Author: The identity of the authors of curiosa is often difficult or even impossible to determine with certainty. In addition to the many anonymous authors, we find several pseudonyms, and even in this last case, it is not always obvious to establish with certainty whether it is a pseudonym or simply an unusual name. Certain cases are obvious: « Aimé Van Rod », « Flogger » or « Lady Impéria » are indisputably pseudonyms, but what about « André Siber » or « Victor du Cheynier »? The lack of concrete information on their cases prevents us from solving the problem.
To avoid duplicate, we are using the French word Anonyme for Anonymous authors and Collectif for collective works.
Firstly, we indicate the name of the author as it appears on the cover of the book. Secondly, we indicate any variation of the name, if necessary, (e.g.: Delorys, Liane [De Lauris, Liane]) and we may mention the other pseudonyms used by the author (e.g.: for Bataille, Georges [Pierre Angélique, Louis Trente or Lord Auch]). Thirdly, if it is of a pseudonym or an anonymous text, we indicate founded, dubious and nonfounded attributions (e.g.: My secret Life att. to Ashbee, Henry Spencer ; Telle mère, telle fille att. to Bret, Antoine ? ; Mémoires d'une chanteuse allemande wrongfully att. to Schröder-Devrient, Wilhelmine).
We include in this category the authors of Introduction, Notes, Foreword, Postface, etc, and those who are responsible for the publication (Edited by...).
Title: The titles may vary from one edition to the the other, but we will always indicate the title as it appears on the cover and then specify, if necessary, other variation of the title (e.g.: Experiences of Flagellation also pupilished as Curiosa of Flagellants). In the French titles, we will always use the accentuated capital letter (e.g.: À la baguette, Éloge de la fessée). To ease the search, we never use ligatures: æ, œ, but only detached letters (aesthetic, Oeuvres), and that is valid for all the entries. For translated books, we specify the originals language and title (e.g.: The Other Face of Love translated from the French, L’Érotisme d’en face). In the rare cases where several books carry an identical title, we differentiate them by adding the number two (2) after the second title, three (3) after the third title, etc, but the first mention of a title is never followed by a number (e.g.: Desire, Desire (2)).
Year of Publication: Firstly, as "First Year of Publication" we indicate the original year of publication if it is known. Otherwise, we will indicate a probable or possible date, or even a probable decade or century of publication (e.g.: ca. 1880-98, 1963 ?, 188X, 18XX). Secondly, as "Year of Publication" we indicate the year of publication as it appears on the book (whether it is identical or different from the first year of publication).
Period: The period is linked to the Chronological Index (see this article further down). In this entry, we consider only significant writing/publishing dates (when the text was first written, first published in its original language, first translated in English or French).
Publisher, Series and Place of Publication: Very often, the information regarding these data are missing, incomplete or fictitious (e.g.: At Priapus, Vatican City). Our knowledge of the publishers being limited, we will simply register the information as they appear, but the generous reader is free to specify this information or to indicate the name of a known publisher hidden under a false name. In some cases, we will indicate a possible place of publication when this information is missing (e.g.: s.l. [Paris ?]).
We use the following French abbreviations: no name of publisher = s.n. [sans nom]; no place of publication = s.l. [sans lieu]; no date of publication = s.d. [sans date]; no page numbers = n.p. [non paginé].
Illustrator and Illustration: In these categories, we gather all sorts of illustrations (drawing, engraving, reproduction, even photography). We indicate the kind of illustration and their quantity. We will indicate the identity of the artist by his or her name or pseudonym, as it appears on the illustration. Unfortunatly, many illustrations are not signed: in those cases, we indicate s.n. [sans nom] (without name). Of course, the books which contain various illustrations will not be described in an exhaustive way, we then indicate: Various artists.
Specifications: We indicate all the relevant information about the size of the book, the kind of paper used, if it is a numbered or limited edition, if it has a dedication, etc.
Notes : Any relevant information about the author and/or the history of the book, notifiable editions, etc.
Reference : We will mention reference work in which the text is indexed with its reference number. We are using the following reference book in our possession:
- Dutel = Bibliographie des ouvrages érotiques (2001 and 2005) of Jean-Pierre Dutel
- Ashbee = The Encyclopedia of Erotic Literature (2) (1962) of Pisanus Fraxi, pseudonym of Henry Spencer Ashbee
- Enfer = L'Enfer de la Bibliothèque Nationale (1919) of Guillaume Apollinaire, Fernand Fleuret and Louis Perceau
- Bécourt = Livres condamnés. Livres interdits (1961) of Daniel Bécourt
- Perceau = Bibliographie du roman érotique au XIXe siècle of Louis Perceau
- Pia = Les Livres de l'Enfer (1998) of Pascal Pia
- Reade = Registrum Librorum Eroticorum (1936) of Rolf S. Reade, pseudonym of Alfred Rose
In some cases, we will give the shelfmark of these libraries: BNF = Bibliothèque Nationale of France; BL = British Library of London; KI = Kinsey Institute Library of Bloomington (Indiana).
Summary : Whenever it is possible, we present a brief summary of the content of the books.
Keywords: The system of keywords allows thematical searches. See the Thematical Index.
Chronological Index : The first date is always the first writing and first publication of the text in its original language.
The second date, between brackets, is the date of the first official publication in the original language, if this date is different than the date of writing (e.g.: Diderot, Denis, La Religieuse 1760, . First writing in 1760, official publication in 1796).
The third date, again between brackets, indicates an important translation (first edition in French or English. E.g.: Sacher-Masoch, Léopold von, La Vénus à la fourrure, 1870, . Text published in German in 1870, first French translation in 1902).
The fourth date, always in parentheses, is the publishing date of the edition in our catalogue. We will only indicate this date if it differs from the first publication in its original language. If our copy is the true first edition, we will indicate only one date (e.g.: Apertus, La Flagellation dite passionnelle, 1928).
When the date attributed to the first writing or publication is a broad range, we will always classify the title under the earliest date. We repeat titles when the original writing was probably unknown or little known before its publication. E.g.: Louÿs, Pierre, Les Chansons secrètes de Bilitis, 1890-1920, , (1961) : this title is classified in the 19th c. under 1890 for the earliest date of writing and also in the 20th c. under 1933, for the first publication.
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