Saturday, September 27, 2008

Books people don't want you to read.

Fascinating lists of banned books present day and 20th century. Read one today. A lot of books today being challenged are ones for children that deal with sex or question religion. But if you ever think banning anything is ok, look at the list of 100 banned/ challenged books of this last century:
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
The Color Purple, Alice Walker
Ulysses, James Joyce
Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison
Beloved, Toni Morrison
The Lord of the Flies, William Golding
1984, George Orwell
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
Lolita, Vladmir Nabokov
Catch-22, Joseph Heller
The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
Their Eyes were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
Native Son, Richard Wright
Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
The Call of the Wild, Jack London
Go Tell it on the Mountain, James Baldwin
All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren
The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
Lady Chatterley's Lover, DH Lawrence
Sons and Lovers, DH Lawrence
Women in Love, DH Lawrence
A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
A Separate Peace, John Knowles
Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs
The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer
Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller
An American Tragedy, Theodore Dreiser
Rabbit, Run, John Updike
How many of these books are now classics and used in schools? Imagine never being transformed by reading them (I count 19 out of the list that I've actually read, more if I include reading sections of the novel or seeing the movies.) How many have become movies that still resonate today?

Censorship of books should never happen. We don't need the thought police trying to control what we think, although I realize fear is behind the desire to burn unsettling thoughts and have myself occasionally wished to destroy something I violently disagree with. But time will blow away the chaff, expose the falsehoods and the lies; the quality and the truth will remain.

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