Six impossible things before breakfast.

A library science student's perspective on life, the universe, and everything.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Banned Books Week Pt. 2

A follow-up on banned books week. The professor's blog posted an article earlier this year detailing 25 banned books that you should read today. It's a good list. I especially liked the description of James Joyce's Ulysses: "The novel has been called the 20th century's best novel. It has also been called the most vulgar, obscene and blasphemous book ever to be banned in the U.S. For many years, copies of the novel were seized before they could enter the country." It's ironic that a book could simultaneously be considered the pinnacle of greatness and the most depraved scum to be smeared across a sheet of paper. Looking over the list, there are a lot of works that fall into this sort of category of two extremes: The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, Huckleberry Finn, The Lord of the Rings (really? come on, people!).

I think it's absurd that school systems and communities are still banning books, telling teachers who have been in the classroom for twenty years what to teach their students, and pulling picture books off library shelves. Don't you have better things to do with your time? And over-protective parents, don't you realize that "forbidding" your child to read a book will only make the book more appealing? I can think of a lot of books that I have read and haven't totally enjoyed or even agreed with, but I've never read a book and had the reaction that there was something so objectionable about it that it simply shouldn't be allowed to be read. The idea of banned books and book burnings seems like such an antiquated concept to my mind, but, unfortunately, it still has a strong presence in our modern world today.

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