Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ban censorship, not BOOKS!

 it's banned books week.  being a book lover, avid reader, and general appreciator of civil liberties like free speech, i feel it necessary to stand up for books, especially this week.

john milton, a very complex man with a lot of influence in puritan-ruled england wrote what i consider to be one of the best tracts against the censorship of text that i have ever read.  it was quite revolutionary in its day, especially considering that he was basically speaking out against his best friend, leader, and fellow puritan oliver cromwell.  milton's aereopagitica can best be summed up in these simple lines from it:

"And yet on the other hand, unlesse warinesse be us'd, as good almost kill a Man as kill a good Book; who kills a Man kills a reasonable creature, Gods Image; but hee who destroyes a good Booke, kills reason it selfe, kills the Image of God, as it were in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the Earth; but a good Booke is the pretious life-blood of a master spirit, imbalm'd and treasur'd up on purpose to a life beyond life."

ironically, milton's text was censored.  go figure.

so i consider this a shout out to all of those writers whom i thoroughly admire, who have and who continue to produce art for art's sake in spite of those irrational few who seek its destruction because they disagree with its meaning or what they consider its meaning.  milton, solzhenitsyn, zola, balzac, nabokov, lee, whitman, and especially bradbury:  thank you for the contributions you have made to our world.  we will read them happily.

just for kicks, here's a very brief and not at all inclusive list of books that have been banned both here in the US and abroad at some point in time:

1984 by George Orwell
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis   
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
Areopagitica by John Milton
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Blubber by Judy Blume
Bless me, Ultima - Rudolfo Anaya
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Candide by Voltaire
Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Christine by Stephen King
Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Cujo by Stephen King
Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Decameron by Boccaccio
Dick and Jane        William S. Gray
Doctor Zhivago        Boris Pasternak
Droll Stories       Honore de Balzac
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Fallen Angels by Walter Myers
Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) by John Cleland
Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Forever by Judy Blume
Grendel by John Champlin Gardner
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Have to Go by Robert Munsch
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Impressions edited by Jack Booth
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
It's Okay if You Don't Love Me by Norma Klein
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Love is One of the Choices by Norma Klein
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
More Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
My House by Nikki Giovanni
My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
Night Chills by Dean Koontz
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women's Health Collective
Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Separate Peace by John Knowles
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Bastard by John Jakes
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Devil's Alternative by Frederick Forsyth
The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Snyder
The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
The Living Bible by William C. Bower
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
The New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
The Seduction of Peter S. by Lawrence Sanders
The Shining by Stephen King
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder
Then Again, Maybe I Won't by Judy Blume
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Ulysses by James Joyce    
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster Editorial Staff
Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween Symbols by Edna Barth

1 comment:

la pipe de singe said...

Another bit of irony:

In some cases, a book's not worth reading unless it's been banned.