Friday, September 28, 2007

Banned Books Week Day 2!

Today I’m at a festival, talking books, enjoying the nice autumn day and thought I’d give you some good one’s to ponder. What category do these from “Banned Books” by Robert P. Doyle fall under - well they are the challenges that were so bloody stupid and weird, I had to laugh, otherwise I might cry at the sheer idiocy demonstrated. You decide.

Farmer, Philip J. Image of the Beast. Essex House. Challenged at the Chapmanville, W.Va. Public Library (1981) because the book puts “mental pictures in the mind [that] have no place in the library.”

Fox, Mem. Guess What? Harcourt. Challenged at the Cook Memorial Library in Libertyville, Ill. (1991) because it features witches, boiling cauldrons, names of punk rockers, and a reference that could be interpreted as meaning “God is dead.”

Groening, Matt. The Big Book of Hell. Random. Challenged at the Hersey, Pa. Public Library (1995) because “the entire book teaches conduct contract to wishes of parents” and is “trash” with “no morals.” A request was made to “destroy all books of a similar nature.”

Jagendorf, Moritz A. Tales of Mystery: Folk Tales from Around the World. Silver Burdett. Removed to a locked closet in the superintendent’s office in Banner County, Nebr. (1992) because the book “has to do with a lot of negative things and might not be good for someone with low self-esteem or suicide tendencies.”

Kidd, Flora. Between Pride and Passion. Harlequin. More than fifty Harlequin romances donated by Glide, Oreg. Residents were threatened with removal from the high school library (1984) because “teenagers already have trouble with their emotions without being stimulated by poorly written books.”

King, Larry. Tell It to the King. Putnam; Thorndike Pr. Challenged at the Public Libraries of Saginaw, Mich. (1989) because it is “an insult to one’s intelligence” and contains foul language.

Legman, Gershon, ed. The Limerick: 1,700 Examples with Notes, Variants and Index. Carol Pub. Group. Challenged at the Oak Lawn, Ill. Public Library (1991) because the book contains bawdy limericks with explicit sexual references.

Touchette, Charleen. It Stops with Me: Memoir of a Canuck Girl. Touch Arts Bks. Removed from the Woonsocket Harris, R.I. Public Library shelves (2005) after the author’s father challenged the book. He wrote, “If members of a family wish to harm one another, those actions should be kept private and should not draw in others by involving matters of public policy.” The book was later returned to the shelves.

You want a book banned because teenagers already have too many emotions to handle a Harlequin romance? They are safer with those than books like the Gossip Girl series. Then there’s the person who found out limericks were naughty ditty’s - well, hello, they are defined as “A light humorous, nonsensical, or bawdy verse of five anapestic lines usually with the rhyme scheme aabba.”

So, did you laugh or cry at the ridiculousness shown here? Well, there’s more. I’ll be back tomorrow with more nonsense - those who like to do the censoring themselves.


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I dunno... the argument about a book being badly written is a good one, but it really should have been an editor's call, not a reader's...

Unknown said...

I personally believe it is wrong to Ban any books! To have our country under such oppresion is very disturbing to me. I started reading at a very young age. I was never restricted on what I read. It did not turn me into a devient monster. It made me become a better person for I realized one persons view on things is just an opinion. Not a fact. People are quite capable to read and not be corrupted by things. If the corruption is there it was there before reading a book, or watching a movie.
So once agian someone wants to take away our rights to read whatever we want, because it offends them. If thats the case do not pick the book up, but leave it there for those of us who want to read it!

Tilly Greene said...

Susan - I don't think a poorly written book should be challend or banned. You're right, the editor and publisher should step in, and if they didn't and it's published, then its readers who will have the final say - by not checking it out or buying it. Challenging/Banning is not the solution.

Tehya - yup, I had to laugh at the Harlequin example. It seems as if a book person was someone who pushed the boat and read above their age from an early stage - we were hungry for more and I think it's encourages people to be well-rounded and open-minded. We should stop challenging/banning books and look at adding to collections. If one book disturbs someone, add another that gives another viewpoint, just one point of view is limiting.

Unknown said...

I agree Tilly!

catslady said...

I screamed! I've always detested censorship in any form. The audacity of those who feel their opinions are worth more than others. It's all a power play - people have to think what I think. Same with governments, religion, etc. Personally I think the ones who do it are the most insecure people in the world.

Tilly Greene said...

You know what Catslady - I think you might be on to something with the insecurity bit.