to the history of erotica and sexuality and evaluates his place in folklore scholarship, a discipline that received him with ambivalence.

Keywords:   Gershon Legman, Vance Randolph, Roll Me in Your Arms, Blow the Candle Out, erotic folklore, Peregrine Penis: An Autobiography of Innocence, memoir, autobiography, Jay Landesman, censorship

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