box 19/1
11. Reigen
4—,43 5
Ser esuche

VOLUME 83—NO. 89.
when it was the last and staunchest
better appraisal of its value is needed
stronghold of aristocracy in the modern
than that given by the introduction.
world. Its literature reflected the charm
The facts show that the whole book deals
of a fastidions amalory etiquette“
with che sensual. It has no other object
Speaking of this 'amatory etiquette,?
Or purpose.
is stated that“ Reigen,' here trans¬
The judgment of conviction should be
lated as Hands Around,' is a series of
An Obscene Book Allegedly Contain¬
ten comedies—miniatures in dialogue be¬
MeakEuf, and O’MALLEy, JJ., concur.
ing No Literary Merit, Which Has
tween man and woman in various ages
and walks of life. But, transgressing the
a Clear Tendency to Excite Lust¬
mere literature, they are psychological
MeAvor, J. (dissenting).—The infor¬
studies of the interplay of sex and keen
ful and Lecherous Desire, Comes
mation charged that on October 7, 1929,
analysis of the sophisticated modern
soul, done with freedom and finesse.
Within the Purview of Sec. 1141,
in the Connty of New York, the defendant
There are no grim questiens of right and
unlawfully possessed a book called
Penal Law.
wrong in these subtle revelations of the
Hands Around, with intent to sell and
merely human. In fact, one might call
them studies in the etiquette of the liason
show the same, and which was a lewd,
and all its nnances.)'
lascivious, indecent, obscene and disgust¬
We arethen told that this evcle which
ing book.
the book depiets would concededly have
been a vicious cyle in the hands of any
Section 1141 of the Penal Law reads,
lesser artist than Schnitzler. We ure
June, 1930.
in part, as follows:"A person who sells¬
not told why Schnitzler is able to sur¬
Present: Hons. Jony V. McAvor,
pass all other writers in the exquisite
any obscene, lewd, Jascivious,
handling of the licentious. That gift,
Engan S. K. Mrankxr, FRaycis MARriy,
filthy, indecent or disgusting book *
however, is Glaimed for him by the writer
JAnrs O'Manzer, Hxnar L. SHER¬
is guilty of a misdemennor „„„
ef the introduction.
The facts in the case are uncontra¬
The above statements taken from the
book show that those connected with its
PECPLE, &c., respondent, v. Puizir PEs¬
publication clearly appreciated that there
KY, appellant.
The book of the play condemned at
was nothing to it except a description
Appeal by the defendant from a judg¬
Special Sessions by a divided court is
of the licentions. There was no attempt
ment of the Court of Special Sessions of
to point to any lesson that might be of
called in its original version in German
the City of New York, Connty of New
value to angone that would read it. Ir
Reigen,“ and we may take judicial no¬
York, convicting him of the crime of un¬
was just a clear attempt to portray filthy
tice that it had an almost world-wide ac¬
lawfully possessing an indecent book and
ideas, for the book is withont a single
suspending the exccution of sentence.
ceptance among literateurs as of literary
redeeming feature. As usual it is pref¬
aced by the remark that it will not be ap¬
merit. The episodes related by the char¬
K. Henrv Rosenberg for appellant;
preciated by the Puritan fanatie with his
John C. MeDermott, deputv assistant dis¬
acters less deftly touched would be of a
Jnundiced inhibitions or the moral ideolo¬
triet attorney of counsel (Thomas C. T.
vulgar tone because of the subject, and
gist with his heart of leather. This is the
Crain, district attorney) for respondent.
usual ery of the libertine who is attempt¬
could be, if written in bawdy phrases,
Where defendant is accused of violating section
ing to justify his own life or writings.
classed as too realistic for common read¬
1141 of the Penal Law in possession for
Anyone who differs with his method of
ing. But nowhere is there any word in
living or writing is Puritanical.
purposes of sale an obscene book, held, upon
examination of the book, that it would have
such people clean thinking or clenn liv¬
the translation which has a lewd or
ing is Puritanical.
a tendency to deprave and corrupt the minds
lascivious connotation. The appeal to
of its readers, and therefore it violates the
It is unnecessary to set forth the ob¬
passion or lechery is wholly lacking.
Penal Luw.
ject of this book except as it is set forth
While the trial court is the judge of the
in the introduction. We believe nothing
McAvoy, J., dissents in opinion, with which
more is needed than the quotation from
facts, it may not hold as obscene that!
Sherman, J., concurs.
the introduction which admits that it 18
which in common speech is not within
#fleshy.“ but so treated by Schnitzler as
that category.
toavoid that condemnation.
MARTIN, J.—The information herein
“A vicions eyele, some may say, and
The proof shows, too, that this publica¬
scharged that on October 7, 1929, the de¬
such it surely would have been in the
tion has been on sale in the book depart¬
hands of a lesser artist than Sehnitzler,
Hendant in the County of New Vork, un¬
ments of department stores, bookshops,
for he would have made the book
lawfully possessed a book called“Hands
hideouslg fleshy, instead of a marvelous
and other merchandising stores in which
Around,'’ with intent to sell and show
psychological study in the eestacies and
part of the retail business is the sale of
the same, and which was a lewd, lasei¬
disillusions of love and the whole tragedy
bocks. It has also been advertised in the
of human wishes, unsatisfied even in their
vious, indecent, obscene and disgusting
apparent gratification.
daily prints in the city. As a play in
* *
Istrategems of sex are uncovered
German the work has been produced in
The-defendant pleaded not guilty to
through the finer eyes of a connoisseur of
many large Europenn continental cities,
things human.
the crime charged, and thereafter on
and has been extant for at least ten Fears
While we appreciate the fact that dif¬
November 18, 1929, was arraigned for
ferent people have different standards
trial before the Court of Special Sessions.
We reversed a conviction for the pub¬
with reference to such writings and that
lication of a book known as Madeleine.)
At the conclusion of the trial a motion
these standards are often peculiar and
which was the autobiography of a prosti¬
was made to acquit, and the court re¬
diflicult to understand, nevertheless peo¬
tute, and seeins in its content more nearly
ple generally and the courts have arrived
served decision. Subsequently and on
approäching lewd and lascivious deserin¬
a: what ther consider a inir standard b,
December 9, 1929, the court decided that
tions rhan aupthing found here (People!
Which to judge such books, and protect
v. Brainerd, 192 App. Div., 816).
the book“Hlands Around' was an inde¬
those who need protection.
A receiver was directed by a former
In United States v. Bennett (16
cent book and that its sale constituted
Justice of this court to sell Fielding’s
Blatchf., 338). Judges Blatchford, Bene¬
a violation of section 1141, Penal Law,
novel, Tom Jones,''the Works of
diet and Chonte laid down a test on
one judge dissenting.
Rabelais.“ and Ovid’s"Art of Love, and
obscenity as used in the statute there
other works of an amatory nature, whose
under consideration. The court said at
On January 17. 1930, the appellant
terms and descriptions are much more
page 362: t is whether the tendency of
was arraigned for judgment and the court
likely to stimulate sexual impulses than
the matter is to deprave and corrupt the
suspended sentence. For the purpose of
anything in the book now here (62 N. T.,
morals of those whose minds are open 10
St. Rep., 116).
appeal. the suspension of sentence is
such influences, and into whose hands a
publication of this sort may fall.“
Recently in the federal court in
deemed to be a judgment (sec. 517, Code
The word lewd' was there defined as
United States v. Dennett (39 Fed. Rep.,
of Criminal Procedure). As stated
Phaving a tendeney to exdite lustful
2d series, p. 569), it was pointed out
above, a motion was made at the close of
thoughts.“ and it was said that passages
that a similar statute enacted by the
in a book are “indecent within the mean¬
the case to acquit and set aside the de¬
Congress, designed to bar from the mails
ing of the act when they tend to ob¬
obscene publications, was never thought
termination of the court convicting ap¬
scenitv; that is to sav, ma
1o bär everv