I was looking at a list of banned books, and found myself amazed anew at the idea that anyone would feel so powerful and so right that they would take it upon themselves to attempt to control the flow of information into another person's life, another person's mind.
And yet books are banned every year--books many of us consider great, important, wonderful works of literature. Consider the list below, which is only a smattering of banned books, past or present:
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) by Mark Twain
American Heritage Dictionary (1969)
As I Lay Dying (1932) by William Faulkner
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye (1955) by J.D. Salinger
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty
Beauty's Release all three by Anne Rice (under the pseudonym A.N. Roquelaure, written in the early 1980s)
Dictionary of American Slang by T.Y. Crowell, publisher
The Grapes of Wrath (1939) by John Steinbeck
The Joy of Sex (1972), More Joy of Sex (1975) by Alex Comfort
Lolita (1955)by Vladimir Nabokov
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
Women on Top by Nancy Friday
Want to know who banned these books and why? Look at the link I provided. For some of them you can probably guess.
Here's another list, provided by the ubiquitous Wikipedia:
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Burger's Daughter by Nadine Gordimer
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
The Diary of Anne Frank
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (short story)
Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Zhuan Falun by Li Hongzhi
Interestingly enough, almost all of the books that I teach at the high school level were banned at one point or another. And of course the things I read on my own have often been banned, as well--the Harry Potter saga springs to mind.
Would you ever support the banning of a book?
Do you have a favorite banned book?
(Photo link here).