"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Banned books I have read

From the previous post, and the American Library Association list, I counted about 30 banned and challenged books that I have read.
Four on the list I attempted--and never got all the way through: Ulysses, As I Lay Dying, All the King's Men, The Satanic Verses.
In addition I've read a part of a few books banned in other countries: The Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn, Dr. Zivago by Pasternak, and The Bible, The Quran.
Many of these have been challenged in schools and libraries because people found them offensive in terms of language, racism, sex, or in the case of Harry Potter, Satanic. 
People have a right not to read books, but not to prescribe what other people do. Most books that are challenged find the wrath of governments, or religions. 
Challenging or banning books actually adds to their appeal, but narrow-minded authoritarian  governments and people who don't want people to think for themselves--thought Nazis-- don't seem to get that message. I'll admit, I read some of them as a teenager because they were openly sexual, but so what? 
Have you read these? 
 Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
 
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck 
The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding 
1984, by George Orwell 
Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov 
Catch-22, by Joseph Heller 
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley 
 Animal Farm, by George Orwell
 The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
 As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner 
A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway  
Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell 
 For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway 
The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
 All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren 
The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien 
The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair 
Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
 A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess  
In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
 The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie 
The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer  
Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller

It would be such an honor to have written a banned book. That means you've written something significant.
Of course my favorite book, about banning books, is Ray Bradbury's classic Fahrenheit 451. I mentioned this in a class the other day, and sadly, none of the students had read it.

1 comment:

  1. I experienced something odd similar that I documented in my comic: http://www.alteredhabitat.com/comic/banned-books/

    ReplyDelete