Sunday, November 24, 2013

Banned authors clobber the banners!

western fictionI was unaware that my favorite library once banned a book by my favorite author. In 1885, the Concord Free Public Library banned The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. You should never slight Mark Twain. He responded immediately to the ban by declaring:
“Apparently, the Concord library has condemned Huck as ‘trash and only suitable for the slums.’ This will sell us another twenty-five thousand copies for sure!”
Too bad Twain is not around to chasten those who still want to condemn Huck. Nowadays, they want to ban the book for using the n-word. Ironic, since his intent was to expose and ridicule racism.

Flavorwire has published 10 Famous Authors’ Funniest Responses to Their Books Being Banned. The moral of the story is to never attack someone who knows how to wield a keyboard. My favorite is Ray Bradbury’s reponse.
“… it is a mad world and it will get madder if we allow the minorities, be they dwarf or giant, orangutan or dolphin, nuclear-head or water-conversationalist, pro-computerologist or Neo-Luddite, simpleton or sage, to interfere with aesthetics. The real world is the playing ground for each and every group, to make or unmake laws. But the tip of the nose of my book or stories or poems is where their rights and my territorial imperatives begin, run and rule. If Mormons do not like my plays, let them write their own. If the Irish hate my Dublin stories, let them rent typewriters. If teachers and grammar school editors find my jawbreaker sentences shatter their mushmild teeth, let them eat stale cake dunked in weak tea of their own ungodly manufacture. ”

Libraries that are architectural wonders

1 comment:

  1. I recently reread Huck and marveled again how well it stands up with time. it's supposed to make you feel uneasy and offend your sensibilities. To condemn it for those reasons is a weak argument.