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Old 09-25-2017, 07:44 AM   #1
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Banned Books Week Begins

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The American Library Association (ALA)’s yearly Banned Books Week, held this year between Sunday September 24 and Saturday September 30, is both a celebration of freedom and a warning against censorship.
http://www.newsweek.com/harry-potter...-threat-669682

As a teenager I would try my best to find copies of "banned books" just to see what the fuss was. As an altar boy my best source of books to seek out was the Librorum Prohibitorum, the Prohibited Books list. Our school library and small local branch library had few of the tantalizing tomes. Since this was decades before the internet I would have to hitch rides with my older friends to get to larger libraries and used book stores.

Was I the only teenager in the 1966-1971 era to do this?
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:15 AM   #2
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Most books which were banned historically were banned for theological reasons, and would probably be very heavy going for most modern readers!
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:48 AM   #3
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Most books which were banned historically were banned for theological reasons, and would probably be very heavy going for most modern readers!
In the US, certain books such as Peyton Place, were banned for "moral" reasons. More recently, other books such as Huck Finn, were banned because it used the N-word. There are banned books on both sides of the ideological spectrum, depending on where you are in the US. Heck, at various times, even Moby Dick and the Red Badge of Courage have been banned in places in the US.
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:56 AM   #4
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While in high school the only book I specifically recall being banned by the school was Naked Came the Stranger. Our English teacher waxed poetic about the backstory of how each chapter was written by a different author. We suspected it was singled out so that we would read it. Turns out it wasn't actually great literature.
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:25 PM   #5
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I didn't even know there were banned books. I read whatever I felt like reading.

Now my grandmother once bought my brother and I a joke book. She didn't like one joke so she marked it out. Next time we went to the library, we found the book and read the joke.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:09 PM   #6
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Next time we went to the library, we found the book and read the joke.
Back in the day the library was our Internet. That was where the newspapers, magazines, encyclopedias and books were. Our local branch library even had listening rooms and a record collection.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:42 PM   #7
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While in high school the only book I specifically recall being banned by the school was Naked Came the Stranger. Our English teacher waxed poetic about the backstory of how each chapter was written by a different author. We suspected it was singled out so that we would read it. Turns out it wasn't actually great literature.
I remember hearing the story about Naked Came the Stranger. Not great literature, but it makes a fun companion piece to Jean Shepherd and Theodore Sturgeon's I, Libertine.
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Old 09-25-2017, 04:11 PM   #8
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In the US, certain books such as Peyton Place, were banned for "moral" reasons. More recently, other books such as Huck Finn, were banned because it used the N-word. There are banned books on both sides of the ideological spectrum, depending on where you are in the US. Heck, at various times, even Moby Dick and the Red Badge of Courage have been banned in places in the US.
And since the seventies a number of the books banned in places around the United States have been improvised weapons manuals.
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drjenkins View Post
http://www.newsweek.com/harry-potter...-threat-669682

As a teenager I would try my best to find copies of "banned books" just to see what the fuss was. As an altar boy my best source of books to seek out was the Librorum Prohibitorum, the Prohibited Books list. Our school library and small local branch library had few of the tantalizing tomes. Since this was decades before the internet I would have to hitch rides with my older friends to get to larger libraries and used book stores.

Was I the only teenager in the 1966-1971 era to do this?
I was in high school when Grace Metalious' book "Peyton Place" was published. I was the kid who always had a paperback in my hip pocket, for which I received not a little kidding. For those of you too young to remember "Peyton Place" was a terribly scandalous book in the 1950s. Probably it generated more scandal in it's day than any book since.

Anyway a teacher noticed it in my hip pocket and sent me to the principal, who made me leave school and said i couldn't come back till my parents came with me and talked to him. Which they did the next morning.

This was actually my parent's paperback, which they'd already read. I nearly always got my books from them. They were really upset that I was sent home because of that book. Finally they reached a compromise. I could come back to school only if I promised not to carry paperbacks in my pocket. I promised. I came back to school. I completely ignored that promise but only after I'd finished "Peyton Place". They never said anything about the books in my pocket after that so I guess they were a little embarassed.

I realize a lot of you were born after those days and probably haven't read "Peyton Place". By today's standards it would be family reading. But in those days it told what the author saw as the truth and it did it beautifully and that's an unbearable combination. I really think it's one of the best books written in that era and there were a lot of very fine books written then. It's probably a good candidate for the great American novel. It's a truly beautiful book by a very talented writer.

By the way, counting the book, the 2 movies made from it and the TV series it was also the most money making book of the 20th century.

I'm sure it was heavily banned. That speaks well of banned book lists. I've never sought out banned books to read or even banned book lists but I have run across a lot of those lists and they do contain a lot of books I've read, some of them favorites.

I did once do a search on Youtube for banned cartoons, having heard that that had become a thing there and i was surprised at how good a lot of those banned cartoons were. I suggest doing that search if you're at all interested in animation.

Movies and TV have some good examples of the banning of beautiful things: the Amos and Andy show was banned because it was racist. The network had continuously shown reruns for about 30 years and the show was popular till it was banned for being racist. There was nothing racist about that show. It was about black people. That was true of a lot of the banned cartoons as well. Yes they talked like black people so I suppose that was taken as stereotyping, but so do 90% of the black people I ever met. Should they also be banned?

The sad thing about banning isn't what it does to the books, shows and movies that are banned, it's what it says about us. And those of us who resent banning are still, like it or not, part of us!

Barry
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:18 PM   #10
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Barryem,
You forgot Speedy Gonzalez as to being banned.

Peyton Place, Harper Valley PTA, any country song from that era.

For those of you too young to remember the 50's through the 80's:
Pretty much the Kardashians do the Jenners on the Peyton Place.
Or in the immortal words of Charlie McClain " who's car is parked next door".
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:24 PM   #11
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I remember that a schoolmate borrowed her mother's copy of Peyton Place, which got passed around in class. It had the "good parts" carefully bookmarked for those who didn't want to read the whole thing. This must have been around the time the series was on TV; we all watched religiously.

A year or so ago I revisited the book in its audio incarnation; it's so much more than the "good parts"!
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:26 PM   #12
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Honestly I don't know anything about Peyton Place but the lot of you have certainly interested me!
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:59 PM   #13
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Old 09-26-2017, 12:54 AM   #14
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I am too young to remember the seventies , but I went to 'Ultra-Orthodox' Jewish aka 'Hasidic' High schools. I read many banned books, but you probably wouldn't believe many of them were banned. I had a book about aquarium fish confiscated because it supported evolution, Harry Potter books confiscated either because they had poor morals or supported 'kishuf' aka magic, and have hidden many others well. Most of the bans where just there because someone made a blanket ban 40 years ago and it lingers, but it is still funny.
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Old 09-28-2017, 06:29 AM   #15
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I'm very thankful for Banned Book Week, since it made me aware of the great works of Henry Miller, back in the 1970s.

Yay for Banned Book Week!
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