Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Banned Books Week
Did you know that September 25th marked the beginning of Banned Books Week? In commemoration of the week, you can visit your local library and tell a librarian how much you love him or her; you can visit your local independent bookstore, purchase a banned book and tell them how much you love them or just pick up a banned book that you might own and fondle it lovingly.
I'm staring, right now, at my copy of Maurice Sendak's In the Night Kitchen, stunned that it was banned. I read it near nightly to both my sons when they were small, and we all delighted, positively DELIGHTED in the plight of the boy dreaming, falling through space, losing his clothes, all in the night kitchen.
I've been striving for moderation of late, and tolerance, especially given the anxiety provoked by the trolls (anxiety, of course, I invited, and which was added to my already considerable anxiety over things way more important than politics), but I have to say that the whole banned books thing, throughout history, is just plain bullshit.
What are your favorite banned books?
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My favorite banned books are probably all of them.ReplyDelete
I looked at those books, in the context of being banned, and just think... seriously?ReplyDelete
Flabbergasted I am.
It amazes me that books get banned. My favorite banned book, "All Quiet on the Western Front" banned by Hitler.ReplyDelete
Impossible to choose just one. I have a penchant for banned books. Perhaps my top 5 are "The God of Small Things", "Beloved", "Lolita", "Midnight Children" and maybe "Portnoy's Complaint". And for me, the most shocking one is the Diary of Anne Frank. I mean, really?!ReplyDelete
I am troubled when people try to silence Fox news.ReplyDelete
Grapes of Wraith, The Lottery, Brave New World, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Animal Farm and As I Lay Dying to name a few. About a decade ago, I decided to read every book ever banned anywhere. I should live so long!ReplyDelete
Have I mentioned that I'm a library trustee? I am. And, I get most of my banned books from the library.
Ms. Moon -- Me, too!ReplyDelete
Steph -- Me, too!
Lilith -- That's a good one.
Erika -- I think we have a common theme here --
Dave -- Is Fox news a book?
From the Kitchen -- I love you!
I couldn't agree more, Elizabeth, and even more so when you are battling your own silencing and censorship from the trolls.ReplyDelete
In The Night Kitchen is on display in my classroom. It's a classic...ReplyDelete
You know what I find odd, I went to a Catholic high school, crawling with nuns, and there were NEVER any books banned from our library. Margaret Laurence's stuff(one of our biggest, best authors here in Canada)...esp. The Diviners, because it contained "sexuality"...I learned about at that very school. Elizabeth...have you ever read "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood? You must if you haven't. It will positively make your skin crawl and goes well with the theme of trolls and the sort of misguided power they wield.ReplyDelete
To Ms. Moon: Probably mine too.ReplyDelete
To Elizabeth and Only A Movie: I forgot to list "In The Night Kitchen" which I still have memorized!!!!!
To Elizabeth: I love you too--especially with my first cup of coffee.
I recently reread "The Grapes of Wrath". I found it to be relevant all these years later. Sad.ReplyDelete
Burning books and repression of the freedom of speech is the same thing. When Ann Coulter is shouted down by college students, when others have come to hear her speak, is wrong.
I find similarity when someone calls a Harry Potter book (I love the series by the way) demonic, in an attempt to sway people from reading it, and calling the Tea Party racist, in attempt to sway people away the same thing.
Thank You for the freedom in this forum.
i cannot imagine not having access to those beautiful tomes.ReplyDelete
beloved - a work of art, truly.
one of my all time favorite poems is emily dickinson ~ there is no frigate like a book. to this day, nothing takes me worlds away like a good book.
I agree that burning books is one way of repressing freedom of speech; however, I think there is an important difference between a crowd booing a speaker and authorities banning or burning books. Using a bad example, it is sort of like, being subjected to prejudice displayed by individuals for your ethnicity or being treated as a second-hand citizen by the government because of your ethnicity. While it's certainly similar in principle, it's still a far cry, in my humble opinion.
in the kitchen was BANNED? good lord, what poles are shoved up people's arses?!?!? I agree with you. total b.s. TOTAL. My favorite books are any that are banned :)ReplyDelete
Wow, I certainly didn't think Lewis Carroll's Alice would have been banned. Or that Apartheid had banned Black Beauty because they thought it was about a black woman -- I do remember reading somewhere that books have been banned for such misunderstandings because those banning them hadn't actually read them, so I guess I'm not surprised. My favorite in the list, though, was the Dictionary of the Serbo-Croatian language, banned in Yugoslavia because "some definitions can cause disturbance among citizens".ReplyDelete
@Dave and Erika: the Constitution restricts governmental power, not the people, so your examples of people booing or attempting to sway opinions are technically not infringements on freedom of speech. Booing by a crowd is rude, but is also their way of exercising their freedom of speech. As for people attempting to sway opinion, that is a fact of life. I'd be surprised if you have never expressed an opinion on a book or film and tried to sway others to your perspective.
Kobico- I thought it was clear that the point of my comment was to disagree with Dave and to argue that booing is very different from banning as only the latter is a violation of someone's rights.ReplyDelete
Booing IS different from not allowing someone to speak, physically taking the stage over, threatenen the speaker with violence to the point where their words cannot be heard.ReplyDelete
It has happened to Ann Coulter several times.
Dave - Perhaps it's cynicism, but fearing for Ann Coulter's rights is a bit ridiculous to me. She has made her considerable fortune by provoking such displays and, I would surmise, purposely so. She's an exhibitionist, foremost, an entertainer. I'd bet she welcomes an angry crowd; it gives her more publicity.ReplyDelete
I've read and loved every book pictured there!ReplyDelete