Having been censored myself, I have a special affinity for controversial works of literature and art. So this week’s list of links for your pleasure and perusal celebrates the last day of Banned Books Week 2015.
- Yes, for all our talk of 1st Amendment rights and “freedom of the press,” censorship has always been as American as apple pie, right from the days of the puritans.
The book Pynchon penned, The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption, was immediately burned upon release in Boston.
The author, William Pynchon, who was also famously the founder of Springfield, Massachusetts, was forced to flee back to England for his heretical writings. There are only 4 remaining copies in existence, so good luck on reading this banned book.
- Even as solidly American a writer as Mark Twain has been banned for talking too openly (using the language of the time) about racial issues in 19th Century America.
Somehow, I think Huckleberry Finn might be proud of that.
But year after year, American public schools struggle with complaints about Twain’s use of the n-word, common to his day and central to his story. There have been audacious re-writings to update Twain’s words with more “politically correct” words.
Somehow I doubt Twain would be proud of that.
- What do banned books have in common?
Probably NOT what you thought…
- The New York Public Library has some suggestions for how to celebrate “Banned Books Week.”
- Finally, one of those fun little quizzes asking,
“Which banned book are YOU?”