Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Love Banned Books!

In the USA, George Carlin was the man when it came to pointing out the absurdities of word censorship, with nods to Nat Hentoff and many others.

As a librarian and writer, I love banned words. I love banned books displays, too. And of course, I love banned books.

Taking on censorship is a piece of cake -- unless that censorship has government and secret police backing. Unless that censorship is enforced by Italian fascists, North Korean "communists," Iranian Basij, Puritan freaks, Ku Klux Klansmen, Nazi brutes, Syrian interior ministry stooges or totalitarian/authoritarian goon squads in general. Even then, crackdowns add weight to the importance of words, texts, art of all kinds, even more so -- precisely because made rare and precious, subversive and free.

Back in 1997 while doing research, I visited the Special Collections at UVA's Alderman Library in Charlottesville, Virginia, which had amazing displays, things like William Faulkner's typewriter, coat, chair and other accessories; if memory serves, it had samples of Thomas Jefferson's red hair, too, and artifacts from US and Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston. UVA's Special Collections also had on display banned materials like S.C.U.M. Manifesto and William S. Burroughs' (aka William Lee's) Junkie. Hell, even Homer's The Odyssey was banned by morons somewhere on Earth.

Love it: the Power of the Word.

Today's Rune: Movement. [Adapted from an earlier post dated July 18, 2009].

4 comments: said...

I am an obscure Canadian writer from Newmarket, Ontario.

Not talked about of late, I wish somebody would attack me viciously in print, or even ban my books.
...Such a hard road to bestsellerdom. :)

Johnny Yen said...

Somewhere in my home library, I've got a book about banned books. It's a fascinating read; it's interesting why books get banned. I discovered, for instance, that the objection to Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five" was not to it's anti-war stance and general irreverence; it was because of the use of the word "motherfucker."

Charles Gramlich said...

Some people spend their whole lives trying to censor other people's thoughts. What shallow, vapid wastes they are.

Erik Donald France said...

Hey y'all -- thanks for the cool comments ~~! Cheers ~~