September 26, 2006


Common Censorship

I am reminded via Beelers that this is the American Library Association's Banned Books Week (and how apropos the update of his blog's banner), a nationwide initiative to help people learn about and explore banned and challenged books. Google Book Search offers up this list of 42 classics recognized by the Radcliffe Publishing Course as "The best novels of the 20th century" - all of which have been challenged or banned IN AMERICA.

I best get crackin' - I haven't even read half of these! Here is a list of reasons why these books were banned or challenged if you're interested (and why wouldn't you be?).

Challenged this year:

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Lolita – Vladmir Nabakov

Challenged throughout the years:

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
1984 - George Orwell
Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Lord of the Flies - William Golding
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Beloved - Toni Morrison
The Color Purple - Alice Walker
Ulysses - James Joyce
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner
Song of Solomon - Toni Morrison
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemingway
Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
Go Tell it on the Mountain - James Baldwin
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut
For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway
The Call of the Wild - Jack London
All the King's Men - Robert Penn Warren
The Jungle - Upton Sinclair
Lady Chatterley's Lover – D.H. Lawrence
Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie
Sons and Lovers – D.H. Lawrence
Naked Lunch - William S. Burroughs
A Separate Peace - John Knowles
Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
Women in Love – D.H. Lawrence
The Naked and the Dead - Norman Mailer
An American Tragedy - Theodore Dreiser
Rabbit, Run - John Updike
Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller
Native Son - Richard Wright

2006 BBW; Read Banned Books: They're Your Ticket to Freedom
Read Banned Books:
They're Your Ticket to Freedom

Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen. (Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.)

— Heinrich Heine, Almansor (1821)

You forgot Winnie the Pooh. I will be doing a reading to celebrate.
I used to have a T-shirt, which I proudly wore during my high school years, with a list of the Top Ten Banned Books in America. I don't remember what all of them are, but they are on this current list.

I'm in the same boat O'Tim. I have lots of reading to do. Anything to shove a bamboo splinter under the nails of the Establishment. Or wait. Is that still legal?
I am happy to say I've read quite a few of the titles on that list, some several times (I mean, Naked Lunch gets better with every go-round ... as does Cuckoo's Nest, Catch-22, and Clockwork).

What amazes me is how anyone who proclaims their faith in freedom, liberty, etc ever support banning anything printed. This includes such vile material as Mein Kapmf and Turner Diaries. Freedom defines itself. Or maybe I am just too damned naive.

Ook ook
Hey, I like your blog and I just linked you.

You may thank me profusely now.

Hey, I like your blog and I just linked you.

You may thank me profusely now.

Wow, twice even, PJ. Thankee thankee thankee from the great transplanted yankee (is that profuse enough?)! I'll return the favor when next I get into my template.
I'm glad to be able to say I've read several of these myself. In fact, five of them were required for a high school lit clas. We had no idea that Mr. Chasteen was so radical!
LOL! My fingers must've slipped.

LOL! My fingers must've slipped.
hey, i have read a lot of those- it even included my favorite- grapes of wrath- i must have read that one at least fifteen times- no lie. i do feel inspired to pick up a couple of those that i have'nt read
Hmm... I posted a comment yesterday and it's not here.



Seriously, what I said was, hooray for banned book week! Not sure what it says about me that most of my favorites are on that list. I'm reading Tropic of Cancer right now.

My wish for all my writer pals: May we all write a banned book someday!
My wish for all my writer pals: May we all write a banned book someday!

I can appreciate that sentiment, Kos, as I do enjoy being the dissident. But that's a bit of an off-kilter wish, no? God forbid our society would offer that opportunity to MORE writers.
Hmm, let me rephrase:

May we all write a book that stupid pigfucking fascists would want to ban someday!
You'd better get a new post up soon because every time I visit here and read about banned books, I knock a new hole in the wall. My house is going to fall down soon and it'll be your fault.
Some of my favourite books amongst that lot. I'd go so far as to say, if you're a writer and you haven't been banned, I'm not interested!

PS: Why no Hubert Selby Jr though? He's heavy...
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