Friday, July 29, 2005

Celebrate freedom

It's that time of week again. Here's Image hosted by

"I bought a sweatshirt for my husband some years ago that says, "Celebrate freedom. Read a banned book." The shirt then goes on to list ten books that were currently banned somewhere in these United States. Here are a few examples: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, The Call of the Wild by Jack London, and Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. (For more information, see banned books online, and other sources.)"

1. Have you ever knowingly read a banned book?
Not one that was currently banned. I always meant to read Salman Rushdie's 'The Satanic Verses' when it came out and there was all that fuss, but I never got round to it. I did read Michael Moore's 'Stupid White Men' when US publishers refused to print it, but it wasn't actually banned. But I have read 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' (DH Lawrence), and I admit much of the reason I read it was to see why it was banned!

2. Have you read any of the books I listed above?
Yes, 'The Grapes of Wrath', 'The Call of the Wild', and 'Gone With the Wind'. I didn't realise any of them had been banned at any time.

3. Knowing that the above books have been banned, would you read them now? Why?
I've been meaning to read 'The Catcher in the Rye' for ages anyway. But I wouldn't read it specifically because it had been banned. I might read other banned books though. Partly pure curiosity and partly interest to see how things have changed since they were published. After all, what was once thought outrageous is often now pretty commonplace.

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